Sweet and sour pork stir-fry ready in minutes

This simple sweet and sour pork is packed with flavor.
This simple sweet and sour pork is packed with flavor. Tribune News Service

With the start of the Chinese New Year soon, here’s a simple version of a Chinese stir-fry dish that has great flavor and can be made in minutes. The sweet and sour sauce is light so it gently coats the pork and vegetables, blending the flavors together, but not masking the taste of each ingredient.

The secret to wok cooking is to achieve a crunchy texture while making sure the food is cooked through. Make sure your wok or skillet is very hot before adding the ingredients. The oil should be smoking. Then add the ingredients and let them sit, without tossing for at least a minute. This allows the pan to regain its heat after adding the cold food.

The Chinese way of making white rice is to let it mature in the pot after cooking. Adding the scallions first allows them to warm through without losing their color or flavor. If pressed for time, use a quick-cooking rice and toss with the scallions.

Sweet and sour pork

Serves 2


1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3/4 pound pork tenderloin cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium green bell pepper cut into 1-inch cubes (1 cup)

1 cup fresh pineapple cubes

1 medium tomato, cut into eighths


Mix vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch together and set aside. Heat oil in a wok or nonstick skillet. Add pork and stir-fry 3 minutes. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper to taste. Add green pepper and toss for 2 minutes. Add pineapple, tomato and sauce and stir-fry 2 minutes. Serve over rice.

Per serving: 372 calories (26 % from fat), 11 g fat (2 g sat., 4.1 g mono.), 108 mg chol., 38.6 g protein, 28 g carb., 3 g fiber, 613 mg sodium.

Chinese rice and scallions

Serves 2


1/2 cup white long-grain rice

3/4 cup cold water

4 scallions, sliced (about 3/4 cup)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place rice in a large sauce pan, add water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium-high and continue to simmer 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir. If rice is still very moist, simmer uncovered until water is absorbed. Remove from heat. Add scallions, oil and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let stand 10 minutes while you prepare the pork.

Per serving: 221 calories (20 % from fat), 5 g fat (1 g sat., 1.9 g mono.), no chol., 4.0 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 8 mg sodium.