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Sweet & sour pork recipe by a Michelin-Star Chef

Chef Andrew Wong of the Michelin-starred London restaurant A Wong gives an innovative spin to much-loved pork dish

Homestyle sweet and sour pork. (Photo: iStockphoto)
Homestyle sweet and sour pork. (Photo: iStockphoto)

You might go for the £108 ( 10,500 approx) Taste of China menu, which explores diverse regional cuisines. Or the lunchtime dim sum menu, which reinterprets traditional dishes such as Shanghai dumplings, where he injects the usual vinegar dip into the dumpling.

What you probably wouldn’t go for is sweet-and-sour pork, a dish that is often mocked as being inauthentic and definitely not for aficionados. Andrew disagrees and also has sweet-and-sour chicken on his a la carte menu.

“Sweet-and-sour has picked up a bad reputation but it is one of the dishes that has made our cuisine so famous,” he says. “The flavor combination of pork with a really tangy sauce isn’t something new for a Western palate. What is relatively new is the red color, which comes from ketchup. Historically, the dishes in China are made with caramelized sugar or black vinegar, so they are dark in color.”

I found this recipe straightforward, though I was surprised (and double-checked) the large quantity of vinegar, and I unilaterally cut the amount of sugar by 20%. It still tasted great. I served the dish with egg-fried rice out of a packet, though I didn’t mention this to Andrew. I am guessing the recipe serves four.


300 grams (10.6 ounces) of pork neck cut into bite size pieces. (I substituted pork fillet.)

1 egg, beaten

3 tablespoons of cornflour

150 milliliters (5.1 fluid ounces) of white wine vinegar

100g sugar

35ml tomato ketchup

5 drops of lemon juice

15ml Worcestershire sauce

1 red pepper (cut into diamond shapes)

1 green pepper (ditto)

1 shallot cut in half and the shells separated

3 slices of pineapple cut into bite-sized segments

2 tablespoons of crispy chili oil (ordinary chili oil works as a substitute)

Vegetable oil for frying

Pinch of salt

For the marinade:

7g light soy sauce

6g potato starch (cornflour works as a substitute)

4g Chinese wine

2g baking soda

10g water


1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, then add the pork and mix thoroughly until all the liquid is absorbed. Leave overnight.

2. Dip the pork in the beaten egg, roll in cornflour and then deep fry until crisp (about three minutes).

3. Heat the vinegar, sugar, tomato ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and salt until the sauce just coats the back of a spoon and set aside.

4. Heat a wok and stir fry the red and green peppers and shallot. (Two minutes is plenty in a hot wok.)

5. Add the sauce.

6. Add the pork and pineapple and mix to coat the pork with the sauce.

7. Place on a plate and dot the crispy chili oil over each piece before serving.

This story first appeared on and has been lightly edited for style. Richard Vines is Chief Food Critic at Bloomberg.

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