The flavour of sweet and sour originates from Wuxi in the Zhejiang province in China – it is most known for its sweet and sour soy sticky ribs. They are traditionally braised in stock for an hour and then the sauce is added and thickened. However, in true modern style, I love marinading pork fillet slices in homemade sweet & sour sauce, then wok-fried to perfection (until sticky) and stuffed in griddled seeded buns with caramelised red onions and plenty of salad leaves which in my opinion is the ultimate party food – for children, football matches or BBQ’s!


  • For the pork marinade

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoon yellow bean sauce

  • 600g pork fillet, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon shaoshing rice wine or dry sherry

  • For the sweet and sour sauce

  • 2 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoon Chinkiang rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoon runny honey

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 pinch of ground white pepper

  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil

  • For caramelised red onions

  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil

  • 3 red onions, peeled & sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chinkiang black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • To serve

  • 8 large sesame seeded buns

  • green & red lollo salad leaves, washed and torn into small pieces

  • 4 tomatoes, sliced (optional)


  • 1.

    In a large bowl, add the garlic, yellow bean sauce, pork fillet, and shaoshing rice wine together with all the sweet and sour sauce ingredients, except for the oil. Marinade the pork for as long as possible.

  • 2.

    Before cooking, slice the pork fillet.

  • 3.

    Heat a wok over high heat, add the groundnut oil. Add the sliced pork (retain the marinade) and stir fry until browned for about 3-4 minutes. Lastly add the marinade and reduce the heat, so the sauce becomes a sticky consistency cooking for a further 2-3 minutes.

  • 4.

    Heat a small wok or pan, add some groundnut oil and stir fry red onions until translucent and softened for about 4-5 minutes, then add the Chinkiang black rice vinegar and the brown sugar and caramelise for another minute.

  • 5.

    Heat a griddle pan, add some groundnut oil, place some sliced seeded buns top side up and grill until browned slightly.

  • 6.

    To serve stuff the buns with some lollo salad leaves, some of the sticky pork slices, some caramelised onions and some sliced red tomatoes and serve immediately.



  • To help vegetables cook in the wok, add a splash or two of water to help create some “steam” whilst stir frying.

  • Use msg free products where possible.

  • Groundnut oil can be substituted with vegetable oil, sunflower oil or corn oil.

  • A large number of dishes can be adapted to suit vegetarians. Look out for where you can substitute the meat for tofu or vegetables and use vegetarian sauces.

  • Use low sodium soy sauce where possible
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