One of the most popular Chinese dishes is the legendary sweet and sour pork. Sweet and sour pork is deep-fried pork, stir-fried with sweet pineapples and vibrant bell peppers covered in a bright sauce. People say that just by smelling the dish, you’ll already start to drool. However, we think you’ve been drooling the moment we describe the dish!
Many people believe that sweet and sour pork is a Cantonese dish and is locally called gu lou yook. In contrast, others believe that this dish has other ancient origins and is named differently. Because it has been around for centuries, the dish has gone through different recipe revamps but remained a Chinese restaurant and rice bowl special.
If you’re one of the many who love sweet and sour pork and want to know more about it, keep reading. In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about this legendary dish. If you’re ready for a mouthwatering read, let’s get to it!
How sweet and sour pork reached the west
As mentioned earlier, many people believe that this dish originated in Canton and that this city gave this dish its original name, gu lou yook. For Westerners, they have another story related to this dish.
When Westerners set foot for the first time in China, they landed in Guangdong province. In this story, the dish originated in Chencun, a beautiful town in the Shunde district. However, it is believed that the sweet and sour pork dish was originally made with ribs rather than sliced pork.
After eating the dish, these foreigners enjoyed it but didn’t like the bones, so they modified the recipe, and chefs ditched the ribs and replaced it with a well-marbled pork shoulder. After developing the dish, they changed its name to wu lou yook. Apparently, the term wu lou is a derogatory term for Westerners at that time.
How the dish is made
Since this dish has been around for quite some time, many chefs and restaurants have tweaked the original recipe and created their versions. But to understand what makes this dish incredibly addicting, you need to know the two primary ingredients that make this dish what it is: vinegar and sugar.
Although many Chinese cooks use variations of the two ingredients with meat and seafood entrees, for Americans, it is usually a combination of sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and soy sauce.
This dish has a different recipe in America because, in the early 1900s, Chinese restaurateurs were accommodating bigger crowds. Because of this, they needed to make adjustments in their cooking style, making time-efficient approaches and cooking techniques. One of the things that needed to change were the spices they used since they were expensive and relatively hard to find.
Since these cooks are aware of the tasting palate of Americans, they modified the recipe using the sweetened acidity of tomato ketchup and mixed it with the savoury richness of soy sauce. This delicious and readily available recipe has become popular among Chinese Restaurants in Chinatown, then Asian rice bowl restaurants, and eventually fast-food restaurants.
Now that you know the origin story of the legendary Chinese dish, sweet and sour pork, your mouth is probably watering right now. Since this tangy, syrupy, sweet, and savoury dish is available in most Asian restaurants, it won’t be hard to find. If you’re getting hungry, challenge yourself and find a restaurant near you that serves the best sweet and sour pork rice bowl.
If you’re craving for delicious and affordable rice bowls, look no further! Rice Bowl Deluxe offers authentic Asian dishes that will satisfy your cravings. We offer high-quality, health-conscious dishes such as Korean rice bowls, Japanese steak bowls, Thai bowls, spring rolls, and rice and noodle bowls in Edmonton. Check out our menu and have some fantastic Asian food today!