Sweet and Sour Chicken, Pork or Shrimp Cantonese-Style
This is long and I'm sorry about that but this is a wonderful
recipe and much easier than it appears. ~ Sharon in the desert.
I have been a student of worldwide cooking for many years.
Over those years, I have taken several courses, including two
terms of Chinese Cooking in 1979 from a Chinese woman working
her way through college by teaching cooking out of her family
cookbook. Certain fairly transparent changes were made to the
recipes because of the difficulty in getting some of the authentic
ingredients in the Midwest U.S. in the seventies. Even though
those ingredients are easily obtainable at the bountiful quantity
of Chinese grocery store across the country, The need is not
there. A friend of mine who is the son of a licensed master
chef from Korea and is, himself, now the owner his own of a
Korean-Chinese restaurant (the family is Chinese, but lived
in Korea before immigrating to the U.S.). has deemed my recipes
as first quality.
China is a large country with many
regions, just like the U.S. What is called Sweet and Sour varies
a lot from region to region. Cantonese Sweet and Sour dishes
are the most common and one the most popular dishes in Chinese
restaurants. Unfortunately, many of them are a too sweet, almost
candied mess. This Cantonese-style one a very close to what
is made in Taiwan in the home of the woman that taught me Chinese
cooking. Only a couple of minor changes where made because the
authentic ingredients were too hard to find the U.S. in 1979.
1 pound pork good quality, no fat, boneless meat (butt or loin is best)
OR 1 pound boneless chicken breast
OR 1 pound shelled shrimp (see Special Shrimp Marinade)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch*
1 tablespoon cold water
1 egg yolk
1 green pepper
1 can chunk pineapple or fresh if you wish
4 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons cold water
5 tablespoons pineapple juice
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup or more cornstarch
4 cups oil
Pound pork or chicken with back of clever to tenderize,
then cup it into 1-inch cubes. Mix it with A and marinate at
least 30 minutes, or overnight.
Cut peppers (remove seeds
and membranes) into 1-inch squares. Peel carrot and slice diagonally
into 1/8-inch thick slices. Peel onion and cut into 1-inch squares.
Drain pineapple. Set each aside separately.
Mix C together in a bowl and set aside. Heat 4 to 6 cups of oil to deep frying
temperature in a deep skillet or wok.
While oil is heating, individually coat each piece of meat, removing excess marinade,
with the 1/2 cup cornstarch. When oil is hot, add meat and cook
until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove meat from skillet
and drain well.
Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a clean wok and
heat it up good and hot. Add carrot and cook 1 minute, then
add onions for 2 minutes, green peppers for 1 minute and pineapple
for 1 minute - 5 minutes total. Pour in C and cook until thickened.
Turn off heat. Add meat and stir well.
Special Shrimp marinade - 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon
Chinese cooking wine, 2 egg whites, 4 teaspoons cornstarch
* You can substitute arrowroot for cornstarch for a more
authentic dish. Reduce amounts use in recipe by half.
I sometimes make a special variation of this by combining
two or three of the meats into Sweet and Sour Three Delights.