Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork
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Sweet and Sour Pork is a classic Chinese food staple. Battered juicy pieces of pork tenderlion coated in a crispy batter, lightly fried, and then drenched in sweet and sour sauce. This sweet and sour pork is made with easily accessible everyday ingredients and tastes EXACTLY like the real thing!

So skip the takeout and create this classic in your own kitchen! Not only does this keep the costs down, but you know exactly what is going into it, and you get like 4 times the amount. Bring on the dinner party!

Who said that homemade Chinese food had to be hard?

Nothing daunting or complicated here. The pork is not even fried in a full deep fryer. Just about an inch of oil in a deep fry pan is all you will need!

Here’s something that might surprise you… most of you will probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry already!

A note for all my gas stove users; Keep in mind, grease fires happen and they start in the blink of an eye. For best practice, whenever you are cooking with a larger amount of oil, keep either a fire extinguisher, or a bag of flour close by and never leave the stove unattended. Should a grease fire start, immediately turn off the gas, and douse with a fire extinguisher, or throw a large amount of flour on the flame. Flour will suffocate the flame.

Ready? Let’s Make It!

First things first, prep your ingredients.

Cube up the pork tenderlion into 1″ cubes, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Pour the vegetable oil or canola oil into a deep fry pan, and set on the stove. But, do not start to heat the oil yet!

Next, you will need two shallow bowls, this is your “breading station”. Set up your breading station close to your frying pan on the stove. In the first bowl add the eggs and whisk well. In the second bowl, add the 1 1/2 cups cornstarch. Set aside.

Also, place your 9×13 baking dish on the counter, and line it with some paper towel. It is best to place this close to the stove as well, so you can easily transfer the pieces of pork after they have been fried.

Now for the sauce.

Combine the chili sauce, chicken stock, sugar, white vinegar, worcestershire sauce, garlic, and red chili flakes. Stir well to combine. Now in a separate bowl combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and stir well until no clumps remain. Pour this cornstarch “slurry” into the sweet and sour sauce mixture, and whisk well to combine. Set aside.

all of the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce mixed in a glass bowl

Now that all of the prep is done, onto the fun part!

Preheat the oven to 375º F and turn the frying pan of oil on medium-low.

It is best to work in batches to bread the pork, as the oil will heat up quickly.

Side note- I prefer to wear food safe disposable gloves. When the egg and cornstarch mix they instantly become very sticky. I find that wearing the gloves helps with that.

Place a handful of the cubed pork pieces into the egg, and move them around to fully coat them.

dipping a piece of the cubed pork tenderlion into the egg

One by one pull them out and drop them into the cornstatch, again tossing around to fully coat them. Then, carefully, one by one pull them out and place directly into the hot oil.

You will have to do this in a few batches to get all of the pork cooked.

dredging the piece of pork in the cornstarch after being dipped in the egg
transferring the dredged piece of pork to the hot oil for frying

Once you have a single layer of pork pieces in the frying pan, stop breading until the batch is fully cooked. Use a pair of tongs to flip the pork pieces, and fry until they are golden brown and crispy.

cubed and dredged pork piece frying in oil on the stove

When they are fully cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the baking dish lined with paper towel. Repeat until all of the pork has been breaded and cooked.

Into the oven

When all of the pork pieces are cooked, pull out all of the paper towel from the baking dish. Add in drained pineapple chunks and all of the premixed sweet and sour sauce. Mix to fully coat the pork and pineapple.

fried pork pieces mixed with pineapple chunks in a baking dish
pouring the prepared sweet and sour sauce over the pieces of pork and pineapple

Bake for 45 minutes until bubbling and the sweet and sour sauce has thickened.

Serve immediately! We like to serve this sweet and sour pork over rice and steamed veggies.

final product; sweet and sour pork served on top of brown rice with sesame seeds sprinkled on top

freezer meal?

You betcha!

All you have to do to make this a freezer meal is make sure that the pork is fully cooked when it comes out of the frying stage.

After the pork is fully cooked, let it fully cool on a piece of paper towel.

In a large zip top bag or in an air tight container add the pork pieces and tightly seal the container. In a separate air tight container or zip top bag, add and seal the sauce with the pineapple chunks.

Freeze for up to 3 months.

When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400ºF and spread the pork pieces to a baking dish in a single layer. Bake the pork pieces for 20 minutes until sizzling.

Heat the sweet and sour sauce on the stove until boiling and pour over heated pork pieces. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until sauce has thickened.

We put a lot of work into our recipes and we would love to know if you tried this recipe!

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Sweet & Sour Pork

homemade Chinese food doesn't have to be hard or unhealthy!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 6 Servings
Author Jessica
Course- Main Course
Cuisine- Chinese

Ingredients

  • 2 Pork Tenderloin, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups Cornstarch
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, drained (optional)

Sauce

  • ¾ cup Chili Sauce
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds for topping, optional

Instructions

Sauce

  • In a large mixing bowl add the chili sauce, chicken stock, sugar, white vinegar, worcestershire sauce, garlic, and red chili flakes. Whisk to combine.
  • In a small bowl stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Stir until cornstarch is fully combined and no clumps remain.
  • Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce mixture, stir to combine and set sauce aside.

Pork

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Season the pork pieces with salt & pepper.
  • To set up your dredging station you will need 2 bowls. In one bowl add both eggs and whisk well. In the second bowl add the cornstarch.
  • In a heavy fry pan or dutch oven heat up the oil over medium heat on the stove.
  • First, grab one piece of pork and dip it in the egg, then transfer to the cornstarch and roll the piece around to fully coat it. Place piece directly into hot oil.
  • Once you get the hang of the dipping you can do 8-10 pieces at a time.
  • Repeat step 5 until all of the pork is coated in the breading and cooking.
  • Using a pair of tongs carefully flip the pork pieces. Cook until they are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • When they are done cooking transfer pork pieces to a piece of paper towel to drain off any excess oil.
  • Place pork pieces into a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Add pineapple chunks to the pork, and pour the prepared sauce on top. Stir to coat all of the pork pieces in the sauce.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, stirring once in the middle of the baking time.
  • Remove from oven and stir once more before serving.
  • Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds (optional). Serve over rice or veggies.


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