Last weekend I had a craving for Chinese food. But as Fi and I still haven’t found a decent Chinese takeaway – seriously how hard can it be to find a good chinese takeaway in London – we decided to cook some ourselves. So after a bit of an internet trawl we settled on sweet and sour pork – basically because we had pork in the freezer! Also the recipe didn’t look too confusing! Here’s the recipe we decided to go with in the end, from the BBC Good Food website. I won’t type it all out here as we pretty much followed it exactly apart from with the rice, we just went with wholegrain brown rice, although we plan to try the egg fried version soon. What I will say is that a few things didn’t quite turn out how we expected…
Firstly, we don’t have a deep fat fryer, so we used the saucepan method. While this worked fine, I did freak myself out by reading something online that included the word ‘combustion’. Needless to say I was then panicking all through the cooking process in case the oil got too hot and exploded – this didn’t happen, but I think I’d be happier cooking in a deep fat fryer next time. Just for my own piece of mind! But frying the pork was fine, really easy, once you got used to how long the meat needed. We did cut up the first few pieces just to check that they were properly cooked.
The actual problem we had with this recipe was the sauce. The problem happened when we started to stir the sugar – apparently you’re not meant to stir sugar while melting it – oops! Anyway once the sugar finally melted we went to add the next ingredients and this is where things went wrong. As soon as the juice, wine and soy sauce were added they reacted with the sugar, causing steam and sizzling which left us with a hard clump in the middle of the pan – eek! I don’t really know what happened, maybe we added them too quickly or maybe things were too hot – but whatever happened was very weird and certainly not the way the recipe was meant to go. We managed to salvage the sauce by removing the odd clump of hard stuff and luckily the rest of the sauce was okay, so after decanting to a new pan we finished the sauce instructions without further issues -phew! We did however burn the pan beyond repair!
Luckily, as I said we did salvage the sauce and we were able to finish the recipe and served up a delicious meal of sweet and sour sauce and rice. The verdict – it was delicious, the perfect amount of crispy batter paired with beautifully cooked pork and a delicious sweet and sour sauce. Honestly I’d definitely make this again – I’d quite possibly look for a different sauce recipe or (dare I say it) just pick up a jar from the supermarket!
If anyone has any explanation as to what we did wrong, do share, as I hate not knowing!