Pork Marinade for Stir-Fry

Browned stir-fried pork cubes with rice on a dinner plate

The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
180 Calories
5g Fat
2g Carbs
30g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 719mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 519mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This stir-fry pork marinade results in tender and flavorful meat that is delicious whether you serve it on its own or as part of a stir-fry with vegetables. The mixture of soy sauces, Chinese rice wine, turbinado sugar, and garlic offers an authentic taste, and the cornstarch creates that velvety texture found in Chinese restaurant dishes.

This recipe works well with 3/4 to 1 pound of pork tenderloin or pork chops that have been cut into cubes or strips. You'll want to marinate the pork for 15 to 30 minutes prior to cooking, so make sure you plan ahead. (While the pork marinates, you can clean and chop the vegetables.)

This marinade is very tasty and versatile; it can be used on other proteins besides pork, like chicken strips, beef, or even shrimp. To add some color and nutrients to the dish, include a variety of vegetables, such as snow peas, baby corn, sliced carrot, bok choy, eggplant, mung bean sprouts, asparagus, peas, green beans, onions, or anything else you have on hand. Just make sure the vegetables are all cut to a similar size to help ensure that they cook at the same rate.


  • 1 (3/4- to 1-pound) pork tenderloin


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for pork stir-fry marinade recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Cut the pork into strips or 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes.

    Pork cubes on a wooden cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl, adding the cornstarch last.

    Marinade ingredients combined in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Stir well, then add the pork cubes or strips and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes before stir-frying. 

    Pork cubes in marinade in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  5. Add to your stir-fry and enjoy.

Recipe Variation

You can simplify this marinade by using 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, 1 small scallion (cut into 1-inch pieces), and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.

Tips for Stir-Fry Success

Although stir-frying is a quick and easy cooking method, there are a few tips to keep in mind so your dish will be restaurant quality.

  • Make sure the pork is at room temperature before adding to the hot pan; cold meat will cool down the wok.
  • If there is more meat than what will fit in the pan comfortably, cook the pork in batches. A crowded pan will cool down quickly, cause the pork to release its juices, and prevent it from turning brown.
  • Remove the pork from the wok before cooking the vegetables, and then return the cooked meat to the pan at the end.
  • Start with the vegetables that take the longest to cook first, and then add those that cook more quickly.



  • Stir-frying in a wok is ideal, but if you do not have one, you should use the biggest (and flattest) frying pan you have. Make sure to get it very hot. To test the heat, sprinkle a few beads of water onto the hot pan; if they evaporate immediately, the pan is ready for a stir-fry. If not, keep heating and test again.
  • If the pork seems a bit dry as it is cooking, add a little bit of water as you stir-fry.
  • Finish the dish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and serve with white or brown rice, your favorite noodles, or as is.
  • After stir-frying, you can also finish the dish off with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons of sesame oil for a little added flavor.
  • If you add a decent amount of vegetables to your stir-fry pork, season the stir-fry with salt.