Sweet and Sour Pork With Pineapple

Sweet and Sour Pork With Pineapple

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Marinade Time: 40 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
732 Calories
20g Fat
95g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 732
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 147mg 49%
Sodium 1472mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 95g 35%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Protein 44g
Calcium 257mg 20%
*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 sweet and sour pork with pineapple recipe is a favorite Cantonese dish in both America and China. Adding a bit of pineapple gives it an extra sweet kick of flavor that anyone would enjoy. This style of cooking with sauces is popular in much of Cantonese cuisine. The sauce recipe included here can be incorporated into other meals if desired. While this dish isn't the simplest of meals to prepare, the outcome is truly worth the effort.  

2:30

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"This saucy dish requires a good amount of time to prepare, but the actual prep is a breeze. It's a sticky, sweet delight, sure to be a crowd pleaser." —Lauryn Bodden

Sweet and Sour Pork With Pineapple
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • For the Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rock sugar ​(or granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 tablespoon potato starch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • For the Pork Marinade
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tablespoons corn flour (or cornstarch)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • For the Stir-Fry
  • 3 cups neutral cooking oil (for deep-frying the pork)
  • 1 clove garlic (sliced)
  • 1/2 white onion (diced small)
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper (cut into 1-inch diamond shape)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (cut into 1-inch diamond shape)
  • 3 1/2 ounces fresh pineapple (or canned pineapple, cut it into 1-inch chunks)
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sesame seeds, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this sweet and sour pork dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for cooking.

Prepare Sweet and Sour Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sweet and Sour Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and mix evenly before you start cooking. You must stir the sauce all the time just in case the sauce turns lumpy.

    sweet and sour sauce cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the sauce until the texture has turned thick and sticky, about 25 minutes. Then it’s ready.

    sweet and sour sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Marinate the Pork

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    marinade ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Marinate pork with both kinds of soy sauce, rice wine, five-spice powder, ground white pepper, and minced garlic for 10 minutes.

    Marinate pork with soy sauce, rice wine, five-spice powder, ground white pepper, and minced garlic

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add egg, corn flour, and all-purpose flour into pork marinade mixture and mix them evenly. Keep it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    Add egg, corn flour, and plain flour into pork marinade mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Stir-Fry the Pork

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    stir-fry ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Heat up 3 cups oil in a wok or deep saucepan to 325 F/ 170 C.

    wok with oil

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Gently slide in some of the pork tenderloin cubes without overcrowding and deep-fry in batches as necessary until golden brown in color, stirring occasionally. Make sure the oil comes back up to temperature before each batch.

    pork cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Line a plate with a couple of sheets of kitchen towel and place the cooked pork onto the plate.

    cooked pork on a paper towel lined plate

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the wok and stir-fry the garlic and onion over medium-high heat until fragrant.

    onions cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Add bell peppers and pineapple into the wok and stir-fry for a minute or two.

    Add bell peppers and pineapple into the wok and stir-fry

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Add the pork back into the wok with all the vegetables and pineapple, along with the sweet and sour sauce, and mix evenly. You can alter the amount of sweet and sour sauce you want to use.

    Sweet and Sour Pork With Pineapple cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Garnish with the sesame seeds.

    Sweet and Sour Pork With Pineapple in a wok, garnished with sesame seeds

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tip

  • You can test the oil temperature by dipping a little bit of the pork marinade with a chopstick and put it in the oil to see if the oil starts to bubble immediately. If the oil immediately bubbles then the temperature is correct.

What's the difference between light soy sauce and dark soy sauce?

Light soy sauce is the most common type used in Chinese cooking and is what most North Americans would think of as "regular" soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is, as the name suggests, darker, richer, and sweeter in flavor, thanks to a longer aging period and the addition of caramel and sometimes molasses. For this recipe, if you only have light soy sauce in your pantry, feel free to use it in place of the dark soy sauce.