Mar 15, 2021

No-Fry Sweet and Sour Pork (No Pineapple Too)

Don't get me wrong, I still believe that deep-fried works best for sweet and sour pork. Nothing compares to the thick crunchy bite coming from a deep-fried way of cooking. However, it's not like we always want to use up a wok full of oil just for a dish or two. Air-frying can be one alternative, but I'm more of a deep-fry or sear type of person. If I have to sacrifice a little in exchange for less hassle and perhaps healthier food, I would opt for the old searing method.

No-fry sweet and sour pork (no pineapple too) -


  • 340 grams pork belly
  • 1 medium small green bell pepper
  • 1 medium small red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or other preferred cooking oil
  • Some salt
  • Some toasted white sesame seeds


Cut the pork belly into large bite size chunks. Use about 1 teaspoon of salt to massage the meat then evenly coated with about 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Let it rest in room temperature for about 10 minutes.

Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem and remove the seeds from both the green and red bell peppers. Cut these bell peppers into smaller pieces.

Take a non-stick pan, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of oil and turn to medium high heat. Once the oil warms up, add in the pork and sear till both sides turn slightly colored. Once ready, remove from heat and set aside for later use.

Continue to use the same pan, wipe off excess oil with a kitchen towel. Only leave enough oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.

Add in garlic and turn to medium high heat. Let it sear for about 30 seconds, make sure not to burn these garlic bits. Add in both chopped bell peppers and give them a quick stir, cook for another minute or two.

Add in 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, and 3 teaspoons of sugar. Mix and cook till the consistency appears to be slightly sticky.

Transfer the pork back to the mixture. Give it a quick stir till every piece of meat has been coated with the sauce. Sprinkle some toasted white sesame seeds over and mix till evenly spread out. Plate and sprinkle some more toasted white sesame seeds on top for that white color pop.

Some people also add pineapple to sweet and sour pork, not for me. I'm still not a big fan of incorporating actual fruit chunks to my more so savory dishes. Small amount as a garnish is fine, but not like fuller bite of fruit there. But if you'd like, a handful of pineapple pieces can enhance that sweet and sour taste with a fruity vibe. 

Well, I guess I do like the taste after adding pineapple, but for the flavors only, not the actual fruit part. I've always try to finish up pineapple pieces first then fully indulge the rest of the sweet and sour pork from the past, like when I get such dish from a Chinese takeout.

Also as you can see, this is my second best option to prep up sweet and sour pork. Used way much less oil compared to deep-fried version. Even though the seared pork might not be as full and crunchy, but there's still a nice thin crust on the edges. I can live with that especially less cleaning work to worry about in the end.

Other recipes using ketchup:

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