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07/01/2011 19:28:00

Sweet and Sour Pork

This recipe is taken from Annabel Karmel's "You Can Cook" cookbook.

It's fairly representative of the main course meals in the book, in so far as it includes a significant amount of difficult chopping and hot hob work which are not suitable for a lot of young children, but also is a child friendly version of a more adult classic.

We have made this before in the chicken version from another of her books, and we were perplexed to find that the amount made served two adults or three or four kids, but not really enough for a family. It would probably be perfect for one adult and two kids! So this time we bulked up the ingredients a bit to feed all four of us.






Original Recipe

Battered Pork:
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
pinch salt
2 tbsp milk
225g lean pork, cubed

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1 red onion
1/2 small red pepper
1/2 small yellow pepper
1/4 tsp grated ginger
110ml chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp tomato puree
227g tin pineapple chunks (inc juice)
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1tbsp water
We Used

Battered Pork:
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp cornflour
pinch salt
4 tbsp milk
2 large pork steaks, cubed (about 300g)
two big handfuls beansprouts

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1 large white onion
1/2 large red pepper
1/2 large green pepper
about 1 tsp grated ginger
225ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp tomato puree
227g tin pineapple chunks (inc juice)
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1tbsp water

We made this on a weekday after school and before football, with not a lot of time, so without the time available to supervise them learning to slice an onion today, I confess I chopped the onion and the two peppers.

The first item in the recipe is to stir fry the onion and pepper for about 3-4 minutes until they start to go soft. As the wok gets very hot and the peppers spit it's not a great task for wee ones. Ours stirred it a bit once the initial spitting had worn off.

Then we added the ginger. We used Very Lazy Ginger which I always have in the fridge, so to make the pieces small enough to be like grated, Anna chopped it with the rocker chopper.

Then you're supposed to add all the other sauce ingredients in to the pan. I found it easier and less nerve-wracking to get the kids to assemble all the ingredients into a jug, stir it round and then pour the whole sauce into the pan. We only used one tin of pineapple rather than doubling up because none of us loves loads of pineapple in sweet and sour. But if I had thought it through I might have added a little apple juice to replace the lost juice from the second can. Maybe 50ml.

Once you've added the sauce, you bring it to a simmer for a minute or so and then add the cornflour mixed with water. Jacob was surprised at how stiff the cornflour is to stir at first. Both of them were very impressed at how quickly it turned the sauce from a bubbling broth to a gloopy sauce - a matter of seconds. Then you simmer the thickened sauce for another minute or two and put on a very low heat to keep warm. We put the beansprouts in at this point to heat through.

Then you make a batter from the cornflour, egg yolk and milk. Jacob did very well separating the egg, although he hasn't yet learned how to move it from shell end to shell end without piercing the yolk a little, but it didn't matter for this recipe. Anna liked whisking the batter up and making it a bit fluffy.

Then the pork is stirred into the batter until it is all coated, and then fried in a little oil. Being pork it spat a lot so the kids watched but had to stand back a bit while I turned all the pieces to get them all browned.

Then you simply add the pork to the sauce and heat for a minute and serve. The recipe serves it with rice, but our kids think all sweet and sour roads lead to chopsticks, so we had ours with egg noodles, stirred into the sauce.

(The photo for the finished dish corrupted, so I will make it again next week and add a photo! Sorry)

The Verdicts

9/10 Jacob (9) "I love this. I had seconds and then finished what my sister couldn't eat."
7/10 Anna (7) "Tastes yummy but I wouldn't want it every day. I like using the chopsticks. The pork is crispy."
7/10 Dad "The pork itself was very very nice. The sauce is a bit dark (in taste as well as looks)."
7/10 Mom "Overall tasty but a bit salty. Pork itself is LOVELY.Would add more stir fry veg next time and tweak the sauce. Disappointing that there is so much frying, but making the batter is a good skill."












14/06/2011 09:25:00 by vegetable gardening

Thank you for sharing a wonderful and delicious step by step recipe. Would surely recommend this.

01/07/2011 16:46:00 by Jo Brown

i really love your blog because you give great recipes. Not only that, you make it a point that you involve your kids in cooking and gardening. great job!

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