What is Sweet and Sour Pork?
Sweet and Sour Pork is an iconic Chinese recipe and classic Cantonese dish.
Called “咕嚕肉” or “goo lou yok” in Cantonese dialect, this recipe is very pleasing to the palate because of the flavorsome sweet and sour sauce—the sweetness from sugar plus the tangy ketchup and sharp rice vinegar—with the crispy fried pork pieces.
Delicious Sweet and Sour Sauce
The secret of an authentic sweet and sour pork dish lies in the perfect balance of the sweet vs. sour taste of the sauce, the soul of this dish.
I am going to teach you how to make perfect homemade sweet and sour sauce and share my secret ingredients!
Other than rice vinegar and ketchup, I also use Chinese plum sauce to add some extra zing, plus a few dashes of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and oyster sauce to complete the perfect balance of flavor.
Once you master the techniques of homemade sweet and sour sauce, you can make authentic and restaurant quality Chinese food at home!
- Plum Sauce
- Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
Crispy Frying Batter
The frying batter for the pork is equally important. The fried pork has to be crispy, airy and crunchy, so when they are stir-fried with the sweet and sour sauce, the pork will remain crispy and not soggy and swim in the sauce.
Serve Sweet and Sour Pork with:
For a wholesome dinner, I recommend the following dishes.
This Recipe Goes Well with:
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Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe
Authentic sweet and sour pork recipe that is better than your favorite Chinese restaurants.
- 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 green bell pepper, about 2 oz. and cut into pieces
- 1/2 red bell pepper, about 2 oz. and cut into pieces
- 2 stalks scallions, only the white part, cut into 2 inch length
- 1 piece fresh/canned pineapple ring, cut into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- oil for frying
- 2 oz. all-purpose flour
- 1 oz. cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 egg
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 1 pinch salt
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 1 teaspoon plum sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon Chinese rice vinegar, transparent in color
- 1/2 teaspoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
Cut the pork tenderloin into pieces and marinate with the ingredients for 15-20 minutes.
Mix the sweet and sour sauce ingredients well and set aside.
Strain the dry ingredients of the frying batter and then add in the egg, water, and cooking oil to form a thick batter.
When the pork is well-marinated, transfer the pork pieces into the batter and make sure they are well coated. In a deep skillet, add in the cooking oil enough for deep-frying. Once the oil is hot, deep fry the pork pieces until they turn golden brown. Dish out and drain on paper towels.
Heat up a wok and add in some cooking oil. Add in the chopped garlic and stir fry until light brown, then follow by the bell peppers 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 thickenens, transfer the pork into the wok and stir well with the sauce. Add in the chopped scallions, do a few quick stirs, dish out and serve hot with steamed white rice.