After many attempts to make Imperial Pork ("Pai Gu Wang"), I finally came close to getting the sauce right. Over the weekend, we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant where we ordered Peking-style pork chops, and I loved the sweet sour taste of it that seemed to be a combination of black vinegar and plum sauce. So I decided to try replicating the dish for tonight's dinner, and I'm not sure whether Peking pork chops are synonymous with "Pai Gu Wang", but after having a taste of the dish I cooked, it reminded me instantly of the latter. Even G was impressed that it indeed tasted like the real thing (or almost).
Before I forget the recipe, here it is:
3 pork chops (approx 600g), flattened and tenderised with a meat mallet
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, mixed with 1 tbsp water
Salt and pepper
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp five spice powder
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp plain flour
5 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp plum sauce
1 tbsp Chinkiang black vinegar (or to taste)
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp Lingham's chilli sauce
1 1/2 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
Tiny pinch of salt
Dash of pepper
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water
- Cut the pork chops into 1-inch wide strips, and flatten them out with the mallet. Combine with the bicarbonate of soda solution, leave for 20 minutes and discard excess liquid. Combine pork with the marinade ingredients and leave for 4 hours.
- Deep fry the pork until golden brown and cooked, then drain on absorbent paper and put aside.
- Heat up 1/2 tbsp peanut oil in the wok, then add sauce ingredients, bring to a boil before adding the cornflour mixture. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Once sauce is slightly thickened, add the pork chops and toss them in the sauce for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a dish and serve with steamed jasmine rice.