Skip take out and make your own Sweet and Sour Pork at home. The crispy fried pork coated with some sticky sweet and tangy sauce is so delicious and easy to prepare. Served on white rice and with steamed vegetables, this will be a new favorite in your house!
Hi there, it’s Melanie from Bon Appét’Eat. It’s been a lot of fun to be part of the Noshing with the Nolands team. I love to recreate a take-out dish and adapt it in my Instant Pot like my Sweet and Sour Chicken or give a twist to an Asian inspired side dish like this quinoa fried rice recipe.
Helpful Items for This Recipe
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What is Sweet and Sour Pork Made Of?
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
- Garlic cloves
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
1 POUND OF PORK TENDERLOIN
- Vegetable oil
Sweet and sour pork is a delicious and easy dish to make. It consists of small chunks of pork tenderloin dipped in a batter, fried, and then tossed in a yummy sweet and sour sauce.
It is close enough to the authentic and real Chinese restaurant recipe as it is the BEST version you could make at home, you have to try it as soon as possible!
How Do You Make it From Scratch?
There are 2 main steps to this recipe: the sweet and sour sauce and then the fried pork.
First, you will need some fresh chopped garlic, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, some soy sauce, lemon juice, and olive oil. All these ingredients have their role in this mixture: the ketchup and sugar for sweetness and caramelizing.
The soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and lemon for the sourness and bitterness. This will make everything balance perfectly.
Then, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside, and let’s take care of the pork.
How Do You Make The Batter For The Pork?
Making the batter is really simple, and like the sauce, each ingredient has their importance.
Note: Prepare the batter only when you are ready to fry the pork.
In a bowl, combine together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. The cornstarch helps with the humidity, the baking soda is what helps with the crispness, and you don’t want to mess with that! Whisk all the dry ingredients with water.
Now, pat dry the pork and cut it into chunks. I would recommend smaller than an inch cube.
How to Fry Sweet and Sour Pork?
Lastly, in a pot or wok, on medium-high heat, bring your frying oil to 350F. If you don’t have a thermometer, pour a drop of batter to see if it browns instantly.
Dip the pork pieces in the batter and cook them in the oil for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat until all the pork is cooked. Make sure the pork is cooked to an internal temperature of 160F to 170F; 165F is optimal. Use an instant-read thermometer (affiliate link) to check your temperature.
Set your deep-fried pork aside, don’t cover; it will become soggy. Keep warm in a low oven or warming drawer.
Almost finished! In a pot, bring your sweet and sour sauce to a boil and reduce to medium-low, cooked for 7-9 minutes or until it has thickened. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on it.
Toss your fried pork in the sauce and serve over white rice. Enjoy!
What Can I Serve With Sweet and Sour Pork?
Helpful Cooking Q&A
What cut of pork is best to use?
It is best to use pork tenderloin or any other lean piece of the pork as it will be easier to chop and enjoy.
Plus pork tenderloin is nice and tender in a quick fry application like this.
How can I add more vegetables to this dish?
So easy! Any steamed veggie will pair really well! Consider adding broccoli, asparagus, carrots or beans, or even a medley of all of them. Also, pineapple chunks are a great and surprising addition!
You can also char some green or red bell peppers. It adds great flavour to your dish. Charring consists of cooking your vegetable in a pot without any grease. It will obtain a slightly burnt appearance and keep its crunchiness.
Garlic Roasted Broccolini would be excellent with this dish also.
You can do a traditional stir fry of veggies like garlic, white sweet onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and pineapple chunks.
- Add in a tablespoon of oil to the wok you used for frying the pork. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions, stir-fry for 30 seconds.
- Then add in your red and green bell peppers, and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add in the pineapple and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Follow these quick steps; once the veggies are done, toss in the fried pork and sauce. You may want to double the sauce depending on the number of veggies you want to add. Garnish with sliced green onion and sesame seeds if you like.
We love doing a stir-fry like this Asian Skillet Stir Fry. Simple, quick and easy.
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead?
If you want to enjoy a crispy pork coated with the sweet and sour, I would recommend to make this recipe and serve it right away.
The batter will thicken if prepare ahead. Also, the pork will become soggy if tossed in the sauce and not served right away. It is still delicious if you have leftovers, though.
Think of your takeout Chinese it is always best when it is hot and freshly made.
I Don’t Have All The Ingredients!!
I don’t have all the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce, can I make substitutions?
This recipe was developed with these ingredients, but there are some tweaks you can do:
Brown sugar: Use regular white granulated sugar. Brown is ideal for caramelization, but white will work too.
Apple cider vinegar: Switch it for rice vinegar if you have.
Pineapple juice: It can be an add-on. You can use it to replace the water. It will add some sweetness and will require a few minutes longer on the stove.
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
Sweet and Sour sauce
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 5 Tbsp water
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
1 pound of pork tenderloin
- 2 cups of vegetable oil
- For the sauce, chop the garlic.
- In a bowl, mix the garlic, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, some soy sauce, lemon juice, water, salt, and olive oil.
- Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Prepare the pork: pat dry the pork and cut it into chunks (smaller than an inch cube).
- Prepare the batter: Blend together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt with one cup of water, whisk.
- In a pot or wok, on medium-high heat, bring your frying oil to 350F.
- Dip the pork pieces in the batter and cook them in the oil for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat until all the pork pieces are cooked. Set aside, don’t cover; it will become soggy. Cook to an internal temperature of 165F.
- In a pot, bring your sweet and sour sauce to a boil and reduce to medium-low, cooked for 7-9 minutes or until it has thickened.
- Toss your fried pork in the sauce and serve over white rice.
- Bon Appetit!
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COZILIFE Reusable Chopsticks 8-Pairs, Premium Quality Fiberglass Chopsticks for Household and Restaurant, 9 1/2 Inches in length, Kraft Box Package
Hiware Solid Stainless Steel Spider Strainer Skimmer Ladle for Cooking and Frying, 5.4 Inch
Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok with Wooden and Steel Helper Handle (14 Inch, Round Bottom) / 731W88
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 753Total Fat: 75gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 66gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1374mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.