Sweet and Sour Pork

Total Time:
1 hr 12 min
30 min
12 min
30 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup flour, plus seasoned flour for dredging
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pound pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ounce honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup large diced Vidalia onion
  • 1/3 cup large diced celery
  • 1/3 cup carrots sliced 1/4-inch thick, on a bias
  • 1/3 cup large diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup large diced green bell pepper
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes

In a large non-reactive bowl, combine soy, garlic, ginger, flour, and cornstarch. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Place the pork in the bowl and toss to cover. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Drain off any excess marinade and dredge the pork in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan heat 1-inch of oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the pork in batches, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Reserve on a warm plate.

In a separate bowl, combine the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, and honey. Whisk to blend.

In a small roasting pan heat the canola and sesame oils. Place the pork and vegetables into the pan and cover with the ketchup mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pork is tender.

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    72 Reviews
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    I was excited to try this recipe because my family likes sweet and sour pork and I prefer to cook our meals at home. Unfortunately, we did not like this recipe. I used low sodium soy sauce since others commented on the saltiness. However, the biggest disappointment was that the sauce tasted like straight ketchup. Someone posted a sweet and sour sauce recipe and I might try it, otherwise we'll stick to take out for now.
    A tasty treat, with a bit of work. My primary change (because I like some heat) was to add a little Sirracha to the saunce, as well as two chopped serranos. One word to the wise for those who find it too salty, remember that a lot of the purchased packaged chops are already in a saline solution, if so, you'll either have to leech it, or reduce the marinade time. If I have to use treated pork, I normally only marinate for 2-4 hours, still have good flavor, but the saltiness is much reduced, especially with low-sodium soy. Good eating all!
    This looked tasty on the show, but man I was unprepared for how delicious this was! Everything blended well and my mom raved about it. I'd love to try this with other meats now. Thanks Alton!
    One of my first Asian dishes and it turned out great! The only thing I changed was that after I fried up the pork when the recipe says to put the raw vegetables in the pot and dump everything on top I chose to saute my veggies in olive oil first to make sure they were soft. Raw veggies don't fly in my household. Ha! So after those softened THEN I returned the fried pork to the pot, added the sauce and brought it to a soft boil before reducing and letting it simmer for about 15 minutes. Turned out sooo so, so, so good. The pork was nice and tender, the veggies were cooked and the sauce was so yummy. My favorite part was the sauce actually, I prefer it over the bottled stuff. That stuff is TOO sweet and syrupy and this sauce was much more delicious. Went great with the fried rice and egg rolls I made. And so much better for you!
    Outstanding! The multiple steps could be a little intimidating but the end result is suburb! My picky teenagers LOVED this!
    Very good recipe. I did it in a wok and used ground pork because I had some that needed to be used. Really fun to make and eat. The sauce is different from any that I had before in the dish and really tasted like a bar-be-que sauce, but worked well with the fresh pineapple.
    VERY salty and the meal was a disaster. Will try again with 1/3 the soy sauce.
    Delicious. I used low sodium soy and it turned out beautifully. I used canned pineapple and added the pineapple juice in the can to the sauce.

     I only used the marinade portion of the recipe, because I have a sweet and sour sauce that uses pineapple juice that I really love. I thought the marinade would be too salty so I watered it down, but even then the pork came out really salty. I like the flavors, so I'll probably try it again, but add even more water to the marinade, or use a low sodium soy sauce.
     If you don't like the sauce in this recipe, try this one:
     For the sweet and sour sauce
     1/2 cup rice vinegar
     1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
     1/4 cup ketchup
     1/4 cup pineapple juice
     1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
     1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
    Yummy! I doubled the recipe with no problem... This is a keeper!
    This is wonderful! I couldn't follow the recipe to the "T" but it's equally tasty! Thanks Alton!=)
    Alton...GREAT JOB!!!! This was easy...made it after work. Just the right balance of sweet and sour. Definitely will re-do.
    This recipe is wonderful! Worth the all the effort. My family usually doesn't eat this in restaurants because they serve it as a syrupy, artificially flavored gloup. This is FAR from that. The balance of the sweet from the pinapple and the bite from the vinegar is perfectly balanced.
     The idea that ketchup "butchers" it from the 'original' makes no sense to me. Original what? This is an American dish that has never existed in China.
    Where do I begin on the wrongness of this recipe. The marinade/dredging was the only part of this recipe that "panned" out correctly. The finishing "sauce" was horrible. First, you can immediately tell this is "American" by the simple ingredient "ketchup" which butchers up any original...with the exception of mac n' cheese, mmm. Second, why 1/4 of red wine vinegar? I can only assume the sugar, honey, and pineapple is to sweeten the blow of the kethcup which is mostly vinegar based. The red wine vinegar quantity was overwhelming. Alton, if you happen to read this, what were you thinking? Maybe it was my fault. I freaking love your show so when I saw this recipe bearing your name I thought, why not? People if your looking for an "authentic" sweet n' sour recipe, this is not the one. Alton, please formulate a better finishing glaze.
    I wanted a vegetarian dish so I made this with tofu instead of pork and increased the amount of vegtables. I squeezed the water out of the tofu by weighing it down with some heavy cans for 20 mins and then marinated it for about an hour - which was all the time I had. Turned out great, although a little salty. Will definitely not use any salt next time.  
    It was a perfect sweet and sour dish.
    this was not only easy, but better than most you get in restaurants. my husband is picky about asian food but couldn't stop eating this.
    I loved it! It really wasn't all that hard at all. Prepped it the night before, was able to make dinner pretty fast the next night. Tasted great! Sauce didn't taste like ketchup at all, nor did I find the finished product too salty. Kids ate it right up. I will definitely make this again, perhaps even try with chicken as others have done. Thanks, Alton, you have yet to disappoint!
    I have to agree with with pski. Less ketchup but still very good. Gave it a 4 star because of the ketchup. otherwise fast and easy. By the way dont salt a lot cause the soy has the salt in it.
    I loved the original when I made it. I read the review about the pot roast so when I had meatballs to use up after New Year's Eve I used them instead of the pork. I just made the sauce and veggies and added the meatballs. When put over rice it turned my left over appetizer into a tasty (and fast!) weekday meal!.
    Change the red wine vinegar to rice wine vinegar, and cut the ketchup back to 1/2 cup and add cornstarch as a thickener and its perfect. 1st time through we could still taste ketchup, added a bit more rice wine vinegar and it was much better but very thick. Don't salt the meat as suggested as the soy has a lot of salt, or use low sodium soy and sea salt on the marinade, and thai chili sauce to taste vs pepper. The pork doesnt turn golden but more of a brown in the fryer after a few batches, but it is really good.
    this is the best sweet and sour pork ive ever ate. dont be scared of all the ingredents,its worth it!
    I did things a little differntly. I had left over pork roast and really didn't know how it would work in this dish but it ended up being a really great way to use leftovers, and it wasnt dry as I had anticipated. I didn't have any celery so I substituted it for broccoli which I think worked better. When I tasted the dish just about five minutes before it was ready it was a little too sweet so i added about a teaspoon of chili paste and 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar to balance it out. The sauce turned out pretty thick for me which was okay, but without rice too help absorbe some of tthe sauce it would have been a bit over powering for my taste. Overall it was a fast dish and my family loved it (some of the boys added a splash of hot sauce). I will make this agian.
    I was a little nervous about this recipe as it got such mixed reviews. But I decided to just trust it as it was written, with two exceptions. I didn't read the recipe early enough (my fault) and so only marinated for 3 hours or so. But it was long enough, my meat was nice and tender and the marinade was so very tasty. I also didn't have red wine vinegar on hand and so used rice vinegar. I was most worried about the sauce being so sweet, but when it all came together with the marinaded meat and the touch of sesame oil, this was so delicious! Everyone loved it and we will definitely be making it again.
    Since we rarely have pork in the house, I made this with chicken, and a few modifications. Instead of dredging it in flour and frying it, and marinated the chicken in soy sauce and sesame oil and stir fryed it, then took it out of the pan, added all the other ingredients, and added it back in. Served it on rice and it was delicious.
    wouldve been great but soy sauce made meat really salty.
    The meat was *fantastic* even though I could only marinade it for three hours I don't think I would choose to do it any longer in the future but the sauce was horrible, made me wish I hadn't put the meat it as it ruined it.
     I admit I was skeptical because of the ketchup but it just didn't do the meat justice so only 3 stars.
    very good sweet and sour pork
    The dish turned out OK, but I think it could have been really good if these recipes contained the 'food science' that are in the shows. There should be nothing left to chance but it should be indicated where 'preference' comes in to play, like some ballpark salt and pepper amounts relative to the amount of flour you dredge in. Without that you have a lot of prep to end up shooting in the dark.
     And also, how long do you simmer at the end? In the oven? At what temp? How do you know when the sauce has cooked down enough when there are no ballpark amounts of time?
     It's always after I buy the ingredients, prep, and start cooking that I realize the recipe is incomplete... by then it's too late for more research.
     I ended up doing everything at the last minute so I don't have much insight to share yet... My advice is to watch the show this is from and take notes to amend the recipe with the missing info.
    This recipe makes by far the best Sweet and Sour Pork that I have ever tasted. I made it exactly according to the recipe. The fresh pineapple added a special dimension to the flavors. It is also essential that the pork is marinated overnight.
     This recipe is definitely a fine restaurant quality.
    Ok, so everyone was probably right about the salt. I did not use any salt, except a tiny bit in the flour, and I also used low sod soy sauce. It was VERY TASTEY, and this made EXCELLENT pork by itself!! My parents and children were eating the pork nuggets as they were cooling after frying them. I decided to freeze half of them just like that, I use them like frozen chicken nuggets. I also made this with chicken (without the sweet and sour sauce), and I didn't even marinade it overnight. It makes wonderful chicken nuggets. SO MUCH better than the frozen crap you get in the grocery store.
     The whole dish together was pretty good. I just wanted other people to know how good just the meat is by itself (marinated and fried).
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