sweet n sour
Despite growing up with real Chinese food (that’s right, what you get at Manchu Wok is not the real deal), I have a fondness for the other stuff. The “American” Chinese food.
I went out with this guy in high school who insisted what he had with his family was “real” Chinese food and that almond chicken was the definite article. I didn’t know what I was most appalled by, the fact that this guy really believed that or the fact that I was going out with him. I was young and stupid but came to my senses and dumped his ass (not over what was real Chinese food).
A friend of mine introduced me to Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe for sweet and sour chicken a few months back and it was every bit as good as the greasy, sugar coated sweet and sour chicken that sat for hours under a heat lamp.
I used the same recipe (cut back the sugar) to give sweet and sour pork a try last night for dinner and it turned out every bit as good. I used fläskkarre (kind of the shoulder area sort of cut) cut into small pieces. I think it works best with the long cooking time. Something like pork loin would dry out and get tough. I added the bell pepper after it was done in the oven so that they’d retain their crispiness. I also put the pineapple juice from the canned pineapples into the sauce mix.
My parents owned an American Chinese food restaurant in Missouri for 3 years and their sweet and sour chicken were not the same. Instead of having the chicken and sauce already mixed up, sitting under a heat lamp, the chicken was deep fried fresh and finished with a ladle of sweet and sour sauce. It was really good sweet and sour chicken but it wasn’t the same as the mall stuff.
I realised last night that the mall stuff was extra good because it had been sitting under a heat lamp which allowed the sauce to thicken into the syrup-y goodness. Baking the chicken/pork in the oven created the same effect.
Fredrik mixed in some sambal oelek with his sweet and sour chicken which made it more like general tao’s chicken. Think I’ll add some sambal oelek into the sauce the next time I make this.