My Cooking Notes on Sweet and Sour Pork

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Crunchy fried pork and a tomato-based sauce. What is there not to like about this dish?

In fact it has. global reputation and you can find this in any Pan-Asian Chinese eatery in America, UK or Europe.  

It is surprising why it took so long before the recipe appears on my blog.

One reason is because this is one dish which my wife have cooked a few times and I have basically let it stayed in her domain as I focus on other dishes.

I should add that there was one version we ate in Nanjing (China) which we still remembered to this day. The pork's coating was firm and crispy. We have never encountered this kind of texture. What kind of flour was used to coat the pork before it was deep-fried?  I suppose the experience has raised the bar for me and I will be on the lookout for tips that can get my version closer to that.

I will share a recipe here which my church food team, helmed by Linda Ng (Linda's Cravings), cooked recently. As one can imagine, there are many ways to make this dish but I will introduce this approach where the pork is not coated in a thick batter. It will make for a lighter meal.


500gm pork collar or shoulder, cut into cubes
1 clove of chopped garlic
1 small pineapple
2 green/yellow pepper
2 tomatoes

For the marinate:
1 egg
1 tsp of salt
1 tip of corn flour

Batter for frying: 
5 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp rice flour
pinch of salt

For the Sauce:
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp plum sauce
2 tsp Lea Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
1 cup of water

  1. Marinate the pork for 30 mins in a deep steel container.
  2. Cut the tomatoes, peppers and pineapple into bite size wedges. 
  3. Add the flour mixture and coat the marinated pork pieces by tossing it in the container.  
  4. Using a wok, deep pot or electric fryer, deep fry the pork till they turn golden brown. If using a wok or pot, the fire should be medium. For an electric fryer, use 180˚C. Dish out and drain on paper towels.
  5. Mix the sauce ingredients well and adjust the taste if necessary if you prefer your sauce to be sweeter or more sour.   
  6. Heat up a wok and add in some cooking oil. Add in the chopped garlic and stir fry until light brown, toss in the bell peppers, tomatoes and pineapple pieces. Stir fry until you smell the peppery aroma from the peppers and then add in the sweet and sour sauce. As soon as the sauce thicken, transfer the pork into the wok and stir well with the sauce. Do a few quick stirs, dish out.
If you are cooking this way before dinner time, you can choose to fry the pork again (double fry method) just before you serve if you want the pork to be crispy. Do note that you can also experiment with different types of flour. There are ways to make a very crispy version but I will leave that to another post.

Photo below: In a recent party, we served sweet and sour pork with rolled omelette and fresh lettuce salad.

You Might Also Like