Back when I first started this blog, I posted a recipe for Sweet & Sour Pork that Mom had handed out at a business function years or even decades ago. So long ago that I don't remember, but since I didn't even remember making the dish word-for-word when I posted the recipe three years ago, I guess that isn't saying much.
Needless to say, when I decided over the weekend that I was going to give this recipe another shot (kind of), I had no idea it would lead to an epiphany of me realizing just how far I have come as a home chef.
My attempt from June 8, 2009.
And here I am in 2012.
I might still be ruining Mom's recipes, but at least I've learned how to at least make a recipe look like hers along the way. I used the same vegetables and sauce ingredients, but made it Mom 2012 style by cutting the fat in a big way.
Sweet & Sour Shrimp, 2012
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup red wine
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other high-heat oil)
1 onion, cut in 1-inch chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, cut in 1-inch chunks
2 pounds uncooked shrimp
2 roma tomatoes, cut in 1-inch chunks
Mix sugar and corn starch in a small bowl until no more chunks are visible. Add soy sauce, ketchup, wine and vinegar, and stir until well combined.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or wok to medium high. Add coconut oil, then cook onions until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic for last minute of cooking, then add bell peppers and cook until softened, but still crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a bowl.
Cook shrimp in batches, so they're in a single layer while cooking. Cook for about a minute on each side, then add to the vegetables.
When shrimp are done, add tomatoes to the skillet and stir-fry for a couple of minutes, until heated through. Add sweet and sour sauce to skillet and bring to a simmer. When sauce starts to thicken, add all of the shrimp and vegetables back to the bowl and toss until just combined. Serve with rice.