Crispy Sweet & Sour Pork (Gu Lou Yuk/ 咕噜肉)

Crispy Sweet & Sour Pork (Gu Lou Yuk/ 咕噜肉)

Sweet and Sour Pork is popular dish loved by both kids and adults. It’s commonly ordered at restaurants and sometimes made during Chinese New Year because of its auspicious red colour.

When I was a kid, this is my favourite food to have when I eat out because it is rarely cooked at home. Many health-conscious Malaysian-Chinese household prefers steaming instead of frying their food. Besides, making sweet and sour pork takes a lot of work.

Now that I appreciate food a lot more and can cook, I no longer order this dish when I eat out. The tiny pieces of meat are normally coated in too much flour that I cannot taste much or any pork! I don’t enjoy chewing on and paying for flour…

So when I crave for sweet and sour pork, I’ll make it at home. I promise that the hassle will be worth it. This recipe creates a plate of crispy pork covered in a thick and flavourful sweet and sour sauce. Oh, so delicious!


WHAT MAKES A PLATE OF DELICIOUS SWEET & SOUR PORK?

  1. Crispy fried pork Sweet and sour pork must be crispy to be delicious. Nobody likes soft and chewy fried pork. In my batter, I use a combination of cornstarch, wheat flour, and baking soda to make the pork crispy.
  2. Good balance of meat and batter In restaurants, to save cost, very little meat is coat with a lot of batter. Sometimes I feel like I’m only eating flour. My homemade sweet and sour pork has enough meat to chew on and right amount of batter to create crispy texture.
  3. Sauce that is not too sweet, sour, or salty. There must be a balance of flavour – you can’t say that the sauce is salty, sweet, or sour because it’s well-balanced. I find that those in restaurants at way too sweet for my liking.

TOOLS

  • Knife + chopping board
  • 4 Bowls (to marinade pork, and mix batter, sauce, and thickening)
  • Wok + spatula
  • Deep fry skimmer
  • 1 plate

RECIPE CARD

Crispy Sweet & Sour Pork

2017-03-20
: 4
: 20 min
: 10 min
: 30 min

By:

Ingredients
  • PORK
  • 125 g pork loin, chop into 0.5 cm slices
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce

  • BATTER
  • 7 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1.5 tbsp wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder

  • VEGETABLES
  • 1/2 cucumber, chop into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small onion, chop into wedges
  • 1 stalk white spring onion, slice into 2 cm sections

  • SAUCE
  • 100 ml ketchup
  • 50 ml water
  • 2 tbsp fine granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce

  • THICKENING
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
Directions
  • Step 1 MARINADE PORK: Slice pork into 0.5 cm thin pieces. In a small bowl, marinade sliced pork in 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp wine.
  • Step 2 PREP: Peel and chop cucumber into bite-sized pieces. Slice onions into wedges. Slice white part of spring onions into 2 cm sections.
  • Step 3 MAKE BATTER: In a bowl, mix 7 tbsp cornstarch, 1.5 tbsp wheat flour, 4 tbsp water, 1 tbsp oil, and 1/8 tsp baking powder. Mix batter until mixture looks smooth and creamy.
  • Step 4 MIX SAUCE: In a bowl, mix 100 ml ketchup, 50 ml water, 2 tbsp fine granulated sugar, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, and 1/8 fine sea salt.
  • Step 5 THICKENING: Mix 1/2 tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp water.
  • Step 6 COAT PORK WITH BATTER: Put marinated meat into batter. Mix well, but not too much.
  • Step 7 FRY PORK: Place enough oil in wok to cover pork (2 cups). Heat oil. Insert chopsticks, if it bubbles, the oil is hot enough for frying. Turn to medium fire. Add coated meat, piece by piece. Deep fry until batter hardens, about 3 minutes. Remove with a fry skimmer.
  • Step 8 DOUBLE FRY PORK: Turn heat to high. Add fried pork and deep fry until meat turns golden brown. Dish out with a sieve into a serving plate.
  • Step 9 FRY VEGETABLE:  Remove oil from wok, leaving 1 tbsp of oil. Fry vegetables until they turn slightly brown. Dish out into a plate.
  • Step 10 COOK SAUCE: Add spring onions and cook until its lightly burned. Add sauce, turn to high heat, and bring to a boil (15 seconds). Add half of the thickening and keep stirring until sauce becomes thick yet fluid. Add more if need be. Off the heat and let the sauce cool a little (15 seconds)
  • Step 11 ADD PORK & VEG INTO THE SAUCE: Add meat and vegetables into the sauce. Stir a few time to coat. Dish out and serve hot.

SHORT RECIPE

Marinade sliced pork in 1/4 tsp salt + 1 tsp soy sauce + 1 tsp wine. Make batter, sauce & thickening. Coat pork and double fry. Dish out. Fry vegetables. Dish out. Fry spring onions, boil sauce, add thickening. Add pork and veg into sauce. Mix well. Serve hot.


STEP-BY-STEP

MARINADE PORK: Slice pork into 0.5 cm thin pieces. In a small bowl, marinade sliced pork in 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp wine.

PREP: Peel and chop cucumber into bite-sized pieces. Slice onions into wedges. Slice white part of spring onions into 2 cm sections.

MAKE BATTER: In a bowl, mix 7 tbsp cornstarch, 1.5 tbsp wheat flour, 4 tbsp water, 1 tbsp oil, and 1/8 tsp baking powder. Mix batter until mixture looks smooth and creamy.

MIX SAUCE: In a bowl, mix 100 ml ketchup, 50 ml water, 2 tbsp fine granulated sugar, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, and 1/8 fine sea salt.

THICKENING: Mix 1/2 tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp water.

COAT PORK WITH BATTER: Put marinated meat into batter. Mix well, but not too much.

FRY PORK: Place enough oil in wok to cover pork (2 cups). Heat oil. Insert chopsticks, if it bubbles, the oil is hot enough for frying. Turn to medium fire. Add coated meat, piece by piece. Deep fry until batter hardens, about 3 minutes. Remove with a fry skimmer.

DOUBLE FRY PORK: Turn heat to high. Add fried pork and deep fry until meat turns golden brown. Dish out with a fry skimmer. Place on serving plate.

FRY VEGETABLE:  Remove oil from wok, leaving 1 tbsp of oil. Fry vegetables until they turn slightly brown. Dish out into a plate.

COOK SAUCE: Add spring onions and cook until its lightly burned. Add sauce, turn to high heat, and bring to a boil (15 seconds). Add thickening and keep stirring. Off the heat and let the sauce cool a little (15 seconds)

ADD PORK & VEG INTO THE SAUCE: Add meat and vegetables into the sauce. Stir a few time to coat. Dish out and serve hot.


COOKING TIPS: How to make it crispy?

  1. Use baking powder. Baking powder help puff up the batter hence creating a crispy feel to the food.
  2. Use cornstarch in flour batter. Cornstarch reduces the amount of gluten in batter. So it’s lighter and crispier.
  3. Double fry. Second time frying remove the moisture that is pushed to the surface from the first frying. A drier fried pork makes the pork more crispy.
  4. Pour sauce only when you’re ready to serve. Cook this dish last or only pour the sauce when you’re ready to eat this dish.

Note: You can also use chicken thigh for this recipe. However, I have to say it tastes best using pork.


Enjoy!



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