spring onions (a.k.a. scallions or salad onions)
Of all Chinese dishes, Sweet and Sour Pork
is probably one of the best known in the West. Sadly, it is rarely properly made in the West, often consisting of heavy, doughy balls containing a tiny scrap of pork and drenched in a hideously sweet red sauce.
Properly prepared, sweet and sour Chinese dishes are so delicately balanced that it is difficult to accurately describe them as either sweet or sour. In this version of this classic dish, you will find that balance of flavours. And, as with ALL Chinese cooking it pays to prepare everything beforehand so you have all the ingredients ready to hand when you need them.
How to make Sweet and Sour Pork:
Cut the pork into 1" (2.5cm) cubes. Place the meat into a bowl along with the sherry or rice wine, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir well, and marinade for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the green and red peppers into 1" (2.5cm) squares. Peel and cut the carrots into 1" (2.5cm) cubes and cut the spring onions (scallions) into 1" (2.5cm) lengths. (The uniform size of the meat and vegetables adds to the visual appeal of the dish.) Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the carrots in it for about 7-8 minutes.
Now its time to make the sauce... Combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, salt, vinegar, sugar and tomato purée (tomato paste) in a large saucepan. Bring it to the boil. Add all the vegetables but not
the lychees and stir well. In a small bowl, blend together the corn flour and water. Stir this mixture into the sauce and bring it back to the boil, then turn the heat down to a very low simmer while you cook the pork.
Mix the eggs and corn flour (cornstarch) into a bowl until they are well blended into a batter. Lift the pork cubes out of the marinade, place into the batter and coat each piece well. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fat fryer until it is almost smoking. Remove the pork pieces from the batter with a slotted spoon, and deep fry them for several minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
Add the lychees and pork cubes to the sauce, mix well and then turn the whole mixture onto a deep platter. Serve immediately with Steamed Rice
If you have problems getting hold of lychees, you can substitute fresh orange segments instead.