Homemade sweet and sour pork is so much easier, cheaper, and healthier than takeout. This version has less than 10 ingredients and is easier than using an app to order!

Sweet and sour pork is one of the best Chinese dishes whether it is cheap takeout, from a high-dollar Michelin starred restaurant, or part of a homemade feast. It’s tangy, sweet, crispy, crunchy, and deliciously porky. This better than takeout version is not only easier, it’s better for you too. Best of all, it uses pork chops, which are my favorite cut of pork because they are easy to come by, easy to cook, and taste great.

Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make sweet and sour pork

  1. Cube the pork chops. More surface area equals more crunch: 1.5″ cubes are just about right.
  2. Coat the pork. Put the pork in a ziplock bag or a bowl with corn starch to get a crispy coating without deep frying.
  3. Bake the pork. Bake (or air fry, see below) the pork at 450ºF for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through for even browning.
  4. Make the sauce. While the pork is baking, make the sauce with the remaining ingredients in a nonstick skillet.
  5. Put it all together. Take the pork out of the oven and immediately toss it in the sauce until everything is well coated. Serve with plenty of rice and other sides.

Ingredients

This is an easy pantry recipe with few ingredients, perfect for a weeknight dinner:

  • Pork chops – pork chops make the best sweet and sour pork. Look for thick cut chops with good marbling. Other cuts you can use include pork shoulder/butt, loin, or even boneless ribs.
  • Cornstarch – cornstarch is how you get the light crispy coating. We use it pretty much all the time in asian cooking as a sauce thickener and a coating. You can’t really sub it out, but if you have extra, it’s pretty easy to find other recipes to use it for.
  • Soy sauce – you can use any soy sauce but for authenticity, try a Chinese light soy sauce brand such as Lee Kum Kee or Pearl River Bridge.
  • Rice vinegar – Rice vinegar is what gives this dish its signature tanginess.
  • Ketchup –  yes, ketchup – not only was ketchup originally invented in China, it’s the secret ingredient to get that unique tanginess you find in truly authentic Chinese sweet and sour pork. Ketchup plays a role in many authentic Chinese and Asian dishes.
  • Vegetables – don’t skip the veggies, they provide an essential crunch and brightness. Onions and bell peppers are the most essential ones, but you can add whatever your heart desires. Pineapple, whether canned or fresh, is a pretty traditional addition.

Healthy sweet and sour pork

Some people don’t know that sweet and sour pork is deep fried and not at all healthy. This version is healthier but just as delicious, with no added oil and no deep frying.  It’s as crispy and the sauce is as authentic as you’d find in any Chinese restaurant. We often make this for dinner instead of ordering in when we’re craving Chinese.

Tips and tricks

If you want the pork crispier and you have a can of cooking spray such as pam handy, hit it with a light coat of oil before you dust with corn starch to get even more crunch.

Air fryer sweet and sour pork

You can air fry these instead of baking. All you need to do is switch the oven out for an air fryer. Coat the pork with cornstarch as per the recipe, then place the pork into the air fryer basket with at least 1/4″ gap between pieces, in a single layer and set the air fryer to 375ºF for 8 minutes. Once done, coat with sauce as directed.

Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com

Serve it with

 

Sweet and sour pork | www.iamafoodblog.com

Sweet And Sour Pork Recipe

You won't believe how easy this no fry sweet and sour pork recipe is.
Serves 4
4.74 from 34 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork chop cubed, or shoulder
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp vinegar rice vinegar preferred
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce light soy sauce preferred
  • 1 bell pepper roughly chopped
  • 1/2 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 cup pineapple optional

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 450ºF and season your pork with salt and pepper.
    How to make sweet and sour pork
  • Transfer your pork to a plastic bag or ziploc bag along with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Shake well until the pork is lightly coated and then place on an oiled tray in a foil lined baking sheet.
    Oven Baked Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Bake your pork for 40 minutes, flipping once after 20 minutes.
    No Fry Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • While the pork is baking, make your sauce: add the remaining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of water in a cup and stir until a smooth slurry forms.
    Corn Starch Slurry | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Finish making your sauce by adding sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, corn starch slurry, and 1/4 cup of water to a pan and bringing it to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and add your vegetables. Cook until your desired doneness and then remove from heat (for us that means almost raw).
    Sweet and Sour Sauce for Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Add your pork to the sauce and toss until well coated. Enjoy!
    Easy Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Notes

To airfry: Coat the pork with cornstarch, then place into the air fryer basket with at least 1/4" gap between pieces, in a single layer. Set the air fryer to 375ºF for 8 minutes, then toss in sauce as directed.
Serves 2 as a main or 4 with rice and other sides. Estimated nutrition is for 4 servings.

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Sweet And Sour Pork Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 425 Calories from Fat 220
% Daily Value*
Fat 24.4g38%
Saturated Fat 8.9g56%
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 422mg18%
Potassium 492mg14%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 0.8g3%
Sugar 17.1g19%
Protein 27.6g55%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

20 Comments

  1. Sabrina says:

    great, had no idea this (oven baked s-sour pork) was possible! Or at least, didn’t have any clue how to make it in an oven, so thank you for making healthy one of my favorite dishes!

  2. Lucy Burdin says:

    Very good and saves time. No frying

  3. Nik says:

    Looks delicious and good that it’s oven baked rather than fried

  4. IzzyM says:

    Awesomely simple recipe.
    Love how it turned out.
    Thanks for posting!

  5. Sandy says:

    Nutritional Information would be helpful. Thanks.

    1. Bernice says:

      Is this recipe good for leftover pork also

  6. Claudette Bath says:

    Delicious!! Super quick and easy to make. ?

  7. Bridgette says:

    We added a ton of veggies. This is a keepee.

  8. Barbara says:

    5 stars
    Easy to make in the air fryer. Although more time consuming when making more servings, but still super easy!

  9. Tina says:

    5 stars
    That was was easy to make and so tasty
    Thank you for posting this recipe.
    I like it for a lunch rather than having sandwiches. Fab.

  10. Kate says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Dawn P. says:

    Can you substitute chicken?

    1. Stephanie says:

      absolutely!

  12. Trevor B says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for the family, it was amazing. Great recipe!

  13. John P. says:

    Made it with leftover grilled pork chops. Added a can of pineapple chunks (drained). Not quite as healthy, but very tasty.

  14. Susana says:

    Can I use frozen pineapple chunks?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi, i haven’t tried but i think that would work!

  15. Lana Storck says:

    5 stars
    Hi, I made this for supper tonite. My husband and I both enjoyed this. I had 2 left over grilled pork chops that I used, and about doubled the amount of sauce. I also used a large can of pineapple chunks, drained, and mixed the juice with about 3 teaspoons of cornstarch to thicken.

  16. mb says:

    5 stars
    Just omit the soy sauce if you are not supposed to have that.
    arc4life

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