How to make Korean Sweet and Sour Pork, 탕수육
There is a dish called "Tangsuyuk (탕수육)." It is a Korean-Chinese style sweet and sour pork dish that is very common in Korea. Although the dish itself is originated from China, the method of making Tangsuyuk has adapted into Korean style and become very popular in Korea. With the other Chinese-oriented dishes like Jjajangmyun, this was one of my childhood favorites to order whenever my family was dining out in a local Korean-Chinese restaurant.
You can make Tangsuyuk with pork, beef or chicken. Some even use tofu to make into more of vegan style. Whichever protein you use, tangsuyuk is delicious and hard to resist not to eat. There are many different ways to make it, but the recipe I am going to give you will be easiest and creates most crisp and chewy result. Yes, tangsuyuk is deep fried dish. That's why it tastes so good.
This particular recipe is called 찹쌀 탕수육 (chapssal tangsuyook), which means it is made with sweet rice flour. The addition of sweet rice flour, aka glutenous rice flour, makes the batter not only crispy but subtly chewy that is so pleasant. It also happens to be a gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free soy sauce in the recipe.
I use pork for this recipe. You can use beef or chicken if you prefer. Slice the pork into thin strips and season with salt, pepper, and a little bit of grated ginger. Toss and set aside.
Dice vegetables into bite size pieces.
Mix all the ingredients of sweet and sour sauce. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine egg white, sweet rice flour, potato starch, pinch salt, and oil. The addition of oil will make the batter to puff up.
Coat the pork pieces with extra sweet rice flour.
Then dump them into the batter and coat them well.
Heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot, about 175˚C, and deep fry them for a couple of minutes.
If you want to get crispier coating, deep fry twice. Set aside.
Place another skillet over high heat, and add a tablespoon of oil which has been used for deep frying the pork, stir-fry vegetable for 30 seconds. Do not wilt the vegetables. You just need to heat through a little bit.
Pour the reserved sweet and sour sauce. Boil until the sauce thickens, about 30-60 seconds.
Add the pork and toss well. Now your Tangsuyuk is ready to serve.
You will want to enjoy this while it is hot.
You will love the crisp yet chewy texture of meat and the crust. The mellow sweet and sour sauce is not overly sweet nor sour. Just right balance in between. With the crisp vegetables, it makes a meal own its own and I thoroughly enjoyed it for my lunch. So good~!
Korean Sweet and Sour Pork
- 3/4 lb pork loin, thinly sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon grated ginger
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 1/2 red & yellow pepper, diced
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 2/3 cup potato starch
- 4 tablespoons sweet rice flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Oil for frying
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
For the Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Korean green plum extract or lemon juice
- 1-1/2 tablespoon potato starch
- Toss pork with ginger, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine all the sweet and sour sauce ingredients and mix well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the beaten egg white with potato starch, 2 tablespoons of sweet rice flour, and 2 tablespoon of oil. Whisk well and set aside.
- Coat the pork with remaining 2 tablespoons of sweet rice four evenly and shake off the excess. Add the pork to the egg white batter mixture and toss gently to coat.
- Heat oil over medium high heat until it reaches about 175˚C. Drop the pork pieces covered with batter and deep fry for 2 minutes, small batches at a time. Drain and transfer the a plate lined with paper towel. When the entire batches are done, Repeat the deep frying again for the second time. This will create crispier coating. Set aside.
- Place another skillet over high heat, add the 1 tablespoon of oil from the deep frying. Stir-fry the vegetables for 60 seconds until they are still crisp yet slightly wilted.
- Pour the reserved sweet and sour sauce (make sure you stir well before you pour into the skillet). Let the sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
- Return the pork and toss well. Serve immediately.
For more Korean-Chinese style dishes, click the image to get the recipes.