Sweet and Sour Pork

Discover just how delicious sweet and sour pork can be with Kylie Kwong's recipe for the real thing
By Kylie Kwong
Sweet and Sour Pork
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 as part of a banquet
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 pork neck fillets, each 300g
  • 750 g pineapples, (about half a small pineapple, peeled, cored and finely sliced
  • 150 g Goong Goong's pickles, cut into short, fine strips
  • 180 ml mirin, (Japanese rice vinegar)
  • 100 ml rice wine
  • 110 g white sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp short fine strips of ginger
  • 1 small beef tomato, finely sliced
  • 35 g yellow peppers, cut into short fine strips
  • 35 g plain flour
  • 25 g cornflour
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • pinch of sichuan pepper and salt
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into short fine strips

For the marinade:

  • 6 tsp cornflour
  • 20 ml cold water
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Tips and Suggestions

"This is my version of an old Cantonese classic, which unfortunately tends to be ill-served by some Chinese restaurant," explains Kylie. "Many people's experience of sweet and sour pork is of chunks of meat that have been dunked in a thick, heavy batter, over-fried in dirty oil, then doused in an MSG-laden sauce made from tomato sauce, tinned pineapple, cornflour and perhaps a few vegetables. My version uses fresh ingredients, and that makes all the difference. Just make sure you start the day before, as the pork needs to marinate overnight."


1. Cut the pork fillets in half lengthways and then into bite-sized pieces on the diagonal.

2. To make the marinade, blend the cornflour with the water in a medium-sized bowl until dissolved.

3. Add in the pork, egg yolks, soy sauce, sesame oil and sea salt, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. Mix together the pineapple and Goong Goong's Pickles and set aside.

5. Place the rice vinegar, shao hsing wine, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

6. Bring to the boil, add in the garlic and ginger, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

7. Add in the pineapple, pickle, tomato and yellow pepper and simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the tomato has broken down slightly and the flavours are balanced. Remove from the stove and set aside.

8. Combine the plain flour and cornflour in a small bowl. Add to the marinated pork and mix well.

9. Heat the vegetable oil for deep-frying in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly.

10. Deep-fry the pork in batches over high heat for 1 minute, then reduce heat to medium and fry for another 2 minutes, or until pork is almost cooked through. Remove from wok, using a slotted spoon, and drain on kitchen paper.

11. Gently reheat the sweet and sour sauce.

12. Reheat the oil in the wok. Return the fried pork to the hot oil and deep-fry for a further 3 minutes, or until lightly browned, crispy and cooked through.

13. Remove the deep-fried pork from the wok with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper.

14. Arrange the pork on a serving dish and sprinkle with Sichuan pepper and salt. Garnish with cucumber and serve immediately with a bowl of the warm sweet and sour sauce.

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