The flavour of sweet and sour originates from Wuxi in the Zhejiang province in China - it is most known for its sweet and sour soy sticky ribs. They are traditionally braised in stock for an hour and then the sauce is added and thickened. However, in true modern style, I love marinating pork fillet slices in homemade sweet and sour sauce, then wok-fried to perfection (until sticky) and stuffed in griddled seeded buns with caramelized red onions and plenty of salad leaves which in my opinion is the ultimate party food - for children, football matches or BBQ's!
Recipe courtesy of Ching-He Huang
1 hr
30 min


Pork Marinade
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons yellow bean sauce*
  • 2 pounds pork fillet ( loin), sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (recommended: Chinkiang) or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly cracked white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil ( peanut)
Caramelized Red Onions
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil (peanut)
  • 3 red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon black rice vinegar (recommended: Chinkiang) or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Groundnut oil (peanut), for service
  • 8 large sesame seed buns, for service
  • Green and red Lollo salad leaves, washed and torn into small pieces, for service
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced, optional, for service


To make the marinade and sauce: In a large bowl, combine the garlic, yellow bean sauce, pork fillet and Shaohsing rice wine with the Sweet and Sour Sauce ingredients except for the groundnut oil. Marinate the pork for as long as possible.

Before cooking, strain and slice the pork fillet. Retain the marinade.

Heat a wok over high heat and add the 2 tablespoons groundnut oil. Add the sliced pork and stir-fry until browned for about 3 to 4 minutes. Lastly, pour in the marinade and reduce the heat. Cook so the sauce achieves a sticky consistency, a further 2 to 3 minutes.

To make the onions: Heat a small wok or pan, add the groundnut oil and stir-fry the red onions until translucent and softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Then, add the black rice vinegar, and brown sugar, and caramelize for another minute.

For service: Heat a griddle pan, add some groundnut oil, and place the sliced seeded buns, cut side down, and grill until browned slightly. Stuff the buns with some of the salad leaves, some of the sticky pork slices, caramelized onions, and sliced red tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Cook's Note

*Can be found at specialty Asian markets.


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