The wet cobblestoned path glistened under the sun. The rain had finally stopped, and the dark clouds had dispersed. Our heavy footsteps rang loudly as we all hurried in a panic onto the main street. We were late. We stopped abruptly just in time before a tall double decker red bus sharply turned around the corner.
We all climbed onto the top of the open deck of the bus. The fresh smell of rain was welcoming. A cool breeze accompanied the swift movement of the bus as the driver pressed onto to its next destination.
Over the few weeks I was in England, I had grown to love the small English medieval towns, the quaint English pubs, the large green fields. I had never felt more at home than at that moment…the smells, scents, taste. Every morning, we were well-fed by our amazing hostess and her chef (husband). Staying at a bed and breakfast has its perks for sure. We never went hungry. Our morning meals were full of fresh blackberries with yoghurt and almonds; granola; pancakes; traditional black sausage; warm baked beans; fluffy pancakes; mushrooms sautéed in butter; creamy eggs. With our full stomachs, we embarked on our day exploring the beautiful town of York, England. Each little shop in town had a little bell that rang as we entered. Although the appearance of this town seemed rather quaint and vintage-looking, the small local stores were beautifully furnished and filled with all sorts of crafts; books; souvenirs. During the late afternoon, the river bank was the perfect place to enjoy the sunset. Dark colors of red and orange lit the sky. The narrow dirt paths provided enough leg room for two people to walk, but the highlight was the soft grassy fields that welcomed all to sit on for a short nap. It was one of my favorite spots.
England and Europe brings back a lot of memories. It’s rather sad we haven’t been able to go back to visit because of school and mission, but there is nothing like being richly immersed in beauty, culture, history and delicious food. I felt I could live there forever. Although it was fun but by the end of the trip our family would start missing Chinese food. The last few days of each holiday always ended up with a search for the best local Chinese restaurants to fix our (temporary) homesickness. We headed off to Chinatown London – a long street decorated with red lanterns and packed full of delicious smells, bakeries, stores I had missed.
You would not believe the amount of food we consumed in one meal. I doubt I had ever eaten so much in my life. Two large containers of rice was gone, empty bamboo steamers were stacked high in the middle of our table. Everything tasted incredible, even dishes I usually would not choose to eat back at home I would eat it all here. But I have to say our favorite has always been sweet and sour pork. The classic right? Every loves a good sweet and sour dish.
When my sister came across this dish on Christine’s recipe, she excitedly beckoned me over to read. I had never used pickled ginger or cooked beef with pineapples before? But as I tried to envision all the flavors coming together…my mind always raced back to the delicious sweet and sour pork in London that our family enjoyed. And I have to say I was not disappointed. Something about the spiciness, vinegary scented ginger that adds a whole never level of flavor to his simple dish.
Best of all no deep frying or flour coating was needed, only thinly sliced beef quickly tossed in a nonstick pan with a sweet and sour sauce.
Take my word for it. Classic flavors, classic twist..on your favorite sweet and sour chinese takeout/homecooked recipe.
Adapted from Christinesrecipes
Ingredients – Serves 4-6
- 400g pineapple, cut into thick slices
- 300g thinly sliced beef
- 2 garlic, sliced
- 2 red chilis, julienned and sliced
- 1 green capsicum, deseeded and cut into small pieces
- 80g pickled ginger
- 2 tsp GF soy sauce
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp GF soy sauce
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp tomato paste (Christine’s recipes asks for 2 tsp of ketchup)
How to Make:
- Mix together the marinade for the beef. Add in the beef and leave aside for 15 minutes.
- Prepare all the vegetables and make the sauce.
- Heat wok on high heat. Saute garlic, chili.
- Add in the capsicum and season with salt.
- Stir in pineapples. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan, and carefully lay your beef slices. You will not have space to cook all the beef at first, so add in as much as you can first. The beef will cook very quickly, so once you see it browning (1 minute) immediately pick it up and set it top of the pineapple mixture to stop the cooking and so you have space to add in more beef. The beef will still be slightly raw, but thats ok because it will cook in the sauce later!
- Once you are done, pour in the sauce and add in the pickled ginger. Stir till your sauce reaches desired consistency.
- The beef should be just perfectly cooked. Serve immediately with steamed rice. Garnish with scallions.
Paleo/ Grain-Free: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. The flavor may change, so you have to adjust accordingly.