Fried Pork in Sweet Garlic Sauce
The dish is an altered version of a classic garlic pork dish, demonstrating that traditional recipes are often adapted for the different tastebuds that comes from being in a different country. The recipe that it was derived from has its origins in Hong Kong, and has since then migrated to Sydney. This recipe is not found at any restaurants, and as such, is a dish that purely echoes the histories of an immigrant family adapting the traditional to the resources available to them in their current context.
Cecilia Yip, born in Hong-Kong and raised in Australia. The story of 'fried pork with sweet garlic sauce' is documented below, transcribed from an oral interview.
Personal History of the Recipe:
"We just improvised it with the ingredients we have at home. My por por (grandmother), was the first to make the recipe. She found a recipe for a traditional garlic pork dish in an old cooking book from Hong Kong that she brought to Australia. It wasn't flavouring the rice enough, so she changed the recipe to have a sauce with it. It was so good that we always requested it for birthday meals. The meat was too expensive to get for eight kids, so we were just eating tofu most other days... but when we got to have sweet pork, everyone was cheering."
300g Pork Fillet - other cuts of pork are also acceptable, including ones with bones if wanted.
Cornflour - used for the coating of the pork.
Cooking Oil - any oil suitable for deep-frying, e.g. canola, rice bran, etc.
Garlic - one to two cloves will be diced to flavour the sauce.
Lee Kum Kee Premium Soy Sauce - this will be part of the sauce mixture.
Sugar - this is to sweeten the mixture according to preference.
Shaoxing Wine - this is to give the mixture an extra kick.
1. Pork Pieces: Chop the pork into small strips, and coat with cornflour.
2. Garlic: Mince one to two cloves of garlic and set aside.
3. Mixture: Add four tablespoons of sugar, four tablespoons of boiled water and two tablespoons of premium soy sauce into a small bowl. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
1. Deep-Fry: Add cooking oil to a pot, and heat until oil is ready for deep-frying. Place a piece of pork gently inside (do not throw), and see if it sizzles. Deep-fry all pork pieces and place into a bowl.
2. Cooking: Add cooking oil to a pan on high heat. Add the minced garlic and once light brown, quickly add the pork and the sauce mixture to the pan. Add half a cup of Shaoxing Wine to the pan and stir until all pieces of pork are coated well and sauce has a thicker consistency.
Additional Cooking Notes
It is possible to reuse the oil afterwards - simply strain it with a paper towel and allow it to drip into another container/pot.
The mixture can be altered to suit personal preference - more sugar can be added for a sweeter taste.