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.
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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.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 402 calories per serving.
Serve Sweet and Sour Pork With:
For a wholesome dinner, I recommend the following dishes.
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Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe
- 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 green bell pepper (cut into pieces)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (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. corn starch
- 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 corn starch
- 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.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Fantastic recipe, that produced a meal that tasted like it just came from a restaurant. I had to substitute the plum sauce for sweet chilli, but this worked nicely too.
Pork came out very tender and flavourful, and the batter worked extremely well.
Would definitely recommend this recipe and will be making it again for sure! Five stars!
Thanks for the tip Alex, I was wondering if I could substitute the plum sauce – cant wait to give this recipe a try, my favourite chinese meal : )
Just tried it. Was super tasty. Must say everything I have tried from your site is always super tasty
Flavours are good. Fried pork batter turned soggy once introduced to sauce. Any tips on how to keep the pork batter crunchy?
Add rice flour.
Thank you ? for sharing this recipe.l like to cook. I like Chinese food pork fried rice . And barbecue spareribs . God bless you. Love ❤️. Luz
Made this last week and yum it was delicious, had to skip plum sauce as It was out of stock for 2 weeks, probably because of lockdown. But it was still delicious. Just wondering if I could replace pork with chicken. I know there is lemon chicken recipe but I like everything with peppers and esp. Pineapple. So will it be alright to just change to chicken but keep other ingredients same. Thanks for this recipes.
Yes, you can use chicken. You can also try my sweet and sour chicken recipe here: https://rasamalaysia.com/sweet-and-sour-chicken/
I made the sweet and sour pork many times and my family loved it. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love your website, it has many delicious recipes. Since I am unable to go out due to the Corona virus and therefore I am making one recipe per day from your website.
Hi Angela, thanks for trying my recipes and your support. Please try more recipes on my site: https://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-index-gallery/.
Stay safe and be healthy!
Delicious…will definitely use & share this recipe!
Thank you for sharing your recipe. The sauce is very delicious and recipe easy to follow.
Hi Pam thanks for trying my sweet and sour pork. Please try more recipes on my site: https://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-index-gallery/
Everything tasted perfect. I’ve tried so many batters but this one is fluffy and crunchy . Thanks!
Wondering if I can freeze this after I cook want to make some for my dad so he can reheat.
Yes you can reheat.
Thanks for answering!! Can I fry the pork earlier on in the day and then fry up later again. Having company so don’t want to be distracted and burn the house down!
I made sesame chicken and after frying all the battered chicken i froze a few pieces and on different day deep fried them again from frozen. it worked. so i would say freeze after deep frying before adding sauce.
This sweet and sour pork dish is a very popular dish for most of the people like. It makes me drooping when seeing your gorgeous picture. Will follow your unique ingredients to cook it.
Is this 锅包肉?。And also, my all time favorite chinese dish is 溜肉段，do you have a recipe? I have always wondered what it is called in English.
Great recipes! This recipe is really good and works for me.
When I attempt to cook Asian, I go straight to Rasa Malaysia.
Any chance you could put your weight measurements in metric or have that as an option.