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Sweet-and-Sour Pork

Updated May 09, 2017
This image courtesy of Shutterstock

Editor's Note: There's nothing quite as comforting as this recipe for the classic Sweet-and-Sour Pork. A fixture in many restaurants, the beloved dish is perfect for anyone who wants something that isn't too sweet or too sour. You'll love that this recipe is easy to make and includes many ingredients that you likely already have on hand. This Chinese food recipe also uses an assortment of fresh vegetables and spices and results in a delicious meal. Instead of opting for delivery from your favorite restaurant, give this recipe a try! 

This recipe captures the sparkling flavors of classic sweet-and-sour dishes, without the heaviness and effort of frying battered chunks of pork. You’ll want lots of rice, noodles, couscous, or grains with which to savor the sauce. You can make this with chicken, shrimp, or tofu, adjusting the cooking time according to which protein you choose. The ingredient list looks long, but once you cook the simple sweet-and-sour sauce and stir together the seasonings for the pork, you’ll be just a toss or two away from an extraordinarily delicious and beautiful dish.

Cooking MethodStir-frying

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

EquipmentWok

Five Ingredients or LessYes

MealDinner

Taste and TextureFruity, Meaty, Nutty, Savory, Sweet, Tart

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice from canned pineapple chunks or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped red and green bell peppers
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • ½ cup canned or fresh pineapple chunks
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced pork
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine the sherry, soy sauce, and salt and stir well.

  2. To make the sweet and sour sauce: In a small bowl combine the water and cornstarch, and stir to mix them well. Set aside. Combine the chicken stock, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and pineapple juice in a small saucepan. Stir with a fork or a whisk to combine everything well. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook 1 minute. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook just until the sauce becomes shiny and thickened. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

  3. Set a serving platter by the stove, to hold the peppers and onions after their initial cooking, as well as the finished dish.

  4. Heat a wok or a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the ginger and garlic, toss well and cook until fragrant about 15 seconds. Add the bell peppers and onions and cook, tossing often, until fragrant and beginning to wilt. Add the pineapple and cook 1 minute more. Scoop the mixture onto the serving platter, leaving as much liquid behind as possible, and set aside.

  5. Let the pan heat up again, and scatter in the pork. Spread it out into a single layer, and cook undisturbed until the edges change color, about 30 seconds. Toss well and cook, tossing often, until most of the pork is no longer pink.

  6. Add the sherry-soy sauce mixture and toss well. Return the bell pepper mixture to the pan and toss to mix everything together well. Add the sweet-and-sour sauce and cook, tossing often, until all the ingredients are evenly seasoned. Add the green onion and toss again. Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot or warm.

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