Every asian country has their own version, my recipe is my take on this dish, lets say my Filipino version. But there is one common procedure or method that Asians do the same in making this dish, pour the sauce right before or few minutes before serving.
I'm not a food court hater but i find their sweet and sour dish disgusting! The battered chicken/pork are soaked in the sauce w/c defeats the purpose of frying them. The battered fried meat turns mushy and gooey, not appetizing at all!
Anyways, give this method a try and you'll see the big difference. Also, i went fancy schmancy w/ my vegetables, you really don't have to! I used some cutters to make it look pretty. This is how my mother prepared her sweet and sour may it be pork, chicken, seafoods or fish escabeche, green onion florets, butterfly or flower shaped carrots, sweet onions and peppers.
PORK AND VEGETABLE INGREDIENTS:
2 lbs. pork loin or porkbelly sans the skin ( a little of fat marbling is best for this dish)
1/2 C soy sauce
2 medium carrots
2 sweet bell peppers ( i recommend different colors)
3 stalks of green onions or leeks
2 cloves garlic minced
3 stalks of celery
1 big sweet onions
1 cup pineapple tidbits (optional)
Cut your washed pork loin into cubes (bite size), then marinate w/ soy sauce. Set it aside.
Cut your vegetables into thin slices and use a decorative cutter. There is actually no specific cut to the vegetables, be creative or julienne them.
1/2 C cornstarch
1/2 C flour
1 C water (add more if needed)
Pinch of salt and pepper
Canola oil for frying
Mix all ingredients, go easy w/ water then add more if necessary. Batter should have a pancake consistency. I want them crispy that's why i don't put eggs on my batter.
Place the marinated pork pieces into the batter and mix, making sure all pork are well coated. In a deep skillet, add in the cooking oil enough for deep-frying. Once the oil is hot, deep fry the pork pieces in batches until they turn golden brown and cooked.
Drain to eliminate grease and set aside.
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
1 Bottle Jufran ketchup (This is a Filipino catsup but you can use regular ketchup)
4 c H20
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c soy sauce
1/2 c vinegar
1/2 c chili sauce
1/2 c cornstarch
1/4 c water to be mixed with the cornstarch to make a slurry.
Mix the first 6 ingredients in a pot, then bring it to a boil , add cornstarch slurry slowly to thicken. Refrigerate left over sauce, it has a long shelf life. You can use it again or as egg roll sauce.
Arrange your cooked crispy pork on a plate. Mix veggies and some of the sauce, then pour on top of the pork. Add sauce if you want. Best served w/ steamed white rice.