This recipe is a cross between orange chicken and Tangsuyuk. Tangsuyuk is Chinese sweet and sour pork (sometimes made with beef) adapted to Korean taste. It’s one of Korea’s most popular “Chinese” food, along with Black noodles (Jajangmyun.) I say “Chinese” in quotation marks because although inspired by Chinese foods, Tangsuyuk and Jajangmyun are Koreanized dishes.
I started by testing orange chicken recipes, but I kept thinking of Tangsuyuk, one of the foods I have missed a lot since moving to the States. The closest place that makes satisfying Tangsuyuk is 45 minutes away from where we live. I’ve always been a big fan of pork (my favorite meat), and if I’m going to the trouble of deep-frying meat at home, I’m cooking pork. I decided to keep the orange sauce because I liked the taste of freshly squeezed orange juice, which really set this dish apart from the take-outs.
Crispy pork is delicious even without the sauce, and my kids love to eat it just like that. (Sometimes with a side of ketchup.) But the sweet and citrusy sauce truly elevates this dish and makes it “homemade” for me. You can’t get this kind of freshness when ordering take-out.
I tested freezing this dish for later, and although we still enjoyed them reheated, I found that the pork lost its crispiness and turned chewy. If possible, I recommend cooking this dish on the day of serving.
Sweet and sour pork
This recipe is a cross between orange chicken and Tangsuyuk.
- 2 lb boneless pork loin chops cut into 1″ wide strips
- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup neutral-tasting oil
- 1 qt cooking oil
- 5 oranges
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 onion coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot cut into 1″ chunks
In a large bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, salt, 2 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup of oil. The batter will be pretty thick.
Add pork strips and mix until the pork is coated with the batter.
In a large wok or a frying pan, heat 1 qt of cooking oil to 350 F. When the pork touches the oil, it should start bubbling around the pork.
Add the pork strips one by one without crowding the wok. You may need to fry them in 3~4 batches. Fry until the outside turns crispy, about 6~8 minutes after the last piece is added.
Line a large plate with parchment paper to absorb excess oil. Place crispy pork and set aside. Don’t discard the oil; we will use it to fry vegetables later.
To make the sauce, grate an orange using a microplane to get 1~2 tsp of zest. Grate lightly and avoid grating into the white part that can have a bitter taste.
Juice the oranges into a measuring cup. If you don’t have enough juice to make 1 1/2 cups, fill the remainder with water to make 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
In a saucepan, add orange zest, juice, rice wine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, cornstarch, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Whisk until cornstarch is dissolved.
Turn on the heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook while occasionally stirring until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
Meanwhile, fry onion and carrot for 1~2 minutes. Add to the sauce.
Pour sweet and sour sauce over crispy pork and enjoy.
To store for later, freeze crispy pork and sauce separately for up to 3 months. Pork can lose its crispiness when reheated.