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45 mins
Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe

Sweet and Sour Pork

Rating 5-0 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again

Recipe by  

Of all Chinese dishes, Sweet and Sour Pork is probably one of the best known in the West. Sadly, it is rarely properly made in the West, often consisting of heavy, doughy balls containing a tiny scrap of pork and drenched in a hideously sweet red sauce.

Properly prepared, sweet and sour Chinese dishes are so delicately balanced that it is difficult to accurately describe them as either sweet or sour. In this version of this classic dish, you will find that balance of flavours. And, as with ALL Chinese cooking it pays to prepare everything beforehand so you have all the ingredients ready to hand when you need them.

      Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Pork

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 4:
12 oz
lean pork
1 tablespoon
dry sherry or rice wine
1 tablespoon
light soy sauce
½ teaspoon
green bell pepper
red bell pepper
1 medium
spring onions (a.k.a. scallions or salad onions)
2 tablespoons
corn flour (cornstarch or wheat starch)
15 fl oz
groundnut oil
3 oz
tinned lychees
5 fl oz
chicken stock
1 tablespoon
light soy sauce
½ teaspoon
½ tablespoon
cider vinegar or Chinese white rice vinegar
1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon
tomato purée (tomato paste)
1 teaspoon
corn flour (cornstarch or wheat starch)
1 teaspoon


How to Cook Sweet and Sour Pork

  1. Cut the pork into 1" (2.5cm) cubes. Place the meat into a bowl along with the sherry or rice wine, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir well, and marinade for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the green and red peppers into 1" (2.5cm) squares. Peel and cut the carrots into 1" (2.5cm) cubes and cut the spring onions (scallions) into 1" (2.5cm) lengths. (The uniform size of the meat and vegetables adds to the visual appeal of the dish.) Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the carrots in it for about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Now it's time to make the sauce... Combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, salt, vinegar, sugar and tomato purée (tomato paste) in a large saucepan. Bring it to the boil. Add all the vegetables but not the lychees and stir well. In a small bowl, blend together the corn flour and water. Stir this mixture into the sauce and bring it back to the boil, then turn the heat down to a very low simmer while you cook the pork.
  4. Mix the eggs and corn flour (cornstarch) into a bowl until they are well blended into a batter. Lift the pork cubes out of the marinade, place into the batter and coat each piece well. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fat fryer until it is almost smoking. Remove the pork pieces from the batter with a slotted spoon, and deep fry them for several minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Add the lychees and pork cubes to the sauce, mix well and then turn the whole mixture onto a deep platter. Serve immediately with Steamed Rice.

If you have problems getting hold of lychees, you can substitute fresh orange segments instead.
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Reviews of Sweet and Sour Pork

Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again December 31 2014
I have shied away from attempting asian food at home because it never tastes like the restaurant quality, but this was different. This was so delicious and hard to belive it came from my kitchen and wasn't from a chinese restaurant. The best sweet and sour pork I have ever eaten. It was so simple to prepare. Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe! My whole family loved this. Everyone had seconds. I used pork tenderloin instead. I served it with steamed Jasmine rice and stir fried green bean/wax bean/baby carrot blend. Yumm!
(2 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again January 24 2013
Fantastic and "better than take-out" (so says my take-out-raised husband). The only changes I make are to use whatever color bell peppers take my fancy when I'm shopping. I also usually double this recipe for our family of six (plus leftovers for lunch, yay!). Overall, this is a PERFECT recipe. Don't wimp out, deep fry the pork, everyone will be thrilled that you did! Since I first started making this, two out of three of my kids now request this as their birthday dinner every year. The whining/begging/wheedling starts about three weeks in advance!
(2 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again October 12 2012
this is such a great recipe. i was skeptical at first because sweet and sour pork varies so much between different restaurants and sometimes it is downright disgusting. this recipe really turns out better than any sweet and sour pork i've had in chinese restaurants. my boyfriend requests this all the time! i use cubed pork tenderloin because that's the only kind of pork i buy. i usually make 2 or 3 times the amount of sauce and freeze the extra to cut down on future prep time. it looks a little gross when you first start to thaw it, but bring it up to a boil again and it returns to its proper consistency.
(1 review)

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