Whenever I make the journey back home one of the first dishes I always ask my mum to make for me is her sweet and sour. Be it chicken, pork or veggie it’s the sauce that makes this dish, and who would have known that it could be so easy to make from scratch!
I eat gluten and dairy free, so the costings for this are going to take that into account. Of course, if you can get regular soy sauce elsewhere and cheaper then that will just bring your overall costs down even more!
The other thing to note is that on this occasion the meat I used was pork chops, which once the bone had been cut out and the thick top fat trimmed, left the meat for the stirfry. Of course, you can use whatever meat you like, or none at all, but again this will effect the costings. I found pork chops to be one of the cheapest cuts of pork that still had plenty of meat.
Serves 2 – 3
This weeks ingredients came primarily from Lidl.
For the sauce:
3 tbsp of sugar (£0.03)
2 tbsp of gluten free soya sauce (£0.15)
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (£0.05)
3 tbsp tomato puree (£0.09)
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with a little water (£0.02)
A little extra water to loosen
For the rest:
2 tsp oil (£0.05)
1 medium onion (£0.11)
1 pepper (£0.30)
A handful of baby corn (£0.45)
5 or so mushrooms (£0.18)
2 Pork Chops (£1.33)
1 – 1.5 cup of rice (£0.09)
Total Cost – £2.85 or £1.43 per portion if feeding 2.
- Firstly prepare the sauce, literally just combine everything into a jug, making sure that the sugar dissolves, and leave aside until needed.
- Next prepare the pork chops. Cut away any bone, and also the thick piece of fat at the top. Don’t worry too much if a little meat is left on the bone or fat, as it isn’t going to be wasted. Slice up the remaining medallion for the stir-fry.
- Place the trimmings (bone and fat) onto a baking tray and cook in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees.
- Boil water for the rice and cook as per packet instructions
- Next prepare the veg. Slice the onion, peppers and mushrooms, and break the baby corn in half.
- Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan
- Add the sliced pork and cook through
- Add the onion and stir-fry for a few minutes or until it softens a little
- Next add in the peppers and baby corn and stir-fry for an additional 2-3 minutes
- Finally add the mushrooms and keep frying until they’ve softened
- Once all the veg is nearly cooked give the sauce a final stir to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the jug and pour into the veg.
- Keep stirring as the sauce thickens. If the sauce gets too thick add a little water, if for whatever reason it stays too loose, add another teaspoon or so of cornflour. (make sure to add any additional corn flour to a little water first to stop lumps)
- Once the sauce has thickened you can leave it aside until the rice is ready.
- By the time the rice has cooked and the sweet and sour pork has cooked and thickened, the pork trimmings should be ready also.
- Remove them from the oven, the fatty meaty bits should have gone nice and crispy, and any meat on the bones will have cooked through too.
- I served the crispy pork on top of the stir-fry and nibbled the meat off the bones once they were cool enough to handle. Nothing went to waste.
This is another very versatile recipe, if you like a bit more spice, add some chilli, if you like pineapple in your sweet and sour, then add some juice to the sauce and the chunks to the veg. Once again, pretty much any veg in the fridge can be used in this dish so nothing needs to be wasted! And if you want to make it vegetarian or vegan, simply leave out the meat and add in whatever you fancy!
What’s the dish you always ask your mum to make you? Let me know in the comments!
Other recipes in this series: