Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sweet & Sour Pork

This is, if not the first, probably the first few cookbooks I bought. The bible of all food Singaporean. Most people would know who Mrs Lee is & if you don't, well that's because you're not from Singapore. Mrs Lee Chin Koon is the mother of our Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew & also grandmother of our Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong. But we're not here to talk about her family nor politics.

I remember buying this cookbook for her mee siam recipe which my best friend swears by & of which I have made many times with much success. The book has all our favorite Pernankan & Singaporean dishes.I believe her granddaughter did an updated version of the book but I much prefer the original. Very old school - where else would you have recipes calling you to pound rempah & to use MSG - sooo incorrect nowadays.

Sadly I haven't touched it in years knowing that I probably can't find most of the ingredients around here. Recently the internet was abuzz with sweet & sour dishes & I remember using her recipe years ago for prawns which turned out really good.

Most recipes call for ketchup but I don't have any - am I the only person who doesn't have ketchup in their pantry ? so I used tomato paste instead. When doing this, try to use pork that has a little bit of fat in them which I think gives it a nice bite but of course, if you are going healthy, use lean pork. I didn't have cucumbers so I substituted with green peppers to add a little colour to the dish.

Sweet & Sour Pork
source Mrs Lee's cookbook

700 g pork loin, cut into cubes marinate in
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp MSG (if you so inclined)
1 egg
2 Tbsp water
After marinating, dredge in 200g cornflour

2 tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, seeds discarded & cut into pieces (I replaced with green pepper)
2 chillies, seeded, cut into pieces
1 onion quartered
2 Tbsp corn flour, mix with 6 Tbsp water

Gravy, combine together
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp MSG (see what I mean)
9 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
8 Tbsp tomato sauce or ketchup
1/2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
1/2 Tbsp chilli sauce
3 Tbsp vinegar
280ml water

1. Heat a frying pan until very hot, add in 570ml oil. When the oil is hot, lower the flame, dust off any excess cornflour and then deep fry the pork until golden brown. Remove & pour off the oil from the frying pan

2. Clean the frying pan, reheat, add in 1 1/2 Tbsp oil & stir fry the vegetables over high heat for a minute. Remove. Reheat the frying pan, add the gravy and ring to a boil. Stir in the corn flour mixture. When it comes to a boil, stir in 2 1/2 Tbsp oil & then add the vegetables & pork. Serve immediately.


bACk in GERMANY said...

I have this one too...
But, ermm, I just read... and think if I stared hard enough, I'd get a good spread tonight on the dinner table :)

Ok... gotta seriously try one recipe, at least.

Lilian said...

I don't have this one, but I bought both volumes of the granddaughter's one. Would love to get hold of the original Mrs Lee's cookbook though.

Anonymous said...

Oooh ... this is one of my favourite dishes. In fact, it was my most favourite dish as a child (somehow, I loved everything with tomato ketchup then). Wonder if the overall taste is compromised with the use of tomato paste? And you're right, Mrs Lee's cookbook is a great legacy for us and future aspiring cooks.

petite fleur said...

back in germany - haha i know will is a powerful thing but that's not going to be enough to put dinner on the table.

lilian - I've seen Shermay's version - beautiful photos but I don't know if she has modified the recipes or not. Not even sure if the original cookbook is still available.

anonymous - I was sceptical but I didn't find using tomato paste to have made very much difference - only it was less sweet than ketchup so I did add a little more sugar at the end.