GRILL/ MAINS/ SUMMER

Sweet and Sour Grilled Pork Skewers

Hello! It’s great to see you! Today we are taking a classic Chinese takeout dish, Sweet and Sour Pork, and giving it a summertime makeover. For this recipe we have soy and pineapple marinated pork tenderloin skewered with onion, green bell peppers and pineapple, grilled and basted with sweet and sour sauce. It’s the flavors we’re familiar with, homemade and grilled, not fried. Let’s get to it – Sweet and Sour Grilled Pork Skewers!

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The pop-up thunderstorms this week prevented me from doing these Sweet and Sour Grilled Pork Skewers outside on the grill. So I brought it inside with a grill pan. This has happened a few times this summer and I have to say I am so happy we have a cast iron, double sided grill/griddle pan to make up for it. Nothing is a perfect substitute for the flavor of cooking on an open fire, but the grill pan comes really close.

Pork Tenderloin

Let’s start with the pork, we can get that marinating while we make the sweet and sour sauce. I have about 1.5 pounds of pork tenderloin country ribs. I like using these ribs because the prep is that much easier when I only have to make vertical cuts to get nice 1-inch chunks of meat to skewer.

Place the pieces of pork in a bowl and – no measuring needed – pour in some soy sauce, pineapple juice and a glug of apple cider vinegar. We just want to cover the meat in marinade. The ratios aren’t going to be that important. We have salt from the soy sauce, acid from the vinegar and the pineapple juice brings acid and sweetness.

Cover and let it sit while we make the sweet and sour sauce. We don’t want to grill cold meat, so it’s fine to let it sit on the counter for the ten minutes it will take to make the sauce.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

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The sauce is really simple. Combine the apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, pineapple juice, ketchup, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch in a measuring cup and whisk to fully combine.

Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Reduce temperature to keep it at a low simmer. Whisk the sauce as it cooks to thicken. Once it’s thickened a bit and is a smooth, caramel-like sauce. remove from heat. Portion out about one third of the sauce for drizzling over the finished dish. The remaining sauce we use to baste the skewers as they grill.

Easy Recipe, Chinese Cuisine, Chinese Takeout, Classic Chinese/American Recipe, Chinese Restaurant recipe, Grill, Grillout, Summer recipe, Summertime Recipe, Grilled Pork, Sweet and Sour Sauce, Pineapple, Pork Tenderloin, Country Ribs, Skewers, Pork Skewers, Indoor Grilling, Grill Pan,

The sweet and sour sauce will tighten, or stiffen as it cools, so as we use it, we will add a little water (as needed) to loosen the sauce to keep it brush-able and pourable. Set the sauce aside while we skewer the meat and veggies.

Skewers

Set up your skewer station with the prepped bell peppers, onion and pineapple. Everything should be cut into roughly 1-inch pieces.

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Skewer the meat and veggies however you like, keeping each skewer proportioned evenly between the meat and the veggies. Continue skewering until the meat and veggies are all skewered.

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Set up your grill pan over high heat. Flick some water on the pan after a few minutes of heating and if the water immediately bubbles and evaporates, we are ready to oil the grill and the skewers. Brush vegetable oil on the grill and drizzle vegetable oil the skewers. If the griddle shows wisps of smoke, slightly reduce the burner.

Carefully arrange the skewers on the oiled grill. We will cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Total cook time is about 12-16 minutes. Turn the skewers as they develop color to keep an even browning and cooking. Adjust the burners as needed to keep things sizzling, but not burning. Char marks are good, and it’s important to cook the pork all the way through. So to keep it from getting away from you, reduce the burners to medium or medium-high.

After the skewers have made one complete turn, begin basting with the sweet and sour sauce. Remember to stir in a little water if the sauce is too tight. Then continue turning and basting the skewers. When the pork is looking done: it’s firmer to the touch and looking more grey than pink, temp the meat.

Pork is fully cooked at 145 degrees F. Pull the skewers off the grill when the internal meat temp is at 145 degrees. Place the skewers on a sheet tray for service and top with sliced fresh jalapeño for a little heat. Serve the reserved sauce on the side. Remember to stir a little water into the sauce to loosen it up to a pourable consistency.

Sweet and Sour Grilled Pork Skewers

Easy Recipe, Chinese Cuisine, Chinese Takeout, Classic Chinese/American Recipe, Chinese Restaurant recipe, Grill, Grillout, Summer recipe, Summertime Recipe, Grilled Pork, Sweet and Sour Sauce, Pineapple, Pork Tenderloin, Country Ribs, Skewers, Pork Skewers, Indoor Grilling, Grill Pan,

Serve with rice, top with more sauce if desired and there you have it; the classic Chinese takeout dish Sweet and Sour Pork, updated for summer as Sweet and Sour Grilled Pork Skewers.

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This dish is really wonderful, so easy and satisfying when you have that craving for Chinese takeout classics. Basting the skewers in the sweet and sour sauce creates a delicious caramelization on the pork and the veggies. Speaking of the sauce, it’s the flavors you know, but deeper and without that weird red color; the sauce is fruity, sweet and sour. The jalapeños add a little bit of fruity heat, which is a nice compliment to the sweet sauce.

Easy Recipe, Chinese Cuisine, Chinese Takeout, Classic Chinese/American Recipe, Chinese Restaurant recipe, Grill, Grillout, Summer recipe, Summertime Recipe, Grilled Pork, Sweet and Sour Sauce, Pineapple, Pork Tenderloin, Country Ribs, Skewers, Pork Skewers, Indoor Grilling, Grill Pan,

I do hope you try these Sweet and Sour Grilled Pork Skewers, they really are a great summertime dish! Looking for more Chinese takeout classics? Try Easy Sichuan Kung Pao Chicken, or Easy Scallion Pancakes. Take care and be well, xo Kelly

Key Equipment

Sweet and Sour Grilled Pork Skewers

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Dinner, Main Course Chinese
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 25 Minutes Cooking Time: 12-16 Minutes Total Time: ~40 Minutes

A classic Chinese takeout dish, Sweet and Sour Pork, with a summertime makeover. Marinated pork grilled and basted with sweet and sour sauce.

Ingredients

  • Pork Marinade
  • ~1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  • ~1/3 cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1-2 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1.5 lbs. Pork Tenderloin (Country Ribs work well for this), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • 1/3 cup White Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. Pineapple Juice
  • 3 tbsp. Ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Oyster Sauce
  • 4 tsp. Corn Starch
  • Water, as needed to loosen the sauce as it cools
  • Skewers
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1-2 Green Bell Peppers, sliced into roughly 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Onion, sliced into roughly 1-inch pieces
  • 1 14-oz. can of Pineapple Chunks, packed in 100% Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Fresh Jalapeño, thinly sliced for garnish

Instructions

Pork Marinade

1

Place the pieces of pork in a bowl and pour the marinade ingredients in to cover the meat. Toss to combine. Cover and set aside.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

2

Combine the apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, pineapple juice, ketchup, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch in a measuring cup and whisk to fully combine.

3

Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Reduce temperature to keep it at a low simmer. Whisk the sauce as it cooks to thicken. Once it's thickened a bit and is a smooth, caramel-like sauce. remove from heat. Portion out about one third of the sauce for drizzling over the finished dish. The remaining sauce we use to baste the skewers as they grill.

4

The sweet and sour sauce will tighten, or stiffen as it cools, so as we use it, we will add a little water (as needed) to loosen the sauce to keep it brush-able and pourable. Set the sauce aside while we skewer the meat and veggies.

Skewers

5

Skewer the meat and veggies however you like, keeping each skewer proportioned evenly between the meat and the veggies. Continue skewering until the meat and veggies are all skewered.

6

Set up your grill pan over high heat. Flick some water on the pan after a few minutes of heating and if the water immediately bubbles and evaporates, we are ready to oil the grill and the skewers. Brush vegetable oil on the grill and drizzle vegetable oil the skewers. If the griddle shows wisps of smoke, slightly reduce the burner.

7

Carefully arrange the skewers on the oiled grill. We will cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Total cook time is about 12-16 minutes. Turn the skewers as they develop color to keep an even browning and cooking. Adjust the burners as needed to keep things sizzling, but not burning. Char marks are good, and it's important to cook the pork all the way through. So to keep it from getting away from you, reduce the burners to medium or medium-high.

8

After the skewers have made one complete turn, begin basting with the sweet and sour sauce. Remember to stir in a little water if the sauce is too tight. Then continue turning and basting the skewers. When the pork is looking done: it's firmer to the touch and looking more grey than pink, temp the meat.

9

Pork is fully cooked at 145 degrees F. Pull the skewers off the grill when the internal meat temp is at 145 degrees. Place the skewers on a sheet tray for service and top with sliced fresh jalapeño for a little heat. Serve the reserved sauce on the side. Remember to stir a little water into the sauce to loosen it up to a pourable consistency.

Notes

One 14-oz. can of pineapple should yield enough pineapple for the skewers and enough juice for the marinade and sweet and sour sauce.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Terry
    August 4, 2022 at 10:17 am

    Wish I had this recipe yesterday we had bbq pork bowls, very good but grams favorite is sweet and sour pork… I’ll keep you posted ❤️🤗 mom

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      August 4, 2022 at 10:32 am

      Hi Mom, I know Gram likes the sweet and sour pork! This will be a good recipe to have on hand. I am sure you both will like it. xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Mari
    August 4, 2022 at 10:33 am

    I would call this a very budget friendly meal. The pineapple and peppers add great flavor and look delicious as well. There is just something really nice about pineapple in the summer, and I think most of us have at least one can lurking in the cupboard. In my cupboard ts next to the canned pumpkin which I bought, and since no one but me admits to liking it, there it sits. I have wonderful recipes for pumpkin cake and cookies, but a great many of them go to the neighbors, who are delighted that no one here will eat them! With all the rain we have had this year, we have not been able to cook out as much as we would like, and George Foreman just doesn’t do it for me. I like the smoke and pleasure that I get from grilling outside, and if I’m really lucky, sometimes there is a nice breeze to go with the smoke and sunshine. Grocery prices and utility bills, and gas, are climbing to record levels and there is no end in sight for now. I’m curious as to how other people are handling it. Sadly, I just don’t think it’s ever going to go back to where it was. With higher taxes coming it’s only going to get worse. A great many of your recipes are budget friendly, which is great. That helps a lot, so thank you! Happy no thunder Thursday to Kelly, Alex, Terry, Beth, and the usual suspects. ☀️🐕🥰

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      August 4, 2022 at 10:41 am

      Hi Mari, This is a very budget friendly meal. We have also had so many storms this summer I haven’t once been able to fire up the wood oven. If it’s not thundering and raining, it’s like 110 degrees outside. Too hot to tend a fire, sadly. Plus with the amount of rain we have been getting, it takes a pre-fire to dry everything out to get a good fire going hot enough to cook pizza. Ah well, hopefully autumnal temps and dry days will get us back out to the oven in the next few months. Have a great Thursday! xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Roberta
    August 5, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    Hi, Kelly, This recipe sounds delish. I have a family member allergic to all shellfish/fish. What could I substitute for the oyster sauce?
    Or perhaps I could make two sauces and leave out oyster sauce in one
    Thanks, Roberta

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      August 5, 2022 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Roberta, You can substitute the oyster sauce with Hoisin Sauce. I just checked out the label on my bottle of Hoisin and it looks to be free of any fish or shellfish product. Also, there’s so little of it, maybe just omit altogether. I don’t think it will change the sauce in a significant way. Let me know which way you go and how it turns out! xo Kelly

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