Peking pork chops, also known as sweet and sour pork chops, are an Americanized “Chinese” dish. People still seem to enjoy it, though. Many people have asked us to share our sweet and sour pork recipe, so here it is!
In place of sugar, we use maple syrup to sweeten our “Peking Pork Chops,” giving them a subtle maple flavor to go with the sour sauce.
When I first tried a dish that combined maple syrup and pork, the first thing that went through my mind was, “pancake syrup and pork?” The second thought that came to mind after my taste buds sent signals to my brain was, “wow, that is brilliant!”
While combining pork and maple syrup in the kitchen has become increasingly popular in recent years, it is still an unusual ingredient in traditional Chinese cuisine. This “raising the stakes” combination, however, is mouthwatering.
After you’ve made these sweet and sour pork chops once, you can play around with the sauce ingredients to make them more or less sweet or sour, depending on your personal preference.
Thinly sliced pork chops don’t require special cooking methods and can be found in most supermarkets. Ask the butcher to cut you some chops about half an inch thick if you can’t find them in the supermarket.
For Marinating the Pork Chops:
- 1 1/2 lb. of thinly sliced pork chops (680g, cut in half)
- 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp. of soy sauce
- 1/8 tsp. of five spice powder (optional)
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 tbsp. of ketchup
- 1 1/2 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp. of Chinese black vinegar (can substitute balsamic vinegar)
- 2 tsp. of hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp. of maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. of sesame oil
- 1/2 cup of water (120 ml)
To Finish The Dish:
- Oil (for frying, plus 1 tablespoon)
- 3 tbsp. of ice water (45 ml)
- 2 tbsp. of flour
- 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
- 2 tbsp. of cornstarch (divided)
- toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallion
- Combine the shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and five-spice powder and use it as a marinade for the pork chops (if using). Leave alone for at least an hour, preferably more. Mix 1/2 cup water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hoisin, maple syrup, sesame oil, and hoisin sauce. Putting aside.
- At cooking time, fill a deep skillet about halfway with oil. The oil should be heated to 375 degrees. The dry ingredients (three tablespoons flour, two tablespoons ice water, half a teaspoon baking soda, and one tablespoon cornstarch) should be mixed in a separate bowl.
- Pour over pork chops that have been marinating, and toss to coat.
- Fry the pork chops for about 3 minutes per batch, dropping them carefully into the hot oil. Dispose of liquids on paper towels. If you prefer your pork chops crispier, give them a second fry for 1 to 2 minutes before you make the sauce. Adding the sauce to already-crispy pork chops isn’t cut it, so they benefit from a second round of frying.
- Put a tablespoon of oil (you can use some frying oil) in a wok and heat it over medium. Coat the wok with the oil by circling it around. When your sauce is ready, pour and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Create a slurry by combining the last tablespoon of cornstarch with the same amount of water. Add the slurry to the sauce while it is simmering to thicken it. Cooked pork chops should be added to the sauce and tossed.
- Serve with scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish.