Monday, 23 April 2001
Sunday 8th April after the meal, my cousin asks Can I have the recipe?. The dinner party is to have a look at some photos. Sweet memories come back looking at the pictures of the train journey through Australia and jungle tracking in Malaysia. To maintain the holiday mood I've put some Chinese food on the table, combined with a perfect Australian wine: Rawson's Retreat (penfolds...bottles...)

It has been a few weeks since she asked for the recipe. And still I owe her an answer. Do I still have the recipe somewhere? I wonder. Years ago I used cookbooks, but that is a long, long time ago. I have no idea where the original Chinese recipe is. A brief search doesn't yield anything. And in any case would my cooking still bear any resemblance to the original recipe?

So, here it is, straight from memory, especially for Ingrid, the recipe of my favourite dish, Chinese but Hen Kyan style:

Pork in sweet and sour sauce

Ingredients How to cook
  • rice
  • pork
  • flour
  • pepper
  • onions
  • oil
  • two garlic cloves
  • vinegar
  • plum sauce
  • light soya sauce
  • dark soya sauce
  • stock cube
  • small can of pineapple
  • sugar (or honey)
  • tomato ketchup
  • capsicum
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • corn flour
  • sesame oil
  1. Cook the rice.
  2. Cut the pork in bite-sized chunks. Put the meat in a plastic bag, with some flour and pepper. Blow the bag full of air. Shake the bag so the flour covers the meat on all sides.
  3. Chop the onions. Heat the oil in the wok and fry the unions until glassy. Add the finely chopped garlic.
  4. Shake off all excess flour from the meat. Brown the meat over high heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the vinegar, plum sauce and soya sauces. Crumble the stock cube into the sauce. The meat needs to cook in the sauce till tender.
  6. Cut the pineapple into bite-sized chunks. Add the chunks and the juice. Add sugar to taste. The sauce must now be sweet and sour. Add some tomato ketchup for colour.
  7. Cut the capsicum into small pieces. Core the apples and cut into bite-sized chunks.
  8. In the meantime keep the rice, that should be cooked by now, warm in a steamer.
  9. Allow the meat to become well cooked and soft. Add the capsicum to the meat and cook it briefly. Finish by adding the apple.
  10. Add some cold water to the corn flour. Add the mixture to the sauce to thicken it. Stir well. Just before serving, sprinkle a little sesame oil on top.
Enjoy your meal!

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Till next week,
Thanks to the Afrikaans Home Improvement Committee for the plastic bag trick.