The year of the Snake is going to be a very interesting year full of twists and turns. The snake is famous for being able to escape when faced with danger or slither out of a trap.
In order to persuade good fortune in their homes, Chinese people all over the world have to abide by certain traditional preparations to guarantee long life, happiness and prosperity.
No cleaning or sweeping the house on New Year’s Day, as doing that would be inviting bad luck and evil spirits into the home. All sharp instruments have to be tied with a red ribbon and kept safely away, as using sharp instruments create disharmony within the families.
All foods are prepared the day before and cooked on New Year’ s Day. Fresh vegetables welcome spring and a good harvest. Fish dishes symbolize wealth, while meat offerings are signs of strength and mushrooms — which look like old Chinese coins — are symbolic of prosperity.
Red means good luck and is decorated all over the home. It’s even clearly visible in some of the main dishes like sweet and sour pork and roast duck.
The sweet and sour pork is an appropriate dish to serve for the Year of the Snake. It has all the elements of surprise.
The sweetness of the sauce teases the palette and the sour tickles your taste buds. The crispness of the golden pork adds to the savoury delight.
Marinate a pound of pork tenderloin, cut into bite sizes, in a bowl with two table spoons of soy sauce and a teaspoon of corn starch, dash of pepper and salt to taste.
Mix well and leave in fridge for at least half an hour.
Sweet and sour sauce
- 1/4 cup of either brown or white sugar
- 4 tablespoons of ketchup
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 3/4 cup of orange or mango juice
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch
- Two drops of orange vegetable colouring (optional)
Put all the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well
(You can buy premixed batter in a Chinese grocery shop or make your own)
- 1/3 cup of flour
- 1/3 cup of corn starch
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of warm water, batter should be a little runny if not add more water
Mix the above ingredients in a bowl, adding the warm water last, slowly drip it in while stirring, making sure there are no lumps
- Julianne half a cup of carrots
- Finely dice one small red pepper
- 1 small onion finely sliced
- 1 cup of chunky pineapple canned or fresh cut.
Heat a deep wok with three cups of vegetable oil, make sure that the oil is at least 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dip the bite-size pork in the batter and deep fry in the oil until golden brown. Set it aside on a plate until all the pork is done.
Remove the hot oil from the wok, leaving just about two tablespoons behind.
Stir fry the vegetables for about a minute and add the sweet and sour sauce mixture.
Stir well and heat until the mixture bubbles. Pour it over the golden pork and serve. Please be very careful when dealing with deep frying hot oil.