Sweet & Sour Pork
This Sweet and Sour Pork is a healthy spin on one of my favourite Chinese takeout dishes. Tender pieces of pork and juicy chunks of pineapple are coated in a delicious sweet and sour sauce that tastes just like the real thing, but without all of the bad stuff! Best of all, it takes just 25 minutes to make!
I’ve been getting so many requests for more takeout inspired dishes, so here is another easy one for you! This Sweet and Sour Pork tastes just like the real thing with tender pieces of pork, juicy chunks of pineapple and a thick sauce that is the perfect combination of sweet and sour. I think you are going to love this one pan dish that comes together in just 25 minutes! Eat it on its own, or on a bed of cauliflower rice for a more filling meal, just be sure to make extra because leftovers reheat well.
Why You Will Love This Sweet and Sour Pork
- This will quickly become one of your favorite dishes to make when you are craving take out. This homemade version of one of the most popular chinese dishes, couldn’t be any easier to make, and takes just 30 minutes to make start to finish.
- The tender pork is pan seared until crisp on the outside and then tossed with veggies, pineapple chunks and the most delicious sauce that is the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors.
- A lot of other sweet and sour pork recipes that you will find online require deep frying the pork, and a lot of store bought sauces that are loaded with sugar and additives. This healthier version uses a simple homemade sauce, and requires the pork to be pan seared, which still gives it a crispy texture, but without all of the oil.
- This sweet and sour pork recipe is Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
Ingredients You Need For This Sweet and Sour Pork
- Pork: I prefer using pork tenderloin, but thick-cut pork chops, pork loin, pork neck or boneless pork shoulder also work for this recipe.
- Coconut aminos: Coconut aminos, soy sauce and tamari all work in this recipe.
- Baking soda: baking soda is used as a tenderizer for the meat. Be sure to only leave the pork to marinate for a maximum of 15 minutes, any longer and it will change the texture of the pork.
- Pineapple: Both pineapple juice and pineapple chunks are used in this recipe. To save items I have to buy, I usually just use canned pineapple in juice so that I can use both the juice and pineapple in the can. If you prefer to use fresh pineapple, then you will have to buy fresh pineapple juice separately for the sauce the pork marinade.
- Honey: Honey is what gives the sweet and sour sauce its lovely sweet flavour and balances out the tang from the vinegar. Maple syrup can be used in place of honey, or to make this recipe Whole30, soak medjool dates in hot water for 10 minutes until they have softened and then blend them with the other sauce ingredients., Medjool dates will make the sauce sweet but unfortunately won’t give it that sticky consistency that will come from using honey.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: a key ingredient in the tangy sauce. Either apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar can be used.
- Apricots: Dried apricots might seem like a strange ingredient to add to this recipe, but they thicken the sauce while also giving it a sticky and sweet flavor. When buying dried apricots look for ones that are soft and not thin and hard.
- Bell peppers: Cubed bell pepper is the primary vegetable in the stir fry. For varied color and texture I like to use green bell pepper which is slightly firmer with either a red, orange or yellow bell pepper which is softer and sweeter in flavor.
- Yellow onion: Thinly sliced yellow onion is also added to the stir fry, I like to cut the onion quite thinly so it melts
- Ginger: When it comes to ginger, by view is always the more the merrier. I absolutely love the taste of ginger and like to chop it into pieces rather than grate it because I find it gives the dish a stronger ginger flavor.
How To Make This Sweet and Sour Pork
- Cut the pork tenderloin into similar sized pieces (approx 1 inch cubes) and place them in a medium bowl along with the coconut aminos, baking soda and pineapple juice. Stir the pork pieces around so that they are all well coated in the marinade ingredients. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a blender combine all of the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Heat a little bit of oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot add in the marinated pork and sear for 5 minutes until the pork is golden brown in colour. Transfer the fried pork to a plate.
- Add in the ginger, onion and bell peppers and saute for 5 minutes until the peppers begin to soften.
- Return the crispy pork back to the pan and add in the pineapple and pour the sweet and sour sauce overtop. Leave it to cook
- Return the pork back to the pan and add in the pineapple. Pour the sweet and sour sauce overtop and stir to ensure everything is well coated in the sauce. Leave to cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until everything is heated through. Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
You can find detailed step by step instructions in the recipe card below.
Can I Use Chicken Instead?
Absolutely! If you do not eat pork, you can simply swap the pork in this recipe for 1.5 pounds chicken breasts to make sweet and sour chicken (which is another dish you can find at a lot of chinese restaurants). Be sure to cut the chicken into equal sized cubes approximately 1 inch in size.
Is This Sweet and Sour Pork Spicy?
No this easy pork stir fry is a 0 out of 10 for spiciness. If you would like to give it a kick of spice, I would recommend adding in red pepper flakes to the sauce.
Can I Make This In Advance?
Absolutely! This sweet and sour pork reheats incredibly well and is a great dish to make for busy weeknights when everyone is eating at different times. Simply prepare the meal and either store it in the fridge for people to microwave when ready, or keep it warm in a skillet on the stove top. If the sauce begins to evaporate too much and dry out, I recommend adding a splash of pineapple juice to the stir fry.
Is This Sweet & Sour Pork Whole30?
To make this sweet and sour pork dish Whole30, use medjool dates in place of honey as a sweetener in the sauce. Be sure to remove the pit from the medjool dates, and if they are not soft, place them in a bowl with some hot water for 5-10 minutes to soften them.
What To Serve With This Sweet and Sour Pork
I like to serve this sweet and sour pork stir fry over a bed of rice to absorb any excess sauce. Depending on the diet that you are on, cauliflower rice, white rice or brown rice all work wonderfully.
What About Leftovers?
Leftovers will last for up to 4 days stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or in a skillet on medium heat on the stove.
Other takeout fakeout recipes that you might enjoy…
- Black Pepper Chicken
- Moo Shu Pork
- Chicken Chow Mein
- Spicy Orange Chicken
- Thai Basil Beef
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Kung Pao Cauliflower
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Sweet and Sour Pork
- 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp pineapple juice
Sweet & Sour Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp honey (or 3 medjool dates for Whole30)
- 5 dried apricots
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp diced ginger
- 1 1/4 cups diced pineapple
- 2 tbsp chopped green onions
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- Cut the pork tenderloin into small bite sized cubes. In a bowl whisk together the coconut aminos, baking soda and pineapple juice and add in the cubed pork. Toss the pork cubes so that they are all well coated in the marinade. Set aside.
- In a high speed blender or nutribullet container combine the garlic, pineapple juice, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, honey or dates and dried apricots and blend until completely smooth.
- Cut the green and red bell pepper into small cubes and thinly sliced the onion.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp sesame oil in a pan on high heat. Add in the pork and cook for approximately 5 minutes until the pork is seared and golden in color on all sides. Transfer the cooked pork to a plate and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium high and add the remaining 1/2 tbsp sesame oil to the pan. Add the chopped ginger to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until it becomes fragrant and then add the chopped onion and peppers. Leave to cook for 5 minutes until the peppers begin to soften.
- Return the pork back to the pan and add in the pineapple. Pour the sweet and sour sauce overtop and stir to ensure everything is well coated in the sauce. Leave to cook for 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through. Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds before serving.