I was at a friend’s place for dinner and we decided to have an all Chinese meal which we rarely do together. So this time had fried some Hong Kong kai lan, fried vermicelli with omelette and our friend’s sweet and sour pork meatballs. We missed the steam fish with soy and ginger this time but the pork meatballs sure made up for it. I have always associated this dish with my childhood as when I was growing up I loved ketchup (still do) and my sister and I would take a handful of single serving ketchup packets from McDonald’s, peel off (or bite off) the corner and suck on the packet like it’s candy. Ketchup is the reason I eat fries, fish and chips and battered prawns. Ant says it goes well with pies but I’m yet to be convinced.
I recreated this from memory, from taste and from how I’ve seen my friend and mom cooked it. No photos this time but I’ve illustrated the ingredients here. Most are not measured in exact quantities unfortunately. Hope you enjoy!
- Cut the cucumbers and carrots to smallish triangle pieces. Separate them into bowls to be pickled with some rice vinegar and some sugar. Place aside.
- Mix the minced pork in a bowl with a few dashes of light soy sauce, sesame oil, one and a half teaspoon of cornstarch, salt, pepper and some chopped coriander (leaves and stems) if you want some bite. Once the meat mixture is completely combined, dust a plate with some flour. Wet your hands with cold water and roll out the meat mixture into balls and then lightly roll in on the flour-dusted plate.
- Heat up a non-stick pan. You can add some oil but I prefer not to as the minced pork has some fat and I’ve already added sesame oil into the mixture. Place the meatballs into the pan and cook them until it’s browned on a medium flame. When they’re cooked, set it aside.
- In a wok, heat up some oil. Add into the wok some chopped garlic. Then throw in the roughly chopped onion. Allow the onions to soften slightly. Drain the carrots from before and add it in with the quartered tomatoes. Pour some ketchup (according to taste) in and if you want to thicken the sauce after the tomatoes have softened, add a teaspoon of cornstarch in. When it’s about done, drain the cucumbers and add them into the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When it’s all cooked, turn off the heat and squeeze in some lemon juice (depending on your taste for tartness). Add the cooked meatball into the sauce and stir to coat well. Serve hot.