Healthy Food

Air Fryer Candy and Bitter Pork

Thanks to the Nationwide Pork Board for sponsoring this publish!

Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Pork

I’ve many fond reminiscences of consuming candy and bitter pork with my household after I was rising up. It was one thing that Mama Lin purchased usually from Chinese language BBQ outlets (燒臘舖) for dinner. All of us beloved the candy and tangy flavors of the pork, however nobody beloved it greater than my grandmother! She was a petite Chinese language girl who didn’t at all times have an enormous urge for food. Nonetheless, at any time when there was candy and bitter pork on the desk, we’d see her extending her chopsticks throughout the dinner desk to achieve for piece after piece of juicy pork.

Candy and bitter pork (甜酸肉, often known as 咕嚕肉 or 咕咾肉) is a basic a part of Cantonese delicacies. Usually, items of pork are battered and deep fried so as to add texture to the outside of the meat. The added texture additionally helps the candy and bitter sauce cling onto the meat. I do know many individuals don’t wish to deep fry meals at dwelling for dinner as a result of it’s an excessive amount of problem. That’s why I wished to experiment with a weeknight-friendly cooking methodology that makes use of the air fryer as an alternative. 

Air Fried Sweet and Sour Pork in a bowl

I’m excited to companion with the Nationwide Pork Board to deliver you this air fryer candy and bitter pork recipe! Pork is featured prominently in southern Chinese language delicacies, and I’ve partnered with the Nationwide Pork Board up to now to develop these recipes: cha siu (叉燒/叉烧, or Chinese language BBQ Pork in English) and Mama Lin’s Candy and Bitter Ribs. This air fryer candy and bitter pork is one other dish that you simply’ll wish to add to your weeknight rotation. As we slip again into routines this fall, household time across the dinner desk is as necessary as ever. This pork dish can deliver the household collectively and means that you can join after busy days and make reminiscences collectively. I’ve made it for dinner fairly a couple of occasions, and my husband couldn’t cease consuming it!

Though I haven’t ready the dish for my household but, I do know they’ll like it. My mother and sister love serving pork dishes throughout our household dinners. Plus, my household is extra well being aware these days and would reasonably not eat deep fried meals frequently. My air fryer candy and bitter pork ticks each bins. It’s simple to make, and I do know your loved ones will like it too!

HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER SWEET AND SOUR PORK

Pork Shoulder

PREPARE THE PORK

For this recipe, I like to recommend utilizing pork shoulder. You need the pork to have some fats in it in order that the meat doesn’t dry out within the air fryer. Pork shoulder is an ideal reduce as a result of it’s not too lean and never overly fatty.

Pork Pieces

You’ll want a pound of pork shoulder (with out bones). Trim off any thick layers of fats alongside the edges of the piece of pork shoulder. Then, reduce the pork into small items, about 1 inch by 1 inch. You don’t need the items of pork to be thicker than 3/4 inch although. In any other case, it would throw off the cooking time. Switch the pork items to a mixing bowl.

Marinated Pork

MARINATE THE PORK

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder) to the bowl with the pork items. Combine the seasonings and the meat collectively for a minute. Set the meat apart whilst you begin making ready the sauce.

Sweet and Sour Pork Sauce Ingredients

PREPARE THE SAUCE

For the sauce, combine collectively 5 tablespoons ketchup, 3 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (sambal ulek), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika for flavoring. I like how sambal oelek provides spiciness and tangy taste to the dish. If you happen to don’t have any sambal oelek round, you possibly can omit it from the recipe. I additionally like including some paprika to the sauce to present it extra depth of taste. (Facet observe, paprika additionally works very effectively in my cha siu recipe by giving the pork a pure crimson colour.)

Begin including 2/3 cup of water into the flavoring elements for the sauce, ensuring to order 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Combine the remaining water with the cornstarch.

Conventional breadcrumbs and panko

USING PANKO

As I discussed above, you normally fry items of pork to make candy and bitter pork. The most important problem I confronted whereas growing this recipe was determining simulate the feel of twice-fried pork. After many rounds of experimentation, I found that protecting pork items with panko-style breadcrumbs earlier than air frying yielded the most effective outcomes. 

Throughout my first a number of take a look at batches, I dredged the meat with both flour or cornstarch as a result of that’s usually what you’d do earlier than deep frying meat. Nonetheless, I discovered the feel of the air fried pork a bit gritty, particularly after I toss the meat with the sauce.

After the experiment with flour and cornstarch, I switched to breadcrumbs. I began out utilizing the powdery breadcrumbs that you simply see within the photograph above, left. The feel of the meat improved however I felt like there was nonetheless a hint of gritty texture. 

On a whim, I used panko (photograph above, proper) to bread the pork. My goodness, what a distinction the panko made! It provides texture to the outside of the air-fried pork with none grittiness. Even after you toss the pork with the sauce, the panko absorbs the sauce, however there’s nonetheless a noticeable texture that continues to be on the meat. I also needs to observe that the pork items gained’t be crunchy after they’re coated in sauce, nevertheless it’s not one thing that I minded.

Breaded Pork (pork covered in panko)

COVER PORK WITH BREADCRUMBS 

Combine 2 tablespoons of whisked egg to the marinated pork. This may assist the panko breadcrumbs keep on with the outside of the pork items.

Unfold half of the panko over a plate. I wish to maintain the opposite half of the panko on the aspect and sprinkle them over the pork steadily. Use a fork to put a number of items of pork over the breadcrumbs on the plate. 

Breading pork pieces with panko

Sprinkle panko over the pork and transfer the pork items round in order that they’re utterly coated in panko. Switch the breaded items of pork to a different plate. Proceed breading the remaining items of meat.

Breaded pork in air fryer basket

AIR FRY PORK 

Preheat the air fryer (my air fryer robotically preheats the machine to 400ºF in 5 minutes). Fastidiously switch a batch of the breaded pork to the air fryer basket. Make sure that the pork items don’t overlap one another. 

Cook dinner the pork at 380ºF for 3 minutes. Then, take out the pork, flip the items over and prepare dinner once more for one more 2 minutes. Flipping the pork ensures that the panko browns evenly. Throughout my take a look at batches, I left the pork within the air fryer for 4 to five minutes, pondering that I’d eradicate the trouble of flipping over all of the items of pork. Nonetheless, the panko on many items got here out very brown and even burned in some cases.

Utilizing a thermometer, verify the inner temperature of the pork. In Chinese language cooking, you sometimes need meat to be effectively accomplished. For a reduce like pork shoulder, search for a temperature of 160ºF or extra for the optimum consuming expertise. The Nationwide Pork Board has a nice information on pork cooking temperatures.

Air fried pork

Switch the cooked meat to a clear plate and proceed cooking the remaining meat. By the best way, these air fried pork items style so good on their very own too! The marinade seasons the pork very effectively and the panko makes the pork crispy on the surface. This may be one thing to contemplate if you wish to attempt one thing completely different subsequent time!

Diced onions and diced green bell pepper

STIR FRY VEGETABLES

Candy and bitter pork is commonly served with diced greens. For this recipe, I diced 1/4 of a giant yellow onion and diced 1/2 giant inexperienced bell pepper. In a wok (or a big sauté pan), warmth some oil over excessive warmth. Add the onions and prepare dinner them for 1 to 2 minutes. Then, add the inexperienced bell peppers and prepare dinner them for a minute extra. Switch the calmly cooked greens to a bowl and put aside.

MAKE SAUCE & FINISH DISH

Warmth the wok over excessive warmth. Fastidiously pour the sauce elements within the bowl (apart from the cornstarch slurry) and let the sauce prepare dinner for 30 seconds. Then, give the cornstarch slurry a stir as a result of the cornstarch probably settled to the underside. Add the cornstarch slurry to the wok and blend every little thing collectively. Let the sauce bubble and thicken for two to three minutes. 

Use a spatula and run it alongside the perimeters of the wok steadily as a result of the cornstarch tends to gather alongside the perimeters of the simmering liquid. Flip off the warmth and blend within the cooked pork, greens, and a handful of pineapple chunks. Stir to coat every little thing with the candy and bitter sauce.
Switch the candy and bitter pork to a serving bowl. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Serve the candy and bitter pork with jasmine rice and any greens, like my garlic inexperienced beans or smashed cucumber salad!

Air fryer sweet and sour pork

MORE PORK RECIPES

Air Fryer Sweet an Sour Pork


PRINT

Servings: 4

Air Fryer Candy and Bitter Pork

This air fryer candy and bitter pork recipe is a lightened up model of a basic Chinese language dish. As a substitute of deep frying pork items, you cowl them with panko breadcrumbs after which air fry the pork. Lastly, toss the pork items with a mouthwatering candy and bitter sauce. 

Prep Time30 minutes

Cook dinner Time20 minutes

Components

Pork

  • 16 ounces pork shoulder (with out bones)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, use tamari if gluten free
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons whisked egg, (see observe 1)
  • 3/4 cup panko (breadcrumbs), add extra if obligatory (see observe 2)

Sauce

  • 5 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, (see observe 3)
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek, (see observe 4)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Add Ins

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, any neutral-flavored oil works
  • 1/2 giant inexperienced bell pepper, diced (about 100g)
  • 1/4 giant yellow onion, diced (about 2/3 cup or 80g)
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, about 4 to 4.5 ounces (see observe 5)
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Directions

Put together the Pork

  • Trim off any thick layers of fats alongside the edges of the piece of pork shoulder. Then, reduce the pork into small items, about 1 inch by 1 inch. You don’t need the items of pork to be too thick. In any other case, it would throw off the cooking time, and the items of pork will probably be harder to eat. I attempt to ensure they’re not more than 3/4-inch thick. Switch the pork items to a bowl.

Marinate the Pork

  • Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder) to the bowl with the pork. Combine the seasonings and the meat collectively for a minute. Set the meat apart whilst you put together the sauce.

Make the Sauce

  • In a bowl, add the ketchup, honey, rice vinegar, sambal oelek, salt, and paprika. Add a lot of the water, reserving about 1 or 2 tablespoons of water apart. Combine the sauce elements contained in the bowl. Then, combine the remaining water with the cornstarch. Cornstarch settles to the underside over time, so that you’ll must stir the cornstarch slurry once more later. Set the elements for the sauce apart.

Cowl Pork with Breadcrumbs

  • Combine 2 tablespoons of whisked egg to the marinated pork. This may assist the panko keep on with the outside of the meat items.

  • Unfold half of the panko breadcrumbs over a plate. I wish to maintain the opposite half of the panko on the aspect and sprinkle them over the pork steadily. Use a fork to put a number of items of pork over the breadcrumbs on the plate. Sprinkle panko over the pork and transfer the items round in order that they’re utterly coated in panko. Switch the breaded items of pork to a different plate. Proceed breading the remaining items of meat.

Air Fry Pork

  • Preheat the air fryer (my air fryer robotically preheats the machine to 400ºF in 5 minutes). Fastidiously switch a batch of the breaded pork to the air fryer basket, ensuring that the pork items don’t overlap.

  • Cook dinner the pork at 380ºF for 3 minutes. Then, take out the pork, flip the items over and prepare dinner once more for one more 2 minutes. Flipping the pork ensures that the panko browns evenly.

  • Utilizing a thermometer, verify the inner temperature of the pork. It needs to be someplace round 160ºF since we’re working with pork shoulder.

Stir Fry Greens

  • In a wok (or a big sauté pan), warmth the oil over excessive warmth. Add the diced onions and prepare dinner them for 1 to 2 minutes. Then, add the diced inexperienced bell peppers and prepare dinner them for a minute extra. Switch the calmly cooked greens to a bowl and put aside.

Cook dinner Sauce

  • Warmth the wok over excessive warmth. Fastidiously pour the sauce elements within the bowl (apart from the cornstarch slurry) and let the sauce prepare dinner for 30 seconds. Then, give the cornstarch slurry a stir as a result of the cornstarch probably settled to the underside. Add the cornstarch slurry to the wok and blend every little thing collectively. Let the sauce bubble and thicken for two to three minutes.

  • Use a spatula and run it alongside the perimeters of the wok steadily as a result of the cornstarch tends to gather alongside the perimeters of the simmering liquid. Flip off the warmth and blend within the cooked pork, greens, and a handful of pineapple chunks. Stir to coat every little thing with the candy and bitter sauce.

  • Switch the candy and bitter pork to a serving bowl. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Serve the candy and bitter pork with jasmine rice and any greens, like my garlic inexperienced beans or smashed cucumber salad!

Notes

  1. I’m certain lots of you’re questioning what to do with the leftover egg. Cook dinner it alongside together with your morning oatmeal, or use it to make my egg fried rice!
  2. If it’s not simple so that you can discover panko breadcrumbs, attempt to discover one other sort of textured breadcrumbs. In case you are gluten free, there needs to be gluten-free breadcrumbs out there in supermarkets!
  3. If you happen to don’t have rice vinegar, you need to use white distilled vinegar. Apple cider vinegar may work right here too.
  4. I do know sambal oelek (sambal ulek) isn’t an ingredient you’d usually see in a Chinese language recipe, however I just like the spice and tangy flavors of the sauce. You’ll be able to depart it out when you should not have any available. If you happen to like spicy meals, you possibly can add a bit extra sambal oelek.
  5. I used recent pineapple as a result of they’ve extra taste. You too can use canned pineapple chunks when you don’t have recent pineapple available.

Vitamin

Serving: 1serving | Energy: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.3g | Protein: 28.6g | Fats: 11.2g | Saturated Fats: 2.4g | Ldl cholesterol: 91.3mg | Sodium: 999mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 24.8g

Did you make this recipe?Tag @hellolisalin or depart a star score and touch upon the weblog!

© Lisa Lin



Related Articles

Back to top button