Monday, November 16, 2015

Sweet'n'sour mock pork

November 8, 2015

Sweet and sour pork was a childhood Chinese takeaway staple for me, and I still love the tangy sauce and juicy pineapple pieces just as much as Michael hates them. I occasionally order vegetarian versions around town but I've only just tried making it for myself for the first time. With Michael away on a work trip and the leftovers of a can of pineapple in the fridge, I was surprised how easily it came together.

Some mock pork pieces and canned pineapple chunks were mandatory, of course, and I filled the meal out with red capsicum, snow peas and a carrot cut into half moons. I looked to blog Rasa Malaysia for a sauce recipe - it has a tomato ketchup base, then builds up the sourness with plum sauce (I had homemade plum jam on hand) and rice wine vinegar, saltiness with vegan Worcestershire and oyster sauces, and that trademark texture with a little cornflour. The sauce glistened thickly against the mock pork pieces, but wasn't so abundant as to pool in the bottom of the dish.

This sweet'n'sour mock pork smelled exactly as I remembered it, and I ate it gladly for days with steamed white rice.

Sweet'n'sour mock pork
(adapted from a recipe on Rasa Malaysia)

1 red capsicum
1 carrot
2 handfuls snow peas
1/2 cup canned pineapple pieces

mock meat
450g mock pork pieces
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons plum sauce or jam
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons vegan oyster sauce
2 teaspoons cornflour
4 tablespoons water

Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and set them aside.

Make sure the mock pork pieces are thawed and bite-sized. Place them in a container with a well-fitting lid. Sprinkle the cornflour over the mock meat, place the lid on the container and shake it around until the mock meat is evenly coated in the cornflour. Set it aside.

Place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir them until they form a smooth sauce. Set them aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large frypan or wok. Add the cornflour-coated mock meat pieces and stir-fry them until golden. Add the vegetables and stir-fry them until they're bright and glossy - I did the carrot, snow peas, capsicum and pineapple in stages according to my texture preferences. Pour over the sauce and gently stir it through for no more than two minutes. Serve the sweet'n'sour mock pork over steamed rice.

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