Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cantonese-style Sweet And Sour Pork

Sweet and sour pork is a favourite dish among my kids and their cousins. They  love this dish with lots of sauce which is made up of tomato ketchup and other ingredients. Whenever we meet up with  my sisters and their family for a dinner at any Chinese restaurants, the kids would request for Sweet and Sour Pork, each time! 

I was browsing through one of my Chinese cookbooks, and saw this simple recipe of Sweet and Sour Pork, Cantonese style, simplified.  And decided to cook this for our dinner, since I've already taken out a chunk of pork fillet from the freezer and still undecided what to do with it. I have one bell pepper and some red chillies, and seems perfect for this dish and yes, a can of pineapples in my pantry! Doesn't it make you happy when you happen to have all the ingredients at hand? :o) 

This is definitely a different take from the usual Sweet and Sour Pork which we have at Chinese restaurants and the one that I usually cook at home, so I thought that I'd give it a try. This recipe does not use any tomato ketchup or other sauces, instead it uses the juices from the canned pineapple chunks for the sauce, with the addition of brown sugar, rice vinegar and some seasoning of  salt and pepper.

The meat is marinated with a simple mixture of cornflour, eggs, salt and pepper, which are then deep-fried till browned and cooked. You could however use chicken fillet. The peppers are then stir-fried briefly, and the sauce is added in, thicken slightly, and finally, in goes the pre-fried meat, mix everything in a quick stir, dish out and serve hot with rice.

Even though there's not much sauce, it is quite nice. Thumbs up from the kids! I would use a bigger can of canned pineapples the next time, firstly, for more sauce and secondly, we love the pineapples! By the time everyone dig in for the pineapples, there are none left on the plate! This simplified version is a nice choice for a simple weekday dinner.

I'm sharing this with :
Little Thumbs Up, an event hosted by my baking buddy, Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from my favourite diy where the selected ingredient for this month is "Pineapple".


And since pineapple is the featured ingredient over at Little Thumbs Up, have a look at what I found a couple of days ago from my potted garden :

Pineapple! My pineapple plant has a small fruit growing. Now I've got to be patient and waif for a few more months, for the harvest! Did you know that it takes about 200 flowers or more, to create this wonderful fruit? Have you seen the flowers of a pineapple before? If not, I'm happy to share with you the pictures of the small light purple beauties taken from my pineapple plant from my potted garden, to view the flowers, click here.

Pineapples, in Chinese language is called, "Wong Lai", meaning, "Lots of Luck Coming Your Way". and is an auspicious fruit to have during the Chinese New Year besides the popular Mandarin Oranges. I am definitely looking forward to "lots of luck coming my way" this year!  :)

Cantonese-style Sweet & Sour Pork
(adapted from "Chinese Food In Minutes" by Ching-He Huang)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon cornflour
250gm pork fillet, cut into 1/4-inch slices
groundnut oil for deep-frying
1 tablespoon freshly grated root ginger
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
1x227gm tin of pineapple chunks, sliced and juice retained
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon clear rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon cornflour blended with 1 teaspoon  cold water
sea salt and ground white pepper
egg-fried rice to serve

  1. Put the egg and cornflour into a bowl and mix to create a batter. Place the pork slices in the mixture and season with salt and white pepper.
  2. Heat a wok over a high heat, then fill the wok to one-third of its depth with groundnut oil. Heat until the oil glistens and when a small piece of bread dropped in turns golden brown in 15 seconds and floats to the surface. Using a spider of slotted spoon, carefully add the pork to the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Lift out using the spider of spoon and drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
  3. Pour the oil from the wok through a sieve into a heatproof container and save to use later. Return 1 tablespoon oil to the wok and heat until smoking, then add the ginger and pepper chunks and quickly stir in to stop the ginger from catching. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the pineapple and its juice and bring to the bubble over a high heat. Season with soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar, if using. Then, as the liquid in the wok reduces and boils, add the blended cornflour and stir to thicken.
  4. Return the pork to the wok, stir and toss together well so the pork is covered in the sauce, then serve with egg-fried rice.


  1. Wow this dish brought memories of my dad. He used to mix ketchup and chilli sauce and add the mixture to this dish. Btw you cooked this dish really well. Can open a restaurant now hehe... Have a happy and 'wong' New Year :-D

  2. Oo~ I love your sweet and sour pork dish, I have kiddo's taste bud, ya know. I like sweet cookies, chocolate and ice cream.

    I wish you a very fat and prosperous Chinese New Year, Joyce!

  3. Joyce, your pineapple plant is growing beautifully. Love your refreshing and appetising dish.

  4. Joyce, I am still waiting for my pineapple plant to sprout. Hehe maybe in time for CNY! (should put more fertilizer this week :P)

    I love sweet and sour pork, love to order this when we go out to any dai chow.

  5. Joyce, I can join your kids because I also love sweet and sour pork a lot! It is also my must order at the restaurant and like my dad, I must also have kailan fried with salted fish with this. I am going to tapau lunch in a bit and hope that the chap fan stall has this dish today. I saw your pineapple plant earlier. Doing very well, lots of luck coming your way :)

  6. eat pineapple, grow pineapple, the fortune god has already noted it down and on its way to your house! watch out! such an appetising dish, you're happy that you had all the ingredients in your house, i'm more happier if you invite me to your house! I have not seen the pineapple flower like the one up there but every year this time, there's lots of pineapples..those ornamental ones in the market and fruit stalls, those carry lots of 'flowers ' have you seen those..? usually in red.

  7. Joyce, this is a classic dish in any chinese restaurant in Sydney, also my son's favourite too!

  8. oh yes it does make me happy when i have everything i need to make the dish that has been on my mind! i love that feeling and i love this pork. so good

  9. Which kid does not like "Ko Lo Yok"? Even the adults love this dish too!

  10. Wow now I have a sudden craving for this dish!

  11. What a beautiful flower of pineapple ! I never seen it before !

  12. Lucky you to have an actual pineapple growing at home, I can only imagine how beautiful the flower will be. I'm sure looking forward to seeing more of it.

  13. Hi Joyce,

    You must be feeling very lucky this year with your "On-Lai" growing well in your house.

    Your sweet and sour pork look wonderful... have a little confession to make, I have never cook this classic dish before :P Shame on me, isn't it?


  14. My husband loves sweet and sour pork but I've never tried making it myself. Thank you for the recipe!

    Congratulations on your baby pineapple!!!

  15. Ah, we love sweet and sour pork. This would be just perfect for dinner. Thank you for sharing another delicious post. I hope you are having a joyful week. You certainly made mine a bit brighter!

  16. This looks like a comforting and simple dish. Thanks for sharing!

  17. I have not had this dish for a long time...and yours look fabulous Joyce...love the pineapple plant pictures.
    Have a wonderful week!

  18. Waa... "wong lai" to your way ! My family loves sweet & sour pork & this dish sure looks good & yummy! I was trying to get some pineapple flowers at the garden center or the florist but without luck. My mom used to plant a couple of pineapples back in those days & I don't even bother to look at them at that time . But now I'm hunting all over for it! LOL

  19. Luce muy rico es una delicia al paladar me encanta es muy sabrosa,abrazos y abrazos

  20. Yes this looks different from the version that I cooked a while back...still sounds very delicious! You sure have green fingers, I can only admired people's effort:) My neighbour's passion fruits vines are full of fruits and I am waiting for them to offer me some lol!

  21. un très très joli blog, je m'inscrit a ta newsletter !!
    A bientôt

  22. Sweet and sour pork is my two girls most favourite dish. We always ordered this dish when we ate out.

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  24. Joyce , I've seen the pineapple flower before but not that up-close and personal :D Your sweet and sour pork looks like the one I usually cook ! Okay , I haven't cook it for quiet sometime , maybe I'll make it later this week :D For sure , they are very appetizing and love everything in that dish esp the pineapple .....

  25. Hi Joyce,

    This looks so inviting.
    Using the juice from the can pineapple must be very very flavorful.
    I could have 2 bowl of rice with this!

    Thanks for linking your post to little thumbs up event.

  26. yummy.i love your recipe