Sweet and Sour Pork

Yields: 5 Servings Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins

The best ever Sweet and Sour Pork recipe is loaded with tricks the Chinese have been using for centuries: double dredge and double fry for extra crispy, cornflour instead of flour, economical pork used for juiciness, but tenderised with baking soda so you’d swear they’re pricey chops, and a sauce that’s not sickeningly sweet.


0/26 Ingredients
    Tenderised marinated pork
  • For frying
  • Sweet & sour sauce
  • Stir frying


0/16 Instructions
    Marinade pork
  • Mix Pork with Marinade. Marinade 18 to 24 hours. (See Note 1 for marinating time for other cuts)
  • Preparation
  • Rack & warm oven: Preheat oven to 80°C/175°F and place rack on tray - to keep pork warm.
  • Sauce: Place all Sauce ingredients EXCEPT water in a large jug or small bowl. Mix until combined, then mix in water.
  • Be Stir Fry Ready: Have all ingredients lined up, ready to toss in. After Fry #2, things move quickly.
  • Double dredge
  • Coating #1: Mix 5 tablespoons cornflour into the pork and leave for 5 minutes. At first, it will be white from the cornflour, but after a while it will sweat and make the cornflour (mostly / partially) wet, and will be sticky (this is key for coating to stick).
  • Coating #2: Spread 1/2 cup cornflour in a shallow bowl. Coat pork, shaking off excess, and pile onto a plate.
  • Reserve cornflour in case you need to dust again just prior to frying. Pork should be at least half white when you put it into the oil (if not, just sprinkle with reserved cornflour).
  • Fried crispy pork (note 6 for oven)
  • Heat oil: Pour enough oil into a large saucepan or small pot so it's 2.5cm / 1" deep. Heat to 180°C/350°F (or until pork immediately starts sizzling when you dip it in).
  • Fry #1: Cook pork in batches, being sure not to crowd the pot, for 3 minutes until golden. Drain on rack. This step is just to cook the pork. It takes me 4 batches.
  • Fry #2: Turn the stove up slightly and heat oil to 200°C/390°F. Starting with the coolest pork, add half the pork (you can crowd the pot) and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, or until pork is deep golden brown and crispy. Transfer to rack, repeat with remaining pork - I do 2 batches.
  • Keep warm in oven.
  • Sauce & stir fry:
  • Heat oil in a very large skillet over high heat.
  • Add garlic, ginger and onion, stir for 1 1/2 minutes. Add capsicum and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add Sauce & pinapple, then let it come to a rapid simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes until it thickens - when you drag the spoon across the base, a path should briefly appear (see video at 1 min 53 s).
  • 10 second toss: Add pork, then QUICKLY toss to coat - aim for 10 seconds!
  • Serve asap! Pour onto serving plate, serve immediately! Will stay crispy for around 5 minutes then starts softening but still has a solid coating. This is just the reality of Sweet and Sour Pork, even at restaurants!