This Chinese sweet and sour pork recipe reminds me of a time back in college going to the Soup & Noodles restaurant which served all sorts of classical Chinese and Asian specialties including this one!
Delicious, crispy bites of fried pork in a sweet and sour sauce with cooked yet crunchy peppers and onions. I also recalled fried bamboo shoots back in the days so I’ve incorporated those in the recipe. Although there are several variations of this dish including pineapple chunks, I’ve kept it to vegetables and still keep the balance of sweet and sour.
To execute Sweet and Sour Pork flawlessly, here are a few tips and tricks to follow:
To double fry or not to double fry pork, the answer lies in the crispiness of the result
The double frying technique essentially allows you to cook the meat at a lower temperature (350 F) while establishing your crust on the meat from the batter on the first frying pass and to get it crispier and golden on the second pass at a higher temperature (390F).
This technique also results in a less oily result, which is great as no one wants greasy food for diner.
Prepping the pork for frying with a double dredge
For the bets results, get a first dusting of flour on your pork before putting your meat in the egg mixture and then dredge your meat with flour again. This will add another layer of crispiness and helps sealing the juices.
Timing is everything for a crispy glazed pork
I strongly recommend prepping your ingredients, your sauce mixture in advance so when the time comes to fry and mix everything, your timing works out. When working with woks over high heat, you don’t want to overcook vegetables or let the meat in the sauce too long as it will impact the final textures you are looking for: crispy glazed pork pieces with just cooked vegetables that still have a bite.
By following those tips, your Chinese sweet and sour pork dish will be a guaranteed success so make more than what you need or you’ll run out!
- 1 lb. of pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch bite size pieces
- 1/4 tsp of kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp of ground Szechuan pepper
- 1 tbsp. of Chinese rice wine or Sherry
- 1/2 cup of bamboo shoots
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- Canola oil, to fry the pork
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 2 tbsp. of peanut oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 orange pepper, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 red chili pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 tbsp. of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. of brown sugar
- 3 tbsp. of rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. of tomato paste
- 1/2 of vegetable or chicken broth
- Thinly sliced green part of the green onion for garnish
- Jasmin Rice
- Trim your pork tenderloin and cut halfway and then slice into half an inch bite-size pieces.
- Mix together the kosher salt, Szechuan pepper, and Chinese rice wine in a bowl.
- Add the pork to the marinade and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat your Canola oil in a wok. To test the temperature of the oil, you can add a peeled garlic clove to the oil. It should sizzle as it cooks and comes up to the surface. You can also take a thermometer and it should read 350F. You can leave your oil to low or simmer while you continue working on your pork. Having hot enough oil will make the difference between a crispy crust vs. a soggy oiled one.
- Mix together the soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and tomato paste and reserve.
- Beat your egg in a small bowl and add flour to a deep dish.
- For each of your pork pieces (you can do several pieces at a time):
- Dust with flour
- Egg bath with excess removed
- Cover with flour with excess removed by tapping it on the side of your deep dish
- Make sure your oil is at 350F and put your pork pieces to fry in the oil while making sure with a wooden spoon that they stay separated. Cook for 3-4 minutes and put them on an elevated tray to drain excess oil.
- Once drained, turn up the heat to get the oil to 390F and add the bamboo shoots first followed by your pork pieces. Cook for around 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. You should expect a nice golden crust on your pork. The idea with frying your pork pieces twice is to first cook the meat at a lower temperature and then get the coating extra crispy during the second fry.
- Remove the pieces and drain any excess fat from pork and bamboo shoots.
- To prepare the sauce, heat oil in a clean wok and add the vegetables.
- Mix for 40-50 seconds with a wooden spoon. Add the sauce mixture to your vegetables, then the broth. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring continuously.
- Add your pork and bamboo shoots and warm everything up while stirring and serve on a bed of white rice.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.