It can be tempting to reach for the shop-bought sauces when dinner time rolls around but Chef Edward Hayden joined us this morning with a simple homemade alternative to the take-away classic, sweet and sour pork.
Sweet & Sour Sauce: 1 tablespoon soft light brown sugar 2 tablespoons rice vinegar/white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons sherry 4floz/110ml dark soy sauce 175 ml/6fl oz chicken stock 2 tbsp tomato ketchup/chilli jam 1 lighted rounded dessert spoon cornflour mixed with a little water Dash of Tabasco sauce (optional)
The Main Dish 2 medium sized pork steaks (trimmed of excess sinew) (Approx 1 ½ lb/700g) ½ inch fresh ginger-finely diced 2 cloves garlic-finely diced Pinch cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons oil 1 carrot-cut into thin strips 1 ½ mixed peppers (½ each red, green, yellow)-cut into thin strips 1 red onion-thinly sliced 6 button mushrooms-thinly sliced 4oz/110g fresh pineapple/1 small tin 1 bunch spring onions
For the sauce:
- Put the sugar, vinegar, sherry, soy sauce and chicken stock into a medium sized saucepan with the tomato ketchup/chilli jam.
- In a separate bowl mix the cornflour with a little water to make a paste and add this to the liquids in the pot.
- Bring the entire mixture to the boil, whisking occasionally, and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 8-10 minutes until the sauce is of coating consistency.
- Transfer the sauce to a large jug and use as required.
For the main dish:
- Dice the pork into long strips and sprinkle with the cayenne pepper, diced ginger, garlic and oil.
- Mix together and if time allows you can leave them to marinade for an hour or so.
- Heat a wok or frying pan and cook the pork until browned all over-this will probably take about 7-8 minutes.
- Next add in the peppers, onions and carrots (which have been cut into strips) and cook them gently.
- After a further 6-7 minutes, pour in the sweet and sour sauce and bring this mixture to the boil.
- Add in the diced pineapple and chopped spring onions just before you are ready to serve.
- Serve with some basmati rice
Edward's top tip:
When I am cooking the rice I normally add in about ¼ teaspoon of turmeric which gives the rich a beautiful golden colour. As a guide I would suggest that between 10oz/300g and 12oz/350g rice would be sufficient for 6-8 people. Use one part rice to 2 parts water to cook the rice. Rinse the rice with some cold water. Place into a saucepan with the turmeric and the water. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, and then boil for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and fit the pot with a tight fitting lid until all of the liquid is reduced off. The result is light fluffy rice. I normally place it in a cup and then invert it onto the plate to get an attractive presentation.