This easy homemade Sweet and Sour Pork recipe is a fantastic substitute for your favorite Chinese restaurant takeout. Sweet, sour, savory, and a bit crunchy, this is a great dinner for any weeknight and is made in practically the same amount of time it would take for delivery.
Easy Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple
This Sweet and Sour Pork recipe has all the flavors of your favorite Chinese dish, without a batter and deep-frying. It’s very similar to my sweet and sour chicken, another family favorite, but replaces the chicken chunks with pork.
Chunks of pork are lightly coated with cornstarch and cooked until just a bit crispy, then coated with a sweet and sour sauce made with pineapple and soy sauce, and tossed with sautéed peppers and shallots. Add some steamed rice and you have dinner ready in the time it would take to order takeout.
This Chinese takeout copycat recipe is made with easy-to-find ingredients.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Pork – Boneless pork center-cut loin chops are used for the best results. I recommend avoiding thin-cut chops as they tend to overcook and dry out quickly in this recipe.
- Bell peppers – I used a combination of green and red for the beautiful contrasting colors, but you can use any color bell pepper you like.
- Shallots – You can substitute a small white, yellow, or sweet onion if you prefer.
- Pineapple chunks – Drain them but reserve the juice for the recipe.
- Cornstarch – Helps the pork get a bit crispy.
- Rice wine vinegar – Apple cider vinegar could be used in a pinch as well.
- Brown sugar – Sweetens the sweet and sour sauce.
- Ketchup – Adds a bit of acidity and richness to the sauce.
- Soy sauce – I use low-sodium to control saltiness.
- Flour – Helps develop a nice little golden crust on the outside of the pork and also helps seal in some of their moisture.
- Eggs – Helps the coating stick to the pork.
- Spices – Garlic powder, salt, and pepper season the pork.
- Vegetable oil – You can use any oil with a high smoke point such as canola oil, sunflower oil or avocado oil. You want to avoid olive oil and other similar oils as they may burn and leave a bad flavor on the pork.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Pork
This easy pork stir fry comes together in just over half an hour.
(Don’t miss the detailed printable recipe card below.)
- Prepare the sweet and sour sauce. Whisk together a tablespoon of cornstarch and water, until combined. Then add the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, and pineapple juice. Whisk to combine then set aside.
- Bread the pork. Place the remaining cornstarch in one bowl, whisked eggs in a second, and flour and garlic powder in a third. Season the pork with salt and pepper then coat with the cornstarch, dip into the eggs, and then coat with the flour mixture. Repeat with all pork pieces.
- Cook the pork. Heat the oil until shimmering. Add the pork pieces and cook for 4 minutes, turning to brown on each side. (Don’t over-crowd the pan. You’ll likely need to cook in batches.) Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Sauté the vegetables. Drain the oil from the skillet, leaving about 2 tablespoons. Sauté the bell peppers and shallots until softened and a bit charred. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the sauce. Stir the sweet and sour sauce then add it to the skillet with the pineapple. Cook for 1-2 minutes to warm through and thicken.
- Add the pork. Add the cooked pork. Stir to combine. Then serve and enjoy!
Recipe Tips & Variations
Here are a few tips for making this sweet and sour pork stir fry, along with some variations.
- Cut the pork into uniform size pieces. This helps ensure that each one cooks evenly and is done at roughly the same time.
- Make extra sauce if desired. There is enough sauce to coat everything nicely with a bit to drizzle over cooked rice. If you like a lot of sauce in your stir fry, I recommend making 1 & 1/2 times the sauce ingredients.
- Switch up the veggies. One of the great things about making stir fry is that they’re super customizable. You can easily swap out the veggies included or even just add more if desired. Other vegetables that would taste great in this include broccoli, water chestnuts, and snap peas.
- Use a nonstick skillet. There’s no need for a wok to make this pork stir fry, you just need a nonstick skillet to prevent the pork from sticking.
What to Serve With Sweet and Sour Pork Stir Fry
Serve your sweet and sour pork with pineapple over steamed rice (or brown rice, cauliflower rice, or fried rice.) If you want a low carb dinner option, this is also super tasty just served in lettuce cups.
- Storing leftovers. Any leftover sweet and sour pork should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eaten within 3-4 days.
- Freeze. If you would like to store it for longer, you can freeze it for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat to 145 degrees Fahrenheit inside before serving. Note that the pork coating will get soggy the longer it’s stored and once thawed.
More Asian Stir Fry Recipes:
- Beef and Broccoli
- Beef and Broccoli Ramen
- Chicken Stir Fry
- Vegetable Stir Fry
- Easy Cashew Chicken
- Stir Fry Sauce (all-purpose)
Sweet and Sour Pork
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch , divided
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 8 ounce can pineapple chunks , drained, juice reserved
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 & 1/2 pounds boneless pork center cut loin chops , cut into 1-inch bite-sized cubes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 small red bell pepper , seeded and ribs removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 smal green bell pepper , seeded and ribs removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 shallots , julienned
- cooked white rice , for serving
- chopped scallions , optional garnish
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and the water, until combined. Whisk in the rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, and reserved pineapple juice from the can of pineapple chunks. Set aside.
- Set up a breading station for coating the pork: 1st bowl, place the 1/3 cup cornstarch. 2nd bowl, whisk together the two large eggs. 3rd bowl, mix together the flour and garlic powder.
- Toss the pork with the salt and pepper, then take each piece of pork and coat it with the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Next, dip each piece of cornstarch covered pork in the whisked eggs and then transfer it to the flour mixture and coat thoroughly, again shaking off any excess. Place the coated pieces of pork on a plate to the side and repeat until all of the pork is prepared.
- In a large nonstick skillet, warm the vegetable oil over medium-high until shimmering (bubbles should form if you drop a bit of water into it.)
- Drop the floured pork pieces into the hot oil and cook for 4 minutes, turning the pieces so they're browned on all sides.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked pork to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. (Don't overcrowd your pan – you'll likely need to cook in batches.)
- Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet. Add in the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and shallot; sauté until vegetables soften and get a bit charred, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Give the sweet and sour sauce mixture a quick stir to redistribute all the ingredients, and pour it into the skillet along with the pineapple chunks. Cook for another 1-2 minutes to warm through and allow sauce to thicken slightly.
- Add pork back to skillet and stir to combine. Taste and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper, only if necessary.
- Serve over cooked white rice with some diced scallions and enjoy!