Best ever sweet and sour pork

Jun 05, 2023
This sweet and sour pork recipe makes a delicious meal. Source: Getty Images

Prepare yourself for a culinary revelation with this outstanding sweet-and-sour pork recipe that truly lives up to its promise. Unlike many others, this recipe delivers on the coveted “crispy” pork, thanks to a combination of techniques that elevate the dish to new heights. Tenderizing the pork with baking soda, using cornstarch instead of flour, and double frying ensures a delightful crunch in every bite.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. The sauce is a symphony of flavours, blending tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, pineapple juice, and cornstarch. This harmonious concoction strikes the perfect balance between tangy, sweet, and savoury, elevating the dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Serve this irresistible sweet-and-sour pork immediately alongside steaming rice, and prepare yourself for a flavour sensation that will impress your taste buds. With its perfect balance of textures and the tantalising play of sweet and tangy flavours, this recipe is sure to become a standout favourite for both family dinners and special occasions.

Serves 4-6.



  • 400g pork neck or shoulder, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1/2 onion, finely grated
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 3/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce


  • 5 tbsp cornstarch, for mixing
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, for coating
  • 2-3 cups canola oil


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced into 2cm pieces
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced into 2cm pieces
  • 1 cup tinned pineapple pieces


  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (use 1/4 cup normal white vinegar as a substitute)
  • 3 tbsp pineapple juice, from tin
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Marinade pork. Mix onion, garlic, ginger, baking soda, cornstarch and soy sauce. Coat pork with mixture. Marinade 18 to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 80C and place rack on tray. This will keep your pork warm.
  3. Place all sauce ingredients except water in a mixing bowl and combine. Add water.
  4. Mix 5 tablespoons cornstarch into the port and leave for 5 minutes. It will be white from the corn starch, but you’ll see it ‘sweat’, which will make the corn starch wet and sticky.
  5. Place 1/2 cup cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Coat pork, shaking off excess. Pile onto a plate. (Reserve corn starch in case it needs dusting again prior to frying. The pork should be at least half white when placed in oil.)
  6. Pour enough oil into a large saucepan so it is at least 2.5 cm deep. Heat to 180C, or until pork starts to immediately sizzle when dipped in.
  7. Cook pork in batches, so as not to crowd the pan, for 3 minutes or until golden. Drain on rack. Do this until all pork has been fried once.
  8. Turn oil heat up to 200C. Start with the coolest batch of pork and cook again for 1-2 minutes, or until pork is dark brown and crispy. Transfer to rack. Repeat with remaining pork. Keep warm in oven.
  9. To make sauce and stir fry, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic, ginger and onion. Stir for 1-2 minutes. Add capsicum and stir for 2 minutes. Add sauce and pineapple and get it to a rapid simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes until sauce thickens.
  10. Add pork and quickly toss to coat. Aim for 10 seconds, max!
  11. Serve immediately with rice.

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