Sweet-and-Sour Pork

Sweet-and-Sour Pork

A Recipe from Southern Living 1981 Annual Recipes (1981)

About the Recipe

I love Chinese food. My husband also loves Chinese food. Over the years we’ve both made our own copycat recipes for various things – stir fry, fried rice, egg drop soup. Absolutely nothing that we tried before tasted like it does fresh out of the cardboard box. Until now.

I’ll admit from the get-go that this is a little bit more tricky than the usual recipes that I highlight, but it’s well worth the effort. It tastes just like fresh from the hole-in-the-wall sweet and sour pork. Yum!

This is definitely a recipe that you can play with a little bit. I used red and yellow peppers, because that’s what I had in the house. I also added some mushrooms and onions to give us a little bit more from a nutrients perspective. Other great veggie additions would include snow peas, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, carrots, the list goes on! I plan on trying it again cutting down the sugar and using pineapple and pineapple juice. We even discussed using some mango when it comes in season again.

About the Book

Usually I put the breaks on when I see a book from the 1980’s. The ’80’s were a strange time in culinary history – lots of low-sugar / low-fat / low-taste things going on. But this one looked interesting, and it came from my cousin so I thought I’d give it at least one try.

The book is divided into months with appropriate recipes in each month. Obviously I decided to do one of the February recipes, and I have to say that it tasted even better as the Nor’easter whipped snow around our house. We also get some Mardi Gras / New Orleans inspired dishes (okra and “French Quarter” green beans), though I’m positive that my NOLA friends would giggle at the ingredients. And of course, plenty of chocolate desserts for Valentine’s Day.

I think I’ll pull this out again come March…

The Recipe!


2 T peanut oil
1 1/4 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 t garlic salt
1/8 t pepper
1 3/4 cups water
2 medium-size green peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
2 T cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cups hot cooked rice


Pour oil around top of preheated wok, coating sides; allow to heat at medium high for 2 minutes. Add pork, and stir-fry about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic salt, pepper, and water. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 25 minutes or until pork is very tender.

Add green pepper; cook, uncovered about 4 minutes. Stir in raisins, sugar, and vinegar. Dissolve cornstarch in soy sauce, and add to pork mixture. Cook stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Note: I used yellow and red peppers, and added onions and mushrooms. There’s plenty of sauce, so feel free to load this up with veggies!

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