I’m still on this sweet and sour chicken kick, trying to find a recipe that can match the dish at my favourite fast food place. I actually tried two different recipes this past weekend and this was the first. It’s based on a recipe for Peking Pork Chops but I added a bit of sriracha and five spice powder to add some spicy warmth. I used two chicken breasts instead of pork chops and found that too be a bit too much for the amount of sauce and coating. I had to make a second batch of coating while cooking the chicken the batches. The sauce thickened up on it’s own so I didn’t add the slurry. The coating started to fall of the chicken and get soggy so I probably should have deep fried it instead of shallow frying in about an inch of oil. With all that being said, it was still really good. Not the same as the mall chicken but still a very tasty dish. The Cantonese noodle recipe is very simple and very good. I couldn’t stop enhaling the stuff! I’ll keep playing around with the sweet and sour recipes but the noodle recipe is a definite keeper. 🙂
Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
For marinating the pork chops (or in my case, the chicken):
1 1/2 lb. thinly sliced pork chops, cut in half
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
pinch of five spice powder (optional)
For the sweet and sour sauce:
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (can substitute balsamic vinegar)
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup water
To finish the pork chops:
Oil, for frying, plus 1 tablespoon
3 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallion
Marinate the pork chops in a mixture of shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and five spice powder (if using). Set aside for at least an hour or overnight. Make the sauce by combining ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hoisin, maple syrup, sesame oil, and 1/2 cup water. Set aside.
When you’re ready to cook, fill a medium deep pot about halfway with oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. In a separate bowl, combine 3 tablespoons ice water, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Pour over the marinated pork chops and mix until coated.
Carefully drop a few pork chops at a time into the heated oil and fry in batches for about 3 minutes each batch. Drain on paper towels.
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce (I used just regular soy sauce)
½ teaspoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
½ tablespoon shaoxing wine (I used sherry)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
8 ozs fresh thin Hong Kong Style Egg Noodles (for pan-frying, not to be mistaken for “wonton noodles”) or 3 small bundles of dried Hong Kong Style Egg Noodles for pan-frying
3 tablespoons oil
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Rinse the bean sprouts in cold water and drain. Julienne the scallions. Mix the soy sauces, sesame oil, salt, sugar, wine and white pepper into a small bowl and set aside.
Boil the noodles. Fresh noodles should be boiled for about 1 minute. For dried noodles, boil for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain very well.
Heat the wok to high and add a tablespoon of oil to coat the wok. Spread the noodles in a thin, even layer on the wok and tilt the wok in a circular motion to distribute the oil and crisp the bottom layer of the noodles evenly. It should take about 3-5 minutes for the first side.
Flip the noodles over and add another tablespoon of oil around the perimeter of the wok and let the other side crisp up. Don’t stress if you can’t turn the noodles over in one shot, The goal here is just to get an even, light crispiness and to dry out the noodles during this cooking stage. In our pictures for this post, we used a large non-stick pan, which also works nicely. Set aside these noodles on a plate.
Heat the wok over high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and all of the white parts of the scallion to the pan and cook for about 15 seconds. Next, add the noodles to the wok and toss them well, breaking up the noodles so they’re not all in one big clump. Add the soy sauce mixture and toss continuously (don’t stop!) for a couple minutes using a pair of chopsticks or a set of tongs. Keep the heat on high.
After the noodles are uniformly golden brown, add the bean sprouts and toss. Add the rest of the scallions and toss the mixture again for another 1 to 2 minutes until you see the bean sprouts just starting to turn transparent. You want the sprouts to be cooked but still crunchy. Be careful not to overcook them or they will become limp and soggy. High heat is a key requirement for this dish.
Plate and serve! (Serves 2)