The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North
Chipotle Mango Sweet and Sour Pork Extracted from Kung Food by Jon Kung (Ebury Press, £27). Photography by Johnny Miller.
November 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes

Not sure if you know this, but there is no actual pineapple in the sauce for sweet-and-sour pork

It's sweetened with sugar and made sour by vinegar, then the pineapple is added afterwards. I'm not changing that part, but I am replacing the pineapple with mango and adding chipotle to the sauce because I enjoy smoky flavours (mezcal is my favourite spirit to make cocktails with and has been since I was 20) and when you think of a sweet counterbalance to chipotle, you think of mango. But the main reason for me to make this dish at all was that my niece, Xing, asked me to make sweet-and-sour pork and I said I would.
  • Pork and marinade
  • 675g pork fillet, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Sauce
  • 250ml distilled malt vinegar, plus more (optional) as needed
  • 140g ketchup
  • 100g sugar, plus more (optional) as needed
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 2 chipotle peppers (from a can of chipotles in adobo), mashed to a purée with a fork
  • Frying
  • Neutral oil
  • 60g plain flour
  • 80g tapioca starch or farina potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 medium eggs
  • To finish
  • 1 ripe mango, stoned, peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp Tajin seasoning
  • 1tbsp natural oil
  • 1 red or yellow pepper (or 1/2 of each colour) chopped
  • Steamed rice, for serving

Marinate the pork: in a large bowl, combine pork, garlic powder, onion powder, sesame oil and light soy sauce with clean hands. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 24 hours.

Make the sauce: in a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, ketchup, sugar, ginger, star anise and chipotles and cook over a medium heat, stirring often, until the sauce becomes thick and syrupy but is still pourable, about 30 minutes. Just the flavours with additional vinegar or sugar, if desired. (The sauce can be cooled and stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to one week).

Fry the pork: fill a wok or casserole with oil to a depth of at least 7.5cm and heat the oil over a medium-high heat to 180C. Have a wire rack or a kitchen paper-lined baking sheet nearby.

In a medium bowl, mix the four, tapioca starch, slat and white pepper. Lightly beat the eggs in another medium bowl and set it next to the flour mixture.

Working in batches, use chopsticks to toss a few of the pork pieces in the egg, allowing any excess to drip off, then coat in the flour mixture and add to the hot oil. Adjust the hear to maintain a temperature of 180–190C and fry until very light golden brown, two to three minutes (the pork won’t be completely cooked through). Use chopsticks or tongs to transfer to the rack or kitchen paper to drain and repeat with the remaining pork.

When all the pork is cooked, return the first batch of partially cooked pork to the oil and cook for two to three minutes until it becomes deeper golden brown and is fully cooked through (cut into a piece to make sure). Transfer the fully cooked pork back to the rack or kitchen paper to drain and repeat with the remaining parcooked pork.

Finish the dish: in a small bowl, toss the mango with the Tajin and set aside. In a wok or very large sauté pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and red or yellow pepper and stir-fry until they start to char, three to five minutes. Add half the sauce and let it bubble to a thick glaze consistency. Just before serving, add the fried pork and mango, adding additional sauce if necessary to lightly coat the pork. Serve with rice.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.