Sweet and Sour Pork

If you find pork tenderloin on sale, this is an inexpensive but tasty and healthy meal. It’s super speedy to make too so you’ll probably take more time prepping ingredients than actually cooking. You can customize the vegetables according to the season or your taste and you can also use leftover pork roast so it’s very versatile.

Start by toasting the sesame seeds in a dry pan. Use the same pan you’re going to make the Sweet and Sour Pork in. Toasting seeds helps bring out the flavour and gives them a warm colour. Spread them in the pan over medium heat and watch carefully until they start getting a golden colour. Shake the pan occasionally. Scrape them into a dish and use for garnish.

toasted sesame seeds

Blanching the broccoli in advance helps keep it nice and green. Just break the head into bite sized florets, toss them into boiling water for about 1 minute then drain and rinse with cold water. You can stir fry them with the rest of the vegetables if you like, they just won’t have the vibrant green colour.

Remember, you eat with all your senses including your eyes so this extra step is worth it.

sweet and sour pork

Peel the broccoli stems and slice them for the stir fry.

Slice red pepper, carrots, onion and mushrooms. You can use any coloured peppers, the more colour the better! Try to keep the vegetables to bite sized pieces and similar sizes. Finely mince garlic and ginger.

Pro tip: Slice the carrots on a sharp angle at the narrow end and less of an angle at the thicker end so they’re relatively the same size. That way they cook at the same rate.

Next, make up the sauce. Drain the pineapple juice into a large measuring cup and stir in lemon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch. You can also use regular vinegar, it just has a slightly more acidic level. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, add a bit of sriracha sauce.

You can use fresh or canned pineapple, however in this case the canned pineapple works well because you get lots of juice which is the main ingredient in the sauce. And there just happens to be the right amount of pineapple chunks for 4 servings. If you do use fresh, you can add orange juice to the pineapple juice to make up the right amount.

If you’re using raw pork tenderloin, chop the pork into cubes, about 1 inch square. Season with salt and pepper. Sear in a hot pan with sesame oil until browning. If your pan isn’t very wide, cook the meat in batches, otherwise the meat will be too crowded and will steam instead of browning. That’s where the flavour begins.

sweet and sour pork

Sesame oil has a strong flavour so you don’t want to use more than a teaspoon. You can use olive or vegetable oil if you don’t have sesame oil.

Remove the pork to a plate. Add a bit more oil if necessary and stir fry the vegetables, garlic and ginger for about 5 minutes or until the carrots are starting to soften.

sweet and sour pork

Add the pork and pineapple chunks, stir fry for another minute or 2, then pour the sauce over and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It may seem there’s a lot of sauce but it thickens and reduces.

If you’re using leftover cooked pork loin, add the pork with the pineapple.

Add the broccoli at the end and stir just to allow it to heat back up.

sweet and sour pork

Serve over hot cooked rice. You can make the rice in advance and heat it up quickly in the microwave.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and minced green onion.

sweet and sour pork

If you like something that isn’t quite as sweet you’ll love Beef Vegetable Stir Fry that has a nice umami sauce that tastes like the restaurant version of Beef with Broccoli.

Here’s the recipe:

sweet and sour pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

Ingredients

1 lb pork tenderloin or 1 lb cooked pork loin (about ½ kg)
1 head broccoli
½ red pepper (or more)
2 carrots
½ small red onion
6 large mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 can pineapple chunks, drained (398 ml can) or 1½ cups fresh chunks

Sauce

1 cup pineapple juice or orange juice or combination of both
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish

1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
Minced green onions

Method

Toast sesame seeds in a dry hot pan.

Cut broccoli into bite sized pieces. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, drain and cool in cold water. Peel and slice stems.
Drain juice from pineapple into measuring cup. Add orange juice if necessary to make 1 cup of juice. Add lemon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and corn starch. And sriracha if desired.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cut pork tenderloin into bite sized pieces. Sear in sesame oil in hot pan until browned. Cook in batches if necessary to prevent steaming.
Remove to plate.
Slice peppers, carrots, mushrooms and onions. Mince garlic and ginger. Add more sesame oil if needed and add vegetables (except broccoli) Sauté until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add pork and pineapple and continue to stir fry about 2 minutes. Add sauce and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Stir broccoli to heat through.

Serve over hot rice.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and minced green onion.

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