Wednesday, 14 March 2012

sweet & sour

in my mind sweet&sour pork was surely far too complicated to make at home and belonged solely to the chinese take-away. my husband mentioned one day that his mother made great sweet and sour pork and it was his all-time favourite meal growing up - he would always ask to have it on his birthday. so i thought i better get cracking and give it a go. when i came to making it our cornflour and rice vinegar were both a good year out of date - they are those things that you buy with good intentions of figuring out how to cook with them and expanding your meal repertoire and then they sit on the shelf for years. and we didn't have any pork so i decided to go with prawns which are probably easier and my kids love them. you could do this with chicken too but maybe pre-cook it a bit first in fry pan or oven.
rolling the egg-covered prawns in cornflour is SO very pleasing and has an amazing texture that the kids will enjoy... or you if you are surrounded by chaos and need some texture therapy.
this recipe tasted great despite a few out-of-date ingredients so i'd say just go for it! it is very simple and kids will enjoy helping you with all the measuring, pouring and stirring.
there is something sweet & sour about children and child-raising - the intense indescribably vast and deep deep deep love and protection and care you feel for them. and the extreme of how intensely angry, frustrated or claustrophobic they can make you feel. my brother once said after a particularly challenging bedtime with his three little ones "there is a thin line between love and hate". the joy and the slog are both so intense.


3 tbspn soy sauce
12 large prawns
100g corn flour
1 egg
2 tbspn vegetable oil
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1&1/2 tbspn sugar
1 tbspn rice vinegar
2 tbspn ketchup
2 tbspn water

1. in a bowl, cover 150g (roughly 20) king prawns in soy sauce and place in the fridge

2. chop up 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper

3. beat 1 egg - add to the bowl of prawns and stir

4. add 100g corn flour and stir (or mix with hands - this feels lovely once the prawns are covered so can be nice for kids)

5. heat 3 tbspn vegetable oil in a wok or fry pan add the prawns to the pan (keep the remaining soya sauce, egg & cornflour mix left in the bowl)and cook for 3 minutes - turning them over half way through

 6. add the onions and peppers, stir and cook for 2 minutes. 

7. add to the bowl that the prawns were in - 1&1/2 tbspn sugar, 1 tbspn rice vinegar, 2 tbspn ketchup, 2 tbspn water - stir well with a fork and pour over the veg and prawns in the pan

8. cook for 2 minutes and then serve up with rice


  1. I love your recipes, Becca, and your writing style is wonderful. Prawns much better than pork, I think. I'm going to try this.


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