Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork is insanely delicious.

This recipe will even rival your favorite upscale Chinese restaurant.

And it’s so much better than you would get with take-out.  It’s that good.

A long white platter filled with sweet and sour pork with chop sticks nearby.

SWEET AND SOUR PORK IS EASY TO PREPARE AT HOME

This dish has it all. Crispy pork with a succulent sweet and sour sauce that simply cannot be beat.

Watch us show you how easy it is to prepare Sweet and Sour Pork!

The ingredients for Sweet and Sour Pork are classic Chinese ingredients, however, we provide some viable substitutes in the recipe if you can’t find some items.

Shaoxing rice wine is common in Chinese cuisine, both as a wine and as an ingredient for cooking.  Now days, you can likely find it in well-stocked supermarkets in the Asian food aisle.  Of course, you can follow the link we provided to easily have a bottle shipped right to your doorstep.

Black Chinese Vinegar, or Chinkiang, can also be found in many markets, but if not…have it shipped right to you!

A steel wok filled with the ingredients to make sweet and sour pork.

PORK TENDERLOIN WORKS PERFECTLY

We love getting a pork tenderloin (not a pork loin) and slicing it into 1/2-inch medallions.

We then cut the medallions into 1/2-inch strips.

If the strips are more than an inch long, cut them in half.

An uncooked pork tenderloin on a cutting board with a chef's knife next to it.
A knife slicing through an uncooked pork tenderloin on a cutting board.
A hand and knife cutting a pork tenderloin into strips for Sweet and Sour Pork.

After marinating the pork strips in the Shaoxing wine (or medium-dry Sherry), it’s time to place them in the batter.

The batter is simple…eggs and cornstarch.

Cornstarch is standard in Chinese cooking, and helps to make the pork strips extra crispy.

A glass bowl of uncooked pork strips in an egg.

A DOUBLE-FRY MAKES THE PORK SUPER CRISPY

When using your wok to deep-fry, it’s important to make sure your wok is very secure.

A wok ring works perfectly.

For the first fry, bring the oil temperature to 300°F.

Deep fried pork strips in a metal spatula for Sweet and Sour Pork.

USE A CLEAN WOK TO MAKE THE SWEET AND SOUR PORK SAUCE

Once the pork is fried and crispy, keep it warm in a low-temperature oven.

Now it’s time to make the incredible sauce. You’ll need a clean wok. If you have two woks, grab the spare.

If not, no problem! Carefully discard the oil, wipe out the wok, and heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil over medium heat. Stir fry the garlic and ginger, and then add the stock. Once it comes to a boil, add in the pre-made sauce. It will thicken quickly. Simply stir in the chopped scallions and then the sesame oil.

A wok filled with sweet and sour sauce with scallions and a whisk.

At this point, the dish is ready for plating.

You can simply pour the sauce over the fried pork, or you can do what we love to do, and to toss the pork in the wok with the sauce.

The pork will stay nice and crisp, even as the strips submerge into the sublime sauce.  Mmmmm….Just look at this:

Fried pork strips in sweet and sour sauce in a wok for sweet and sour pork.

Folks, we’re not joking around here. This is the best Sweet and Sour Pork in town. We promise.

The dark and tangy sauce is the perfect match agains the super crispy fried pork pieces.

We love it served with white or brown rice, or simply a lovely side of steamed vegetables, such as broccoli.

Just amazingly delicious.

A close up view of a platter of Sweet and Sour Pork.

A white platter holding Sweet and Sour Pork with chop sticks nearby.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Pork, Sweet and Sour, Wok
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 426 kcal
Author: Adapted from Fushsia Dunlop

Sweet and Sour Pork is a Chinese dish favorite and this recipe will rival even the best upscale Chinese restaurant.  The pork strips are super crispy and are bathed in a succulent dark and tangy sauce.  This is so much better than that synthetic-looking orange concoction you will find in most take-out places.  This is the real deal. 

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb pork tenderloin
  • Peanut oil for frying (you'll need some for sautéing, too)

FOR THE BATTER

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup corn starch

FOR THE MARINADE

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp Black Chinese vinegar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 3 3/4 tsp corn starch
  • 3 scallions, green parts only chopped, plus some sliced, for garnish
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger root finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. Place the tenderloin in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from freezer, and then slice 1/2-inch medallions.  Next, cut the medallions into 1/2-inch strips.  If a strip is longer than 1 inch in length, slice in half. Put strips into a medium-sized bowl.

  2. Add the wine and salt to the pork strips, mix well, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  3. For the sauce, combine the salt, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small-medium bowl. 

  4. Pour enough oil into your wok (or large sturdy pot, such as a Dutch oven) until it's about 1-inch deep.  Heat over medium heat until it reaches 300°F.  A candy thermometer helps with this. 

  5. In a medium-sized bowl, add the eggs and gently beat together.  Add the corn starch and mix until completely mixed and a thick batter has formed.

  6. Add the pork strips to the batter and mix until completely coated. 

  7. Drop some of the battered strips into the oil, adding them individually to prevent sticking, and stir with forks, or metal tongs, to separate. 

  8. Fry the strips for about 3 minutes, until they are just cooked through.  Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.  Repeat with the remaining strips until you have cooked all of them.

  9. Increase the heat until it reaches 375°F.  Add the pork strips in one or two batches and deep-fry them until they are crisp and golden.  Remove, drain, and place on a serving dish. 

  10. To prepare the sauce, either carefully discard the oil from the wok and then and wipe it clean with a towel, or use a second wok.  Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.

  11. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until they are fragrant. Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Add the prepared sauce from the small bowl.

  12. Stir briskly as the liquid thickens, then add the scallions and sesame oil, stirring a few times.

  13. Either pour the sauce over the pork strips, or add the pork strips to the sauce in the wok to coat and then transfer to a serving dish. Top with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately with steamed rice or vegetables. 

4 Comments

  • I’m so looking forward to making this! I made your Tex-Mex white chicken chili two days ago and it was a huge hit!! Keep up the good work- I’m so very glad I found you two- you make cooking fun again.

    • Hi Connie!! Thank you so very much! We are so glad you found us and we are glad to have found YOU!! And we are so happy you enjoyed the Tex-Mex White Chicken Chili, that’s one of our all-time favorites. Let us know if you try this sweet and sour pork…it’s pretty amazing!! Stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

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