Sweet-and-sour pork

“Red food colouring is added to Westernised sweet-and-sour pork and the sauce is cloyingly sweet and thickened with too much cornflour,” says Grace Young, author of The Breath of a Wok. Her lighter sauce enhances the flavours of the pork and vegetables, but never overpowers them


500g pork shoulder, with fat trimmed off
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp rice wine ordry sherry
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp each coarse salt and ground pepper
½ tsp plus 2 tbsp sugar
½ cup plain flour
½ cup, plus 1 tbsp cornflour
1 can (450g) pineapple chunks in juice
¹⁄³ cup tomato sauce
¹⁄³ cup white vinegar
1 cup plus 1 tbsp peanut oil or other vegetable oil
4 slices fresh ginger
1 green capsicum, cut into 2.5cm squares


Cut the pork shoulder into 2.5-centimetre cubes. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine or dry sherry, sesame

oil, salt, pepper and ½ teaspoon sugar. Give it a mix, then add the pork and marinate for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, combine the flour and ½ cup cornflour. Drain the pork, reserving the marinade. Lightly dredge the pork pieces in the flour/cornflour mixture and set them aside on a plate.

Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving ½ cup of the juice. In a bowl, stir together the juice, tomato sauce, vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon cornflour and the reserved marinade.

Heat 1 cup of oil in a large flat-bottom wok until it’s hot but not smoking. Add half the pork, spreading the pieces around in the oil. Cook 1-2 minutes until they begin to brown, and then turn them. After 3-4 minutes, when they’re brown on all sides, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with rest of the pork.

Wash and dry the wok and return it to high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the ginger, and stir-fry 10 seconds. Add the green capsicum and stir-fry one minute. Add the reserved pineapple chunks and swirl the sweet-and-sour sauce into the wok.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until it’s just thickened, about one minute. Add the pork and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.



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