Today we are making 锅包肉 – There is an extra crispy sweet and sour pork. Northern Chinese style. The color is lighter compared to the south Chinese style that you are familiar with. Which I have made it a long time ago. The first time I had this dish at my friend’s college graduation party. He is from dong bei, a northern province. He made this dish and oh my god. It is gone as soon as he put it on the table. People went nuts eating it. Let’s get started.
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BETTER THAN TAKEOUT - Crispy Sweet And Sour Pork Northern Chinese Style [锅包肉]
Ingredients for the pork marinade
Ingredients for the coating
- 1/2 cup of cornstarch
- 3/4 cup of corn starch +1/2 cup +1 tbsp of water
- enough oil to deep fry
- some carrot shreds
- scallion shreds
- ginger shreds
- garlic slices
- You will need some pork. The best cut for this is recipe is pork loin. Slice it against the finger. You want to cut it into 3 mm thick pieces. If you want to use pork shoulder or pork butt, those cuts will work fine too.
- Simply marinade the meat with 1/2 tsp of salt, some white pepper to taste, you can also use black pepper, 1/4 tsp of baking soda to tenderize the meat, last but not least, 1.5 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine, and. Mix it well. The meat is thinly sliced so you really need to rub in between each piece so the marinade can be evenly distributed. And let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Next, we gonna coat the meat with a thin layer of corn starch. Take a piece of meat. Unfold it. Pad it in the cornstarch. Then shake off the excess starch. Keep doing that until you finish all of them.
- On the side here, mix 3/4 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp of water. Stir until it is well combined. It should be like whipping cream texture. Add the coated meat into the cornstarch water. Mix it well. You might ask me why do coat the meat with cornstarch twice? I can’t explain the science behind it but I have tried to coat the meat only once and it did not come out as good. So just stick with this method.
- The meat is very sticky now. I suggest you separate them ahead of the time. Unfold it nicely. Because we gonna deep fry them. The meat is thinly sliced. You want to put them into oil fast. This will allow you to pick up the meat easily and you will not be in a rush.
- Besides the meat, you will also need some aromatic and vegetables: 2 pieces of spring onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 small piece of carrot and a small piece of red bell pepper. Simply slice the garlic and cut the others into shreds.
- Heat the frying oil to 380 I am using soybean oil. You can use any high smoke point oil. When you add the meat in, it will sink to the bottom but soon it floats to top. That means the temperature is correct. Don’t crowd the wok because they like to stick to each other. So you might need to fry it in batches. Use chopsticks to continually flipping them so they cook evenly. The meat is very thin and it is really easy to over-cooked them. I will only fry it for less than 2 minutes.
- This is the first frying. It shouldn’t turn golden at all. Even if it is slightly golden, the meat will be overcooked during the second fry. Yes, we are double frying the meat. The second time, heat the oil a little bit higher to 390 Add in all the meat. It is ok if it is a little crowd. Just keep stirring and flipping them. The second fry should be less than 2 minutes as well. Take them out. Now the meat is slightly golden. Shake off any excess oil it is not too greasy. You can re-use the frying oil for up 4 times. Don’t need to waste it.
- Now we gonna make a simple sweet and sour sauce. You will need 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp of water, 2 tbsp of vinegar, 3/8 tsp of salt, Some cornstarch water (1 tsp of cornstarch +2 tsp of water). Continue stirring it on medium heat until it becomes a thin syrup texture. Like that. Introduce the pork back to wok along with the vegetables that we prepared before. Stir to cook the vegetable. Then toss it nicely so the sauce coats everything. And you are done.