I can guarantee you will be ditching the takeaway shop in favour of this easy 30 minute sweet and sour pork recipe once you try it. Quick, tasty and much healthier than the bought version!
Sweet and sour pork is one of our all time favourite takeaway dishes. It's delicious and is pretty consistent across the board at Chinese takeaway shops. Battered pork. Delicious sauce. Simple! So obviously given the lack of takeaway shops within a 60km radius of our house and the abundance of home kill pork in our freezer, I need to know how to make it at home.
I've made a few versions of sweet and sour pork over the years. Back in the early days of this blog I published the recipe for the sweet and sour sauce I originally used for this dish (go and check it out if you feel like laughing at some horrific food photography!) It's the sauce that this recipe is based on but with a couple of tiny but important changes that have made this recipe our new favourite.
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While there was nothing wrong with the sauce I was making, I always felt like it was missing something. So I looked through all the sweet and sour sauce recipes I could find and one thing jumped out at me when I saw this recipe from Rasa Malaysia. Oyster sauce! I was skeptical, but I had a bottle in the fridge so thought I'd give it a try. And it was the key! Don't panic if you don't have any, the sauce is almost as good without it, but if you have it - give it a try and tell me what you think!
The other thing that took this recipe from good to great was coating the pork first. It's not a traditional batter and may sound weird, but trust me on this one. A little bit of cornflour to start with, and then coat the pork in egg and pop it straight into a pan of hot oil. It seems like you are missing a step by not coating it again in flour or breadcrumbs as you would anything else, but this is what gives the pork that characteristic Chinese takeaway texture and flavour. It is awesome!
The easiest method I have found is to coat all the pork in the cornflour and then tip all the pork pieces into the whisked egg, mix it around so that all pork is coated and then dump the whole lot in the hot oil. Super easy, takes much less time than individually coating each piece and if you get a bit of extra egg in the pan it's all good! You could deep fry it, but I prefer to only use a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom, get it nice and hot and then let the pork get crispy on one side before flipping it all over and finishing it off.
Then all that's left to do is add the veggies - the peppers and pineapple are what I think make this dish even better - pour in the sauce and serve on rice.
This recipe is:
- Quick! Another real life 30 minute meal
- Much tastier than than the takeaway shop version
- Has colourful veggies in it!
You really will struggle to go back to the takeaway version after you've made this sweet and sour pork (which you can totally make with chicken too!)
Other easy dinner recipes:
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30 Minute Sweet and Sour Pork
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons tomato sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce (optional)
- ½ cup hot water
Coating for pork
- ⅓ cup cornflour
- 1 egg
- 400 grams pork steaks
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ red pepper
- ½ yellow pepper
- ½ cup pineapple pieces
- Add the ingredients for the sauce to a small jug or bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Prepare the pork
- Add the cornflour to a small bowl and the egg to another small bowl and whisk. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium/high heat. While it is heating up, pat dry the pork steaks and slice into 2cm pieces.
- Add the pork pieces to the bowl with the cornflour and toss to coat evenly (you may need to do this in 2 batches)
- Once the pork is coated in cornflour, dredge it in the egg mixture and then place it in the hot oil. Let it fry, without stirring for a few minutes to allow the coating to get nice and brown. Flip the pork pieces over and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes until cooked through.
- Add the peppers and pineapple and fry for 2 minutes.
- Pour over the sauce and bring to the boil, and then simmer for 3-4 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately on white rice.