Traditional Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe

Cracking or tender, fried or grilled, sweet and sour pork is a mouth-watering delicious dish that is incorporated into various cuisines. Added to various menus throughout the world, it has been amongst the favourites in most buffets. With that unmistakable savoury sweetness, this seasoned piece of meat is a cravings satisfaction. Here’s a little insight to acquaint you with this lip smacking goodness.

History of the Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe

The origins of the sweet and sour pork recipe are claimed by many in the Asian region but how it came about is an interesting story to tell if it is believed. Originally known to have been prepared with the pork rib, this delicious recipe is said to have its origins in Asian cuisine, believed to have been a classic dish of the Chinese.

Gaining in popularity in the Guangdong province, this succulent pork recipe has reached far and wide in recent years. With a history dating back to western traders who first set foot in China with hungry tummies, it is said that they were pretty impressed with the sweet and sour pork ribs that they were served. Although they weren’t too keen on the bones from the pork ribs, it is the sweet and sour flavour of the crispy fried pork that tantalized their taste buds.

Nowadays the diced pork shoulder is the chosen cut of meat to use in this dish however, the sweet and sour flavour remains the same.

How I got introduced to the Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe

I first had the privilege to taste this delicious crispy sweet and sour pork recipe when my colleagues decided to order Chinese take-out for lunch. It was my manager that suggested that I try the sweet and sour pork as they knew that I always spoke volumes about the pork roast at our Christmas dinner table. They all knew that it was the one thing that I looked forward to at Christmas time. So my lunch on that specific day was the suggested Chinese meal from our local Chinese restaurant, and boy oh boy did I enjoy my meal. I would have liked to lick the take-out container if only I didn’t have all those disbelieving eyes staring in my direction.

What are the Varieties?

The varieties of sweet and sour pork are plenty, with the pork either tenderly cooked or crispy fried, and a variety of methods and ingredients to make the sweet and sour sauce. Although the sauce is said to be made with different ingredients depending on the Asian region that it is made in, the taste however always satisfies that sweet and sour pork craving, making this tasty sauce the star of the dish.

Here is a little peek into the many varieties that are available.

  • Chinese sweet and sour pineapple pork recipe.
  • Thai sweet and sour pork recipe.
  • Spicy sweet and sour pork recipe.
  • Singapore sweet and sour pork recipe.
  • Sweet and sour pork noodles.

You may also want to try the crispy shredded chicken recipe.


It is traditional to Asian cuisine to use a wok to get the best result when cooking, but not everyone has a wok available to them, so a frying pan is said to be a good replacement. Here is a list of the tools that you would need to make this juicy dish.

  • A chopper or sharp knife.
  • A cutting board.
  • A dish.
  • A plate or platter.
  • A wok and frying pan.
  • A slotted spoon.
  • A serving spoon.
  • Paper towel

There is a vast variety of the sweet and sour pork recipe and each recipe calls for different ingredients. Here is a list of the basic ingredients needed to make this mouth-watering dish.

You will need:

  • 300g pork chopped into cubes
  • 100g flour
  • 500ml oil
  • 10g salt
  •  10g Black pepper
  • 10g corn flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 20g tomato paste
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • Toasted Sesame seeds
Preparation Time

Preparing all of your ingredients for your sweet and sour pork recipe will depend on the efficiency of your knife skills. If you have not yet mastered those chef-like manoeuvres then a little bit of time and patience will grant you a classic sweet and sour pork dish. It is estimated to take a seasoned chef 10 minutes in preparation time to get the ball rolling on this historic Asian cuisine.

Cooking Time

Fortunately, this delicious recipe cooks in no time, with an estimated 15 minutes of cooking time this winning dish is quite the sprinter. Holding the gold medal at the finish line of every cooking race.

How to Cook Sweet and Sour Pork – Method

This recipe calls for a few steps to be carefully followed to get the best tasting sweet and sour pork dish. Here is a step by step guide on how to cook this dish to perfection.

  1. Using a large mixing bowl, marinate the cubed pork with the salt, pepper, crushed garlic and egg. Cover it with cling wrap and leave it to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. Heat the oil on medium heat in a wok or frying pan.
  3. Toss the marinated pork in the flour and deep fry in the hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain the crispy fried pork on a paper towel.
  4. Using another clean frying pan or wok, heat a tablespoon of oil on medium heat and add the onion and peppers. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the tomato paste, vinegar and salt and cook for another 3 minutes.
  6. Add in the crispy fried pork to the thick sweet and sour sauce and mix well until all the pork is covered with sauce.
  7. Remove from pan and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.

Here are a few tips to get the best tasting sweet and sour pork.

  • Marinate your pork for longer to get a crispier coating.
  • Cut up your pork into bite sized pieces for faster cooking.
  • Keep the pork moving in the oil to avoid burn spots
  • Use brown sugar for a deeper taste and colour
Storage Tips

Store your leftover sweet and sour pork in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you could store the leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure that you store it in a freezer safe container or bag.