Sweet and sour pork

  • For the pork
  • 2 pork loin steaks, trimmed of fat
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • Cooked rice
  • Choi sum salad, to serve
  • For the coating
  • 3 tbsp roasted whole soya beans (can be found at speciality Asian supermarkets) or dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp crushed dried chillies
  • Freshly cracked white pepper
  • For the sweet and sour sauce
  • 115ml pineapple juice
  • 115g canned pineapple
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Light soy sauce
  • Splash Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • Freshly cracked white pepper
  • For the choi sum salad
  • 200g Choi Sum leaves or baby bok choy, washed, trimmed and sliced
  • 115g sugar snap peas, washed
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 225g canned pineapple
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • For the dressing
  • 2-3 tbsp groundnut or olive oil
  • 100ml pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • Pinch freshly cracked black pepper
Notes: This is my simple and healthy version of sweet and sour pork and will be unlike anything you would have tasted in a Chinese restaurant. I hope it's one you will love to cook time and time again. Instead of the crunchy batter, the crunchy roasted soya beans give texture and flavor. Roasted soya beans can be found in supermarkets and health food shops, but if you can't find them, crush some dry-roasted peanuts instead.



1) To make the coating: add the soya beans, dried chillies and white pepper to a grinder and whiz until coarsely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl.



2) To make the sauce: put the pineapple juice, pineapple and lime juice into a blender, and whiz to a paste.



3) To make the pork: using a meat mallet or rolling pin, bash the pork steaks until they are half their thickness. Press the pork steaks into the spice mix, pressing down so that the mixture sticks to the meat, turn and coat the other side.



4) Heat a wok or pan over a high heat and add the groundnut oil. Add the pork steaks to the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes, or until browned. Turn them over and cook the other side for 2 minutes, or until they are fully cooked. Remove the pork steaks from the wok, and set them aside in a warm place.



5) Pour the sweet and sour sauce into the wok and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened naturally. Season further, if required, with light soy sauce, rice wine and pepper.



6) Serve the sauce poured over the chops with a side of rice and choi sum salad.



7) To make the choi sum: toss the choi sum leaves, sugar snap peas, carrots, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, pineapple and spring onions together in a large serving bowl.



8) To make the dressing: mix the groundnut oil, pineapple juice, light soy sauce, rice vinegar and black pepper in a small bowl, and stir well. Then, pour the dressing mixture over the salad just before serving. Toss well, and serve immediately.

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