Sweet and Sour Pork
by Norma Chikiamco
For the sweet and sour sauce
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
½ inch ginger root, cut into slivers
3-4 cloves garlic
½ cup refined sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
¾ cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons warm water
1 carrot, sliced into desired shape
2 stalks leeks, cut into one-inch pieces
1 red or green bell pepper, sliced into large cubes
For the chicharon
150 grams chicharon (preferably with “laman”)
1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup flour
1 ½ cups cooking oil
Make the sauce:
Heat oil and sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, salt, ketchup,vinegar and water.. Pour over garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil.
Dissolve cornstarch in the 2 tablespoons warm water and add to pan. Stir in carrots, leeks and peppers. Lower heat and let simmer until vegetables are crisp/tender and mixture is thick. Cover pan to keep warm.
Prepare the chicharon
Dip chicharon pieces one at a time in eggs then dredge lightly in flour. Heat oil in a wok to medium heat and fry the chicharon in batches. Transfer to a serving platter and pour sweet and sour sauce over it. Serve with rice.
Freshly popped chicharon is best but if you have any leftover ones, you can use that too provided it’s not stale. Frying the chicharon makes it crisp again.
Pour the sauce over the chicharon just before serving to keep it crisp.
The vegetables help to offset the fatty taste of the chicharon. Don’t omit.
Serve this with a nice cool dessert such as gelatin or chilled fruits to remove the fatty aftertaste of the chicharon.