Best ever sweet and sour pork

Sep 02, 2021
This sweet and sour pork recipe makes a delicious meal. Source: Getty Images

I think this could well be the best sweet and sour pork recipe I’ve come across. A lot of sweet and sour pork recipes make claims for ‘crispy’ pork, but tend to fall short. I think the combination of double frying, using corn starch instead of flour and tenderising the pork using baking soda makes the difference here.

The sauce is also delicious! It’s a mix of tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, oyster and soy sauces, pineapple juice and corn starch.

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 corn starch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce


  • 5 tbsp corn starch, for mixing
  • 1/2 cup corn starch, 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 corn starch
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Marinade pork. Mix onion, garlic, ginger, baking soda, corn starch 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 corn starch 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 corn starch 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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