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Sweet-and-Sour Stir-Fried Pork with Pineapple

4 Servings

30 minutes

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Sweet-and-sour pork with pineapple is a Cantonese classic called gu lao rou. The American takeout version of the dish typically is a greasy, gloppy affair that downplays the pork, pineapple and vegetables in favor of a cloying, candy-like sauce. Our riff skips the deep-frying of the meat, moderates the sugariness and ratchets up the flavor of fresh ginger and chilies. The result is a stir-fry that’s lighter, brighter and fresher but maintains that irresistible sweet-sour profile. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.




Don’t use canned pineapple, as its flavor is dull compared to fresh. But if prepping a whole pineapple is too much work, look for ones sold already cleaned in the produce section of the supermarket. Also, don’t use a conventional (i.e., not nonstick) skillet. Without a nonstick coating, the sugars from the pineapple and sauce are likely to stick to the pan’s surface and scorch.

30 minutes


  • pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 2-inch-wide strips, and thinly sliced

  • 3

    tablespoons soy sauce, divided, plus more if needed


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Bernie W.
April 12, 2023
So much better than our childhood takeout
I definitely was very generous with the ginger, and as another reviewer suggested, freezed the pork a bit to aide in slicing. Stayed true to the recipe but made sure an add a bit of the pineapple juice. I would experiment with a more flavorful vinegar like Chinkiang vinegar or a bit of basalmic. I our case 2 serranos were just right in terms of a layer of heat.
Andrea S.
July 12, 2022
I substituted chicken for the pork just as a preference and it was delicious! It came together quickly and easily, and was a hit with my family; I've already had requests to make it again!
Jonathan M.
June 27, 2023
Good recipe, but it takes much longer than 30 minutes
This is a good recipe. I made it exactly as written. However, the only way this takes 30 minutes is if you have an intern doing all your prep. Once the intern has everything ready though, it's very tasty.
Carla K.
July 8, 2022
Sub more peppers, pineapple for pork
Easy and good. I added a whole green pepper and 1/2 cup pineapple. Add 50% more sauce. You could reduce pork and use more veggies.
Maureen C.
March 24, 2024
Easy and versatile
Turned out great using pork tenderloin. I doubled bell pepper, added onions, water chestnuts and green beans. I suggest using 2 lbs of meat.
Michael F.

Another great recipe. I prepared it as written. I would recommend putting the pork in the freezer for 20-30 minutes prior to slicing in order to get the thin slices. This technique is mentioned in other recipes in the book. My family loved it.