Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork
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Maybe it’s just us but it seems like it’s becoming more and more difficult to find really good quality Chinese takeout these days. Like many of you all, we yearn for those deliciously nostalgic dishes such as the classic Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork

Somehow though, it really does seem like the quality of these magical dishes we remember from our childhood just don’t hit the same. It possibly could be we’re looking back at those dishes with rose-tinted glasses with nothing but fond memories of deliciously crispy pieces of Pork. Smothered in a bright red sauce bursting with Sugary sweetness and sourness from the Vinegar, and of course finished off with juicy fresh Pineapple chunks. So, while it may be difficult to find the level of quality we all remember in a great Sweet and Sour Pork recipe, the good news is we’ve re-created a version which is outstanding. And here it is!

The three key criteria to ensuring a great quality Homemade Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork

To recreate that amazing nostalgic dish there are three criteria you absolutely must nail for a great Sweet and Sour Pork, and they are:

  1. Great quality Pork
  2. Crispy Batter
  3. A sauce that punches hard in both Sweetness and Sourness

Great Quality Pork

With prices for fresh meat and produce skyrocketing all over the world, finding good quality meat can become more of a challenge. Particularly if you are wanting to stay within a budget, which is what we want for this dish. The good news is that while other proteins such as Beef, Lamb, and Poultry are starting to get quite expensive, Pork is still relatively cheap! We’ve been lucky to live in the Hudson Valley, NY which is renowned for some amazing quality Pork, and it is very affordable to purchase. So shop around a little bit in your local area to find some good quality Pork. We assure you it does exist, and you can get it without breaking the bank

Crispy Batter

The cornerstone to any great Homemade Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork recipe is in the crispy batter. This really does make or break the dish in our opinion. No-one wants to eat a soggy piece of Pork! Ensuring a crispy batter is a little bit of an artform and requires a bit more time and effort, but trust us – it will pay off in the end

The key to guaranteeing deliciously crispy pieces of Pork which are juicy inside lies in the double frying method. Coating the Pork in seasoned all-purpose flour and an egg wash. Double dipping it (very important), frying it, setting aside, then frying again. Double frying the Pork results in an unbelievably crispy result. This is also a critical step as it ensures that the pork remains crispy even after it has been coated in the Sweet and Sour Sauce

Achieving a Sweet and Sour Sauce bursting with flavor

Now onto the sauce. There is nothing subtle about Sweet and Sour Sauce so the key step here is to not be shy on ingredients. We always encourage our readers to taste their food as they cook and of course this sauce is no exception. When tasting, you may feel that the Sauce is perhaps a little too overpowering. That’s totally ok! The sauce is such a critical piece of this dish and where all the flavor lies. So, trust us, stick with the generous proportions of Sugar and Vinegar in the recipe. It’ll deliver an outstanding Sweet and Sour Pork in the end

Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork close up
Deliciously Crispy Pork coated in an amazing Sweet and Sour Sauce

Recipe Details

Servings

4 – 6 people

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

45 minutes

Total time

1 hour

Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Pork Tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 White Onion, roughly sliced
  • 2 Eggs
  • 4 tbsp. Water
  • ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp. Soy Sauce
  • 2 cups of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup + 4 tsp. Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Pepper

For the Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 2 tsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 2-inch piece of Ginger, chopped into 4 pieces
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • 3 cups White Vinegar
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 16 oz. Can of Pineapple Chunks in Juice

Instructions

  1. To create the Pork Marinade, combine Water, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Sesame Oil, and Soy Sauce into a bowl. Mix then add the Pork. Leave to marinade for 30 minutes
  2. While the Pork is marinating, make the sauce by heating 2 tsp. of Vegetable Oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the Ginger and cook for 1 minute, then add the Ketchup and stir consistently for 2 minutes. It’s important to keep stirring the ketchup to avoid it burning
  3. Add White Vinegar, White Sugar, and all the juice from the Canned Pineapples. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring consistently to ensure the sugar has completely dissolved, then reduce heat to low
  4. Simmer the sauce gently for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be careful not to over reduce the sauce because it will become far too thick and sticky which won’t be pleasant to eat! Once cooked, remove from heat, and set aside

To cook the Pork

  1. Heat 2 cups of Vegetable Oil in a frying pan suitable for shallow frying (eg: a sturdy bottomed pan or a cast iron skilled)
  2. To prepare the Pork you will need 2 medium sized bowls. The first filled with All-Purpose Flour, ½ cup of Cornstarch, Salt, and Pepper. In the second bowl, add the Eggs and whisk thoroughly to create an egg wash
  3. Place the Pork in the Flour mixture, ensuring all pieces have been evenly coated. Dust off any excess flour then place the Pork into the Egg mixture. Coat well, then place the Pork back into the Pork Mixture. You may need to do this in 2 batches to avoid overcrowding the bowls
  4. Once the Oil reaches a temperature between 350 – 375 degrees it is ready to fry. Carefully place the Pork into the Oil (avoid getting splashed with hot oil!) and fry for 2-3 minutes, turning once so that all sides are a light golden color
  5. Remove and place on a Paper Towel. You will likely need to fry the Pork in 2 batches to avoid overloading the oil which will reduce the Oils temperature and result in soggy, oily Pork
  6. Bring the oil back to frying temperature and repeat the process of frying the Pork for a second time. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the Pork is crispy and medium golden-brown color. Set aside
Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork shallow frying
shallow frying the Pork twice will result in an unbelievably Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork result

Completing the dish

  1. In a separate frying pan add 1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the White Onions and Bell Pepper and fry for 1 minute. Add the Pineapple and fry for a further minute
  2. Add Pork and the Sweet and Sour Sauce then bring to a simmer while stirring
  3. Mix 4 tsp. of Cornstarch to create a slurry by mixing with 2 tsp. of Water. Add the slurry to the Pork mixture and stir to combine well
  4. Serve immediately with some fresh steamed rice and enjoy!


There you have it! A delicious, vibrant Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe that will no doubt bring back all that tasty nostalgia. If you want to go all-in in the flavors for this dish we recommend taking a look at some of our Rice dishes here to see what kind of fun combinations you can create to pair with the Pork

We’d love to hear how this recipe went for you! Please connect with us on our Pinterest and Instagram pages and share your cooking adventures!

Happy Cooking!

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