Oct 20 2016
I had no idea what yuk meant in Cantonese speak before doing this recipe, but I could only assume that it meant pork, or at least, sweet, or maybe even, sour. I mean, it can’t actually mean the same thing it means in English. Who would name a dish after that?! But, this is a sweet and sour pork recipe, so it only makes sense that yuk would mean at least one of those things, right? Well, it doesn’t.
In Cantonese, yuk actually means “roast meat”, which is odd, since this meat is actually deep fried, like most other sweet and sour pork recipes. After deep-frying, you can leave the meat as is to keep its crispy, crunchy texture, and serve the sauce on the side for dipping; but I like to throw the meat right into the sauce for that truly Chinese take-out element. Also, doing it that way lets me cook the pork in the morning and just warm it through in the sauce at dinnertime. And those make-ahead meals that can be pulled together right at dinnertime are some of my favourite kinds.
For the sweet and sour pork batter:
- 1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1″ pieces $5.89
- 2 large eggs, beaten $0.40
- 1/4 cup cornstarch $1.08
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.03
- 1/4 cup water Free, with your water bill!
For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons water Free with your water bill!
- 2 tablespoons ketchup $0.09
- 1 small can of pineapple pieces, with juice $1.99
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar $0.05
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce $0.08
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce $0.05
- 2 tablespoons sugar $0.02
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced $0.02
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced $0.05
- 1 red bell pepper, cut in a large dice $0.71
- 1 orange bell pepper, cut in a large dice $0.71
- 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying, plus 1 tablespoon $2.25
- Coarse salt, for sprinkling $0.01
Total cost $13.43
Cost per serving $3.35
1.) Prepare the batter.In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, cornstarch, and flour. Add the water slowly, and add just enough that you get the batter to a consistency that will coat the pork. Add the pork and stir gently to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
2.) Prepare the sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the water, ketchup, pineapple juice, rice vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Set over high heat and bring to a boil then, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is reduced slightly, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
3.) Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven (or a wok) over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or until bubbles form along a wooden spoon that’s held in place in the oil). Working in 2 or 3 batches, place some pork cubes into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on the outside and the pork is cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pork using a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Continue with the remaining pork.
4.) Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok or frying pan set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bell peppers, sprinkle with salt, and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another 20 seconds. Add the pineapple and the sauce and stir to coat the vegetables.
5.) Let the sauce simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the pineapple to become tender. Return pork to the frying pan or wok with the sauce, and stir to coat. Leave in the pan for a few minutes, just so the pork can warm through.
6.) Serve and enjoy!