Sweet and Sour Pork (Gu Lao Rou)

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Ready In: 45 mins
Serves: 2
Photo: Sweet and Sour Pork (Gu Lao Rou)

Sweet and Sour Pork, or 咕咾肉, hails originally from Guangdong province. There are different versions of this dish, but the most common ingredients are pork tenderloin, pineapple and bell pepper. As might be guessed, this dish combines sweet and sour flavours with a hard to resist morsels of deep-fried pork.


Main ingredients

  • 500 g pork tenderloin
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 chunks of canned pineapple (juice reserved)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 500 ml vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 100 g + 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp cold water


  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 4 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Cut pork into 3x1 cm strips. Place the meat in a medium size bowl, add egg white, salt, white pepper power and minced ginger. Using hands toss well to combine everything together, marinade for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat a dry wok on medium heat. When hot, place sesame seeds in wok and toast. Be careful they don't catch and burn. Once toasted, set aside.
  3. Chop green and red bell peppers into small pieces, cut pineapple into 2 cm cubes.
  4. Heat 500 ml oil in a heavy pot or deep wok until oil reaches 180°C.
  5. Add 100 g cornstarch to the marinading meat, toss well, shake off the extra cornstarch before deep frying.
  6. Deep fry meat until edges are golden (~4-6 minutes). Work in batches, don't over crowd the pot. Place on paper towel or wire basket to drain excess oil.
  7. Place 1 tbsp of the frying oil in a separate frying pan or wok. Heat oil on medium-high heat, when hot add chopped bell peppers and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
  8. Add pineapple cubes and sauce mixture to the wok, mix well, and let the sauce simmer for 1 minute.
  9. In a small bowl whisk 1 tbsp cold water with 1 tbsp cornstarch until smooth; add into the simmering mixture and cook stirring until bubbing and thickened. Add the pork into the wok, gently stir until everything is well-coated.
  10. Place the sweet and sour pork on a serving plate, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over dish and serve immediately.


  • Adjust the ratio of sugar and vinegar for your own tastes.

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