Sweet-and-Sour Pork

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    2 to 4

    as a Main Course.

Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About


  • 1 pound boneless pork butt, cut into ¾-inch cubes


  • 1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ fresh pineapple
  • ¼ cup water chestnut powder mixed with ½ cup unsweetened almond powder, or ½ cup cornstarch mixed with ½ cup flour
  • 4 cups peanut oil for deep-frying

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup chinkiang vinegar, or cup cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar or 3 Chinese sugar slabs
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil



  1. Marinate the pork for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Cut off the ends of the pineapple, stand the pineapple on end, and shave off the skin with downward strokes of the cleaver.

  3. Cut the pineapple into ¾-inch cubes.

  4. Drain the marinade from the pork, blot it dry, and dust the cubes with the water chestnut-almond powder or cornstarch-flour mixture. Shake off any excess.

  5. Heat the oil in a wok to 360 degrees (moderately hot). Fry the pork cubes a handful at a time for 3 minutes. (They are done when they feel springy instead of mushy.) Set them aside.

  6. Empty the wok of the oil (or do these next steps in a large saucepan). Heat the Sweet-and-Sour Sauce ingredients (except for the cornstarch dissolved in broth) over a moderate flame with the pineapple.

  7. When it comes to a boil, stir in the dissolved cornstarch, the sesame oil, and the fried pork cubes to heat them through.

  8. Sweet-and-Sour Pork—the tart fruit balances the richness of the pork.

  • Suggested Beverage: Rosé wine or beer