In China, there are two versions of sweet and sour pork, the southern style and the northern style. Since most of the Chinese overseas originated from the southern part of China, the one we are more familiar with is the southern/Cantonese style of sweet and sour pork. Many posts ago, I shared a sweet and sour chicken recipe which is based on southern/Cantonese sweet and sour pork, so you can use that recipe and switch chicken with pork and make Cantonese style sweet and sour pork. Today, I am going to share the northern style of sweet and sour pork, which is actually simpler and more straight forward to prepare, but is decidedly less colorful without all the pineapples and bell peppers which are commonly present in the southern style.
If this is my Mom making this dish, she would stick to using the “bak kut” (pork ribs that still have the ribs). But, my dearest keeps saying that it is such a hassle to deal with the bones, so nowadays I just use shoulder pork ribs which are already boneless. Tastes just as good and more importantly, no more complain. This is why I stick to fish fillet and ditch cooking whole fish, not because I cannot handle the bones, but because I cannot handle the complains 😀
- 800 gram boneless pork shoulder ribs (*), cut into 2" cubes
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 2 inches ginger, thinly sliced
- 4 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon black vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1½ cup water
- sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
- In a mixing bowl, marinate pork with light soy sauce and Shaoxing for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- In a skillet/frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry ginger and scallions on medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add another 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet/frying pan, turn the heat to medium-high. Sear all the surface of pork until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- With another skillet/frying pan (or clean the one you are using), add 1 tablespoon oil and sugar and heat on medium-low heat until the sugar has melted and slightly caramelized (the color will turn brownish). Add the pork to the skillet/pan, coat with the melted sugar. Then turn the heat off.
- Return the cooked ginger and scallion to the pan, along with dark soy sauce, black vinegar, Shaoxing wine, and water. Mix well. Turn the heat on again, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 45 minutes until the meat is tender.
- Remove the cover, there should still be some liquid left. Turn the heat to medium-high, cook until the sauce thickens and coats the meat.
- Turn off the heat. Transfer to a serving plate, and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with steam white rice.