Sweet and Sour Pork with Mango
By demand of my sister Lien, here’s my Sweet and Sour pork recipe.
Lien tried to make this dish on her own, using a recipe that she found on the internet and it didn't turn out as well as she hoped, but she said it tasted okay. She'll try my recipe soon and I'll post her results next time.
There’s so much history to this dish and how it came to North America from China. As Chinese immigrants braved crossing the Pacific to construct infrastructure for the Gold Rush in the 1800s, they brought traditional ingredients, cooking methods, and recipes. Including the recipe that would later be used to create ketchup and the recipe for the sweet and sour sauce.
What makes Sweet and Sour Pork so addictive? It’s the marriage of acid and sweet, sweet and savoury, crispy and fresh. It’s the chicken nugget to your tangy sweet & sour sauce. Where do you think that famous fast-food chain got their idea for their sauce?
I make a few changes to the iconic Cantonese recipe, as I make mine with mango due to a pineapple allergy. You can also use chicken, fish, and even shrimp instead of pork. If you don’t want to use mango, I have seen others use dragon fruit, star fruit and even unripe kiwi. I prefer ripe mango. You do you!
Enjoy the recipe, and don’t forget to take pictures if you make it. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram: @mingskitchentable
450 grams of pork butt or shoulder (you want some nice marbling of fat) - cut into ½ inch chunks or “strips”
½ red bell pepper cut into chunks
½ yellow or orange bell pepper cut into chunks
½ green bell pepper cut into chunks
1 small onion cut into chunks
1-2 whole semi-ripe mango cut into chunks
Vegetable oil for frying
Marinade (Velveting) Ingredients
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1.5 tablespoons of light soy or Maggie sauce if you have a soy allergy
3 tablespoons of flour
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
4 tablespoons of potato starch (or more)
Sweet and Sour Sauce
6 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons of ketchup
Pinch of salt and white pepper
3 tablespoons of water
1.5 tablespoons of potato starch
Dice your pork and place it into a bowl. Add the egg, light soy and minced garlic and massage with your hands. Add your flour and massage for another 2 minutes until the pork is evenly coated in the flour. This process is called velveting or laminating. Set the meat mixture aside to continue to marinate.
At this time, prep your vegetables and mango, place in a bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix your sauce and set it aside.
Add your potato starch to a plate, and begin to dredge individual pieces of pork into your starch. As you dredge each piece, one by one, squeeze your pork to ensure each piece is coated in the starch.
Heat your oil to 350°F, and line a baking tray with paper towels. We’ll be frying the pork twice, and you want to ensure you drain the oil from the pork between each frying session.
Once the oil has reached 350°F, fry your pork in batches for 5-6 minutes per batch. Don’t stir the pork in the oil for the first few minutes, if you do, the flour and starch will loosen and fall into the oil. Transfer the fried pork onto a tray once crispy and brown.
Skim off any bits of loose flour and starch before heating your oil to 400°F for your second fry. Once the oil reaches temperature, add your pork back and fry for an additional 1 minute until a golden brown. Then, transfer your pork back to the tray.
Add a few tablespoons of your frying oil into a different wok and stir fry your vegetables for 3 minutes. You want the vegetables to have a slight bite and not be overcooked. Transfer the vegetables out of the wok and set them aside.
Add a tablespoon of the frying oil to work, and then add your sauce mixture. Stir until the sauce thickens - this should only take 1 minute, and then quickly add your vegetables and fried pieces of pork. Stir fry until coated in the sauce!
Serve with white rice, some extra veg and enjoy :)
Note: If you don’t have two woks, carefully drain the oil into a heat-safe bowl and use tongs and a paper towel to wipe off any excess oil from your wok.
If you use mango that is too ripe, it will disintegrate while cooking. You want a mango that is slightly ripe, but still a bit firm.