The Great Australian Cookbook

Make this beloved Chinese dish at home with this moreish recipe by Lee Ho Fook owners, Victor and Evelyn Liong.


  • Sweet and sour sauce

  • 2 medium brown onions, sliced

  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 2 long red chillies, roughly chopped, including seeds

  • 100g pineapple core, sliced

  • 125g strawberries, topped and halved

  • 80ml vegetable oil for cooking

  • 500ml chicken stock (infused with spring onion tops and a few slices of ginger)

  • 120ml white vinegar

  • 25ml Japanese soy sauce

  • 130g sugar

  • 40ml Shaoxing rice wine

  • 120ml tomato sauce

  • Pork

  • 300g organic pork neck, cut into 1½ cm cubes

  • Oil for deep-frying

  • Marinade

  • 2 big pinches salt

  • 1 big pinch of sugar

  • 15g chicken stock powder

  • 40ml Shaoxing rice wine

  • 25ml Japanese soy sauce

  • 1 tsp five-spice powder

  • 1 clove garlic, micro-planed

  • 2 tsp sesame oil

  • Starch mix (pork batter)

  • 100g rice flour

  • 100g tapioca starch

  • To finish

  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded, sliced thinly into triangles

  • 5 spring onions, trimmed, cut into batons

  • ¼ pineapple, diced finely

  • ¼ carrot, peeled, finely sliced into rounds, placed in iced water to chill

  • 30g kuzu starch (available in any Japanese or specialist Asian grocer)

  • 40ml cold water


  • For the sauce: :

  • 1.

    Heat a wok over a high heat, add oil, when hot add the onion, garlic and chilli. Stir fry until caramelised.

  • 2.

    Transfer into a heated saucepan, add the pineapple, strawberries and stock. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the strawberries have lost their vibrant red colour and have begun to turn white.

  • 3.

    Season with the white vinegar, soy, sugar, rice wine and tomato sauce. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes, strain (discard the solids) and cool.

  • For the pork: :

  • 1.

    Cut the pork neck and place in a small bowl. Add the salt, sugar, chicken powder, rice wine, soy, 5 spice, garlic and sesame oil. Combine well.

  • 2.

    Set aside in the fridge to marinade overnight or for 4-6 hours.

  • 3.

    When ready to cook, place oil in a wok or deep pan and heat to 180°C.

  • 4.

    Meanwhile, combine the rice flour and tapioca starch in a large bowl. Drain pork of excess marinade, then using clean hands coat the pork evenly in the starch mixture.

  • 5.

    Deep-fry in batches for 3–4 minutes. Place all the pork in the deep fryer together; fry again until golden and cooked through. Drain onto a plate lined with paper towel.

  • To finish::

  • 1.

    Combine the kuzu starch with water in a bowl.

  • 2.

    Heat a wok over a high heat, add a little oil then stir-fry chilli and spring onion for 1 minute until aromatic.

  • 3.

    Remove from wok, add enough sweet and sour sauce to just coat the pork, bring to the boil, thicken with the slurry of the kuzu starch mixed with water. Add pork and return the vegetables and pineapple into the wok. Stir-fry until pork is hot and coated in sauce, spoon onto a serving plate, top with the raw carrot and serve immediately.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

  • Energy 878kj
  • Fat Total 41g
  • Saturated Fat 6g
  • Protein 23g
  • Carbohydrate 100g
  • Sugar 45g
  • Sodium 1269mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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  • Test the oil is hot enough to deep fry with a wooden chopstick. Place the end into the oil and when the stick starts to bubble the oil is hot enough.
  • For the starch mix, place the rice flour and tapioca starch in a bag and shake to combine. Add the pork and shake again to evenly coat in the mixture.

For more great recipes like this, get your copy of The Great Australian Cookbook here.

Find out how Evelyn and Victor spend Christmas with their family:

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