Sweet & Sour Pork

September/October 2011

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Pineapple, tomato and pork combine in a sweet-tangy sauce in this easy, bright- flavored sweet and sour pork stir-fry. This dish does have a fair amount of acid (from vinegar, tomatoes and pineapple), which can affect the patina of your wok. So remove the food from the wok as soon as you’re done cooking, and if your wok shows any signs of rusting, reseason it (see Tips).

Sweet & Sour Pork

Makes: 4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 pound trimmed boneless pork shoulder or butt (see Tips), cut into 1/4-inch-thick bite-size slices
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine (see Note) or dry sherry, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice (see Tips)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 small tomato, thinly sliced into wedges (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 2 cups bite-size pineapple chunks, fresh or juice-packed canned (drained)


  1. Combine pork, ginger, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons rice wine (or sherry), 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in sesame oil until well combined.
  2. Combine pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup and brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine (or sherry) and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
  3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon peanut (or canola) oil. Carefully add the pork in one layer. Cook undisturbed for 1 1/2 minutes, letting it begin to sear. Then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry until the pork is lightly browned but not cooked through, 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the wok, add carrot and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Return the pork with any juice to the wok. Add tomato and scallions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Swirl in the pineapple juice mixture, add pineapple and stir-fry until the pork is just cooked through and the sauce is lightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Tips & Notes

  • Tips: Pork shoulder or butt is available both bone-in or boneless and typically sold in portions significantly larger than 1 pound—3 to 5 pounds. To get the amount you need for this recipe, ask the butcher to start with 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds before trimming to make sure you get 1 pound of trimmed boneless pork shoulder or butt. Or buy a larger portion and freeze the rest for another use.
  • If you’re making this with canned pineapple, you can use 2 tablespoons juice from the can.
  • To season your wok the traditional way: Scrub a new carbon-steel wok with hot water, soap and a scouring pad to remove the factory coating. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Heat the wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds. Swirl 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil into the pan. Add 1/2 cup sliced unpeeled fresh ginger and 1 bunch scallions cut into 2-inch pieces. Reduce the heat to medium and stir-fry the mixture, pressing it into the sides of the wok as you go. Keep stir-frying and pressing the seasonings all over the wok for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. (Discard the scallions and ginger.)
  • Note: Shao Hsing (or Shao xing) is a seasoned rice wine. It is available at most Asian specialty markets and in the Asian section of some larger supermarkets. If unavailable, dry sherry is the best substitute.


Per serving: 312 calories; 17 g fat (5 g sat, 8 g mono); 65 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 19 g protein; 2 g fiber; 419 mg sodium; 465 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (77% daily value), Vitamin A (60% dv), Zinc (24% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 fruit, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Type of Dish
Main dish, meat
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

Ease of Preparation
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