SINGAPORE (May 22): A perennial favourite in Chinese cuisine, the classic sweet and sour pork is a sure winner at any meal. This week, we issue our Chef’s Challenge to Chef Lee Hiu Ngai, who helms the kitchen at Cantonese fine-dining restaurant Cassia in Capella Hotel Singapore. This simple and delicious dish will definitely be a staple in your kitchen for years to come. 

Instructions

1. Mix cubed plums with half of the beaten egg and salt. Place pork tenderloin in this marinade for 15 minutes.

2. Add cornstarch and remaining egg into the marinade. Ensure the pork is well-coated.

3. Deep-fry the pork for six minutes, or until golden brown. Drain excess oil with a paper towel.

4. In a separate wok, stir-fry spring onions and bell peppers. Add in the remaining ingredients till a sauce forms.

5. Add in pork tenderloin and toss a few times. 

 

Chef's Bio

Born in Hong Kong, Chinese Executive Chef Lee Hiu Ngai attributes his early love for food to his mother, who was a great cook. Growing up near Temple Street in Hong Kong, Chef Lee was inspired by his mum’s homestyled Cantonese cooking. As a cook in a small canteen, his mum was able to churn out simple yet delicious dishes, which piqued his interest in cooking.

This inspired him to do an apprenticeship with his uncle who was a head chef at a hotel restaurant. After eight years of learning the basics, Chef Lee then moved to other restaurants and honed his craft with different chefs. More than 30 years later, having worked in top restaurants and hotels in Hong Kong and China, Chef Lee now helms the kitchen at Cantonese fine-dining restaurant Cassia, where he has been since it was established in September 2009.

"Sweet and sour pork is one of the most renowned Cantonese dishes in the world. With the health-conscious diet in mind, this version, like all Cassia dishes, uses no MSG or palm oil, and cuts down the iconic recipe to its bare bones to make it easy to whip up at home, while still retaining its signature flavours. [To perfect the dish], one of the most important skills in Cantonese cuisine is controlling the ‘fire’. To master the wok well, other than being conscientious, you need to accumulate experience over time."— Chef Lee Hiu Ngai