I love Korean-Chinese food. Every time I go eat Korean-Chinese food, I have to order jja jang myung, also known as noodles with black bean sauce. The perfect side dish when having jja jang myun is tangsuyuk. Tangsuyuk is a sweet and sour pork dish that consists of crispy fried pork in a sweet and sour sauce. Serve this delicious dish with black bean noodles or as the main course with a side of rice.
Tangsuyuk (Sweet and Sour Pork)
- 2 cups potato starch
- 4 cups water
- 1 lb pork butt sliced paper thin
- salt and pepper
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 egg white
- oil for frying
Sweet and sour sauce
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ onion chopped into medium chunks
- 2 medium carrots thinly sliced on a bias
- ½ bell pepper chopped into medium chunks
- ½ cup pineapple chunks with ¼ cup canned pineapple juice
- 1 ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- Combine potato starch and water in a large bowl, stirring to combine. Let sit for 1 hour or until the starch sinks to the bottom of the bowl and solidifies
- Season the pork with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat in a wok or medium saucepan. Add the onions, carrots and bell peppers and cook until softened, about 6-7 minutes. Add the pineapple with its juices, water, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir to combine and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Combine ¼ cup cornstarch with ¼ cup water and add to the sauce. Continue to simmer until slightly thick, about 2-3 minutes. Keep warm.
- Preheat frying oil to 350 degrees F.
- Drain the water from the potato starch and water mixture. Add the egg white and mix until well combined. Add ¼ of the pork to the starch and mix to coat the pork. Carefully add a small batch of the pork to the frying oil and fry until crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper-towel-lined tray. Repeat with the remaining pork.
- Fry the pork once more.
- Combine the soy sauce and rice vinegar for the dipping sauce. Serve the pork with the sweet and sour sauce on top or on the side. Dip the pork in the sweet and sour sauce then in the soy sauce mixture.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The trick to achieving crispy pork in tangsuyuk is all in the potato starch batter. Nowadays, you can even buy bags of potato starch with directions on how to make tangsuyuk on the back.
Soaking the potato starch in the water draws out the excess starch; think of it when you soak your potatoes in water before frying. If you haven't tried this method before, I encourage you to do so. Soak cut potatoes in water for one hour, drain and pat dry. Fry the potatoes and you end up with crispy french fries! The reason behind why this works gets technical so I won't bore you with the scientific details, but trust me, it works.
Drain the water from the potato starch, reserving the potato starch. The starch will turn into a paste that can be easily manipulated.
As for the meat, I prefer using pork butt but you can also use pork loin or beef. Ask your butcher to slice the pork butt paper-thin or if using pork loin, pound until ¼ inch thick and cut into strips.
The sauce for tangsuyuk should be a combination of sweet and sour. Although the vegetables can vary, pineapple is a must for the sauce. Adjust accordingly to balance the flavors.
Frying the pork twice makes it extra crispy. Extra crispy on the outside and chewy and moist on the inside, just how I like it!
Pour the sauce over the pork and serve with a side of rice or with a hot bowl of jja jang myun. When I used to work as a catering chef, I used to prepare large batches of tangsuyuk for 60 people and they ate it all up. I personally like to dip the sweet and sour pork in a little soy sauce and vinegar mix to boost that salty and sour quality. Make this at home and you won't have to search for the best tangsuyuk again!
For more stir fry inspiration check out this honey walnut coconut shrimp recipe!