Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork, also known as “Gu Lao Rou” or “Tang Cu Li Ji,” is a beloved zi char classic cherished for its delightful juxtaposition of flavors and textures. This dish features tender chunks of pork, lightly battered and deep-fried to a crispy perfection, then coated in a tantalizing sweet and tangy sauce. The harmonious interplay of the crispy exterior and succulent meat, combined with the vibrant flavors of the sauce, creates an enticing sensory experience. Loved for its familiar taste and the pleasing contrast between sweet and sour, Sweet and Sour Pork has secured its place as a well-liked zi char favorite, offering a satisfying indulgence that continues to captivate diners with its timeless appeal. 

Why People Love Sweet and Sour Pork:

There are many reasons why Sweet and Sour Pork is such a popular dish. Firstly, it is a flavorful and well-balanced dish that combines sweet and sour flavours. The sweetness comes from the use of pineapple, sugar and ketchup, while the sourness is from the vinegar used in the recipe. This combination of flavours creates a unique taste that is both tangy and savoury.

Secondly, the texture of the dish is a standout feature. The pork is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The crunchiness of the pork compliments the sweet and sour sauce, making it a satisfying and enjoyable dish to eat. 

What You Need For Your Sweet and Sour Pork:

Making Sweet and Sour Pork yourself

If you’re making this dish yourself, here’s a recipe that you can try out.


  • 500g pork loin, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 1 egg white 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks 
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced 
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced 
  • 1/2 onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 cup ketchup 
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • Spring onions, chopped (for garnish)

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

How To Cook Sweet and Sour Pork

Step 1 

Marinate the pork

  • In a bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy.
  • Add in 1 tablespoon cornstarch, salt, white pepper and baking soda. Mix until well combined.
  • Add in the pork and mix until the pork is coated with the marinade.
  • Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Step 2 

Coat the pork

  • In a separate bowl, mix together all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
  • Dredge the marinated pork in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.

Step 3: 

Fry the pork

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add in the coated pork and fry until golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove the pork from the wok and set aside.

Step 4: 

Make the sauce

  • In the same wok or frying pan, add in the onion and garlic. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add in the red and green bell peppers and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the pineapple chunks and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the ketchup, rice vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add in the cornstarch mixture and stir until the sauce thickens.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5: 


  • Add the crispy pork back into the wok with the sauce.
  • Toss the pork until it is coated with the sweet and sour sauce.
  • Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve hot with rice

Serving Sweet and Sour Pork with Other Dishes 

Sweet and Sour Pork can be served with a variety of dishes. Traditionally, it is served with steamed rice or noodles, such as chow mein or lo mein. It can also be served with fried rice, or alongside some stir-fried vegetables, such as broccoli or bok choy.

If you’re looking for some specific dish recommendations, you could try pairing Sweet and Sour Pork with other classic Chinese dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, or Beef and Broccoli. Another great option is to serve it with some spring rolls or potstickers as an appetiser.

Nutritional/Health Benefits

  1. Protein Source: The pork in the dish provides a protein source necessary for muscle growth, repair, and overall body function.
  2. Vitamins and Minerals: Pork offers essential nutrients such as B vitamins (B6, B12) for energy metabolism, zinc for immune support, and phosphorus for bone health.
  3. Fiber from Vegetables: Some versions of the dish include bell peppers and pineapple, contributing dietary fiber that supports digestion and can help maintain steady blood sugar levels.
  4. Antioxidant-Rich Vegetables: Bell peppers and pineapple offer antioxidants like vitamin C, which supports immune health and helps protect cells from oxidative stress.
  5. Flavorful Sauces: The sweet and sour sauce, typically made with ingredients like vinegar and ketchup, adds flavor without relying heavily on added fats.
  6. Moderate Carbohydrates: The dish includes a balance of carbohydrates from the batter and the sauce, which can provide energy for various bodily functions.
  7. Texture Contrast: The crispy exterior of the pork and the tender vegetables offer a satisfying texture contrast that can enhance the overall eating experience.
  8. Balanced Meal Component: When enjoyed as part of a balanced meal that includes vegetables and possibly whole grains, Sweet and Sour Pork can contribute to a diverse array of nutrients. 
  9. Occasional Indulgence: While the dish may be higher in calories due to frying and the sauce, enjoying it occasionally as a treat can be part of a balanced approach to eating.

Visit Lao Li Da Pai Dang for an authentic zi char experience

The above recipe is just one of the many ways to making this dish. 

If you’re looking to enjoy delicious Sweet and Sour Pork without all the hassle and preparation time, while discovering a unique version that our customers can’t get enough of, then come on down to our restaurant for an enjoyous dine-in or takeaway, and experience it for yourself, only at Lao Li Da Pai Dang!

Whether you’re in the mood for this, or wish to explore other dishes, our extensive zi char menu promises to delight at every turn. At Lao Li Da Pai Dang, the warm and inviting ambience, coupled with attentive service, creates a family-friendly and inclusive atmosphere that only adds to the enjoyment whenever you visit and dine with us. 

Join us for a memorable meal, where affordability meets genuine culinary excellence, promising to satisfy your taste buds and leave you with cherished moments.

Make a reservation today!