Why is it difficult to find good sweet and sour pork at many Chinese restaurants? I remember that in high school I used to get a darn good version at a Chinese restaurant in San Clemente, California, where I grew up. Okay, that was in the early 1980s and the people who owned the place were kind of high-endish Hong Kong-ers. But really, sweet and sour pork does not need to be tiny cubes of grisly meat coated by an excessive amount of batter that are deep-fried then served coated by a maraschino-red cloyingly sweet sauce. Is that sauce sold by the gallon because it tastes the same at so many Chinese restaurants. Aiyah!
My husband and I adore southern Chinese sweet and sour pork -- what we basically think of as the quintessential dish despite their many versions in Chinese cuisine. However, we don’t order it out any more. Last week, he asked me to make it at home. The recipe I decided to try is by Christopher Tan and Amy Van. It is included in their remarkable book on historic Chinese cooking in Singapore.