This is a dish we used to serve in our Chinese Takeaways, we still make this for ourselves and is always a huge crowd pleaser at most of our family gatherings, that and beer, we like beer (drink responsibly).
I posted a image of this dish on my Instagram www.instagram.com/chin_ziangs (follow for video and recipe updates) and thought I'd ask if anyone wanted to see this as a recipe blog, because a couple voiced this would something you'd like to see here it is.
The sauce its self is very similar to a kung po but its much smoother and less sharp, works very nicely with fish like sea bass and red meat and yes goes perfectly with beer. I personally will eat this with boiled rice as in my eyes it opens us the flavors and you can taste the stubble like high notes of Chinese spices and the basey low notes of black bean, fried rice tends to overwhelm it with flavor, but if that what you like then by all means do it, cooking is all about you, f**k what everyone else says, if its right for you it cannot be wrong.
As always with our recipes not using the right ingredients means it will taste different, changing the cuts of meat, vegetables and even the brands will dramatically alter the flavor.
Cooking time: 30 mins
This dish has 2 parts, the batter and then the sauce, we recommend for to do the pork 1st then let it sit while you do the sauce, then once the sauce is finished you can Finnish off the pork then add it to the sauce.
This does take a bit of practice as you kind of need to be able to do it from memory to get the best results, but that will come with time.
Ingredients (Crispy Pork)
700g Pork shoulder
2 medium eggs
4 heap dessert spoons Birds original custard powder (do not use instant)
6 heap dessert spoons potato starch - https://www.chinandchoo.com/product-page/potato-starch-500g
1 heap dessert spoon plain flour - https://www.chinandchoo.com/product-page/green-dragon-plain-flour-1-5kg
1 tea spoon of ground black pepper - https://www.chinandchoo.com/product-page/rajah-ground-black-pepper-400g
1/3 tea spoon of garlic powder - https://www.chinandchoo.com/product-page/garlic-powder-100g
1/4 tea spoon Chinese 5 spice - https://www.chinandchoo.com/product-page/zheng-feng-five-spice-powder-100g
2/3 tea spoon Salt
2/3 tea spoon MSG - https://www.chinandchoo.com/product-page/monosodium-glutamate-msg-150g
Vegetable (enough to deep fry the pork)
Ingredients (Gu Lao Sauce)
10 Cherry tomatoes, halved (under ripe so they don't disintegrate and remain firm)
1 green pepper, cubed
1 medium white onion, cubed
1 dessert spoon black bean paste - Click here for tutorial on how to make black bean paste
20g finely diced fresh ginger
1 tea spoon garlic puree - Click here for tutorial on how to make garlic puree
2 table spoons Heinz tomato ketchup
150g fresh chopped pineapple (tinned will do)
1 dessert spoon Chinese rice wine
2 dessert spoon Yeo's Hot bean paste -
5 chives finely chopped
3 heap dessert spoons of sugar
1 dessert spoon Lee Kum Kee dark soy sauce - https://www.chinandchoo.com/product-page/lee-kum-kee-lkk-premium-dark-soy-sauce-500ml
1 dessert spoon golden mountain seasoning sauce
1/2 tea spoon of MSG
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Potato starch slurry 2:1 ration of water to starch
The crispy pork:
Cut your pork shoulder into rough chunks, about 3cm by 3cm by 6cm, don't worry if there thicker or thinner, it doesn't matter as long as there close in size.
Now you need to make the base coat for the pork, add the plain flour, 2 heap dessert spoons (h/d/s), the garlic powder, 1/3 tea spoon (t/s) of ground black pepper, 1/3 t/s salt, 1/3 t/s msg and the 5 spice. Mix together well. This creates the base coast
Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk, add a pinch of salt. This makes the second coating
now add all the dry mixture left over and mix well, this makes the final batter coating.
Place the pork into a bowl and empty the entire 1st mixture all over the pork, now turn the pork until its evenly coated in the base coating.
shake all the excess coating off and place the pork into another bowl.
Pour the eggs over the pork and again coat the pork evenly with the beaten egg.
Once coated pour the final coating over the pork, use your hand to mix the batter around, it will start to clump and and go sticky, don' worry this is what you want, it will dry up after some moment, if after the final coating seems to wet, sprinkle a small about of potato starch over the pork until the coating hardens slighty. Note: if the coating is sliding off its too wet, if its sticking it fine, if its dropping off you need to add a touch more water. The pork will also stick together, don't worry about this and you can knock it off in the oil.
Once the pork is coated, fill a deep sauce pan with vegetable, enough to deep fry the pork in and place on a high heat.
When the oil reaches about 170 degree C you can now carefully place the pork into the oil, try to separate them as much as you can, but leave them still for a couple 50-60 seconds, the move and you'll see that they'll start to break apart. Its important to not do to many at once, as you will end up with a ball of pork rather than separate chunks. The pork is ready when the out side is crispy and the inside temp of the pork is over 82 degrees C, this should take about 3-4 minutes.
Once the 1st batch is cooked place into a bowl lined with kitchen roll, repeat this process until all the pork is cooked. Do not get rid of the oil as you will use it later to finish of the pork.
Now make the sauce (see the sauce method below for details)
Once the sauce has been made place the pan of oil back on the heat allow to get to 180 degrees C, now you can place all the pork in at once for one final fry, cook for 1-2 minutes until the coasting is extra crispy. Remove and place straight into the sauce while the pork is still piping hot. and mix into the sauce, this is then ready to serve.
The Gu Lao Sauce:
Place a wok/pan on to a high heat and add the table spoon of vegetable oil, allow the oil to get hot, the add the ginger and sear for 20-30 seconds then add your onions, peppers, and pineapple, they may start to sweat and you'll end up with them bubbling in there own juices, this is fine, keep cooking until the the liquid has reduced off.
Keep cooking until the pineapple start to catch and brown, when this happened you can turn the heat down to low, now add you garlic puree, the rest of the salt and msg to the pan.
move the garlic round so that it cooks slightly (20-30 seconds) now add the tomato ketchup and stir into the ingredients, its important to cook the ketchup other wise the flavor doesn't change and will just taste like ketchup, this should only take 30-60 seconds.
Once the ketchup has cooked add the black bean paste and the Yeos spicy bean paste to the pan, mix in and allow to cook for 30-40 seconds, steering every 10 seconds.
Add the water, sugar, dark soy and seasoning sauce, mix in and cook for 2-3 minutes.
when the liquid has reduced by half thicken using the potato starch slurry, remember to add it bit by bit to avoid adding to much and making glue.
The sauce is now ready to be used.
As said before we would always serve this with steamed rice, we never actually eat fried rice unless we're having it as a main, as a side it often takes away and almost numbs the subtitle flavors, for us it would be like serving brown sauce all over your roast dinner in stead of gravy, yeah you can do that if you want but brown sauce is so strong you don't really taste anything else and lets be honest, it just not cricket.
We really hope you enjoy this recipe as it's one of our favorites and more in keeping with traditional Chinese food rather than takeaway, how ever its still very westernized.
Happy Cooking, Happy Eating