Juicy pork chops are smothered in onions, bell peppers, and a sweet and sour glaze that is packed with Asian-inspired flavors. Who needs takeout when it’s this easy to make dinner at home?!
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This is going to be your new favorite way to cook pork chops. It is simply the best.
It’s also the perfect recipe to help curb any Chinese food take-out cravings you may be having. I took inspiration from my local Chinese food restaurant when creating this recipe. It has the best sweet and sour sauce and I think I managed to recreate it perfectly. It’s salty, sweet, tangy and it goes so well with pork chops. I am totally obsessed with this dinner recipe. Just obsessed!
Sweet and Sour Pork Chop Recipe
My recipe starts by browning and baking the pork chops. Searing the pork chops in a skillet before putting them into the oven gives them a golden brown, slightly crunchy exterior. The oven helps cook the pork all the way through without drying it out. Skillet then oven is the best way to cook pork chops.
Next, I use that same skillet from the pork chops to sauté the garlic, pepper, and onions. I love using the same skillet because it means less cleaning for me! Also, it helps get some of the savory flavors of the pork into the sauce. The mixture of brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and ginger creates a mouth-watering sauce. You may want to put it on everything. It’s super tasty as a dip for eggrolls or use it to liven up some broiled chicken.
Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Vegetable oil
- Boneless pork chops – I like to use boneless pork chops in this recipe because it makes them easier to quickly cut and serve. No need to worry about removing bones! You can just move the cooked pork chops to a plate and serve.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic – I like to mince fresh garlic cloves to get the strongest flavor. However, pre-chopped garlic from a jar will work as well.
- Red bell pepper – Red bell peppers have a sweeter flavor than other colored peppers. This is perfect for the sweet and sour pork chops
- Green bell pepper – Green bell peppers have a more bitter bite to them which complements the sweetness in the sauce.
- White onion
- Brown sugar – Light or dark brown sugar will work in this recipe.
- Rice vinegar – Rice vinegar is sour, tart, and acidic. It is the classic type of vinegar used in Asian cuisine and is a little sweeter than your standard white vinegar.
- Soy sauce – Use regular soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce if you’d like the pork chops to be a little healthier.
- Ground ginger
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch is needed to thicken the sauce, making it nice and sticky so it coats the pork chops.
- Use bone-in pork chops in place of boneless chops. The bone-in pork chops will need to cook for about 5 minutes longer in the oven. Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer to make sure they are cooked perfectly.
- Freshly grated ginger will work in place of ground ginger and add a spicy, bold taste to the sauce.
- Add a can of drained pineapple chunks to the sauce to add a fruity, sweet taste that is similar to the sweet and sour sauce in many Chinese food restaurants.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
- Start the oven: Turn on your oven to 350ºF and line a rimmed baking tray with aluminum foil. Set the tray aside for now.
- Sear the pork: Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and then sear them on both sides in hot vegetable oil. Move the browned pork chops to the baking tray.
- Bake the pork chops: Bake the pork chops for about 8-10 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the pork using a meat thermometer. They should be 145º at the thickest point.
- Make the sauce: While the pork chops are baking, you can start making the sweet and sour sauce. Whisk together the sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and ginger. Sauté the garlic, bell peppers, and onions in a large skillet until the veggies are soft. Whisk in the vinegar mixture.
- Thicken the sauce: Stir the cornstarch and cold water together in a separate small bowl until there are no lumps. Then, stir the cornstarch into the pan of sauce and veggies. Whisk until the sauce starts to thicken, then remove the pan from the stovetop.
- Serve: Place the pork chops on plates and spoon the sauce over each serving. Enjoy the pork chops while they are nice and hot!
I like to sift the ground ginger into the sauce, breaking up any clumps or pieces. Once the ground ginger is in the liquid sauce, it will be hard to break apart, giving you small, spicy pockets of ginger rather than and evenly blended seasoning.
How to Store Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
If you have leftover pork chops, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge. The pork chops will keep for 3-4 days. You can store the pork chops in the sauce, which will help infuse more delicious flavor into the meat.
To reheat the sweet and sour pork chops, pop them in the microwave and reheat them in 30 second increments until they are hot all the way through. Reheat the pork chops with the sauce so the meat doesn’t dry out.
I love serving these pork chops with some simple white rice or even a dish of fried rice. Crab rangoon dip makes a great appetizer and a simple side of roasted broccoli is a perfect way to add a veggie to the plate. You can even cook the broccoli right alongside the pork in the oven so the entire meal is ready at the same time.
Not overcooking the pork chops will keep them soft and juicy. I avoid overcooking by searing the pork chops in a skillet before moving them to the oven. Pork chops take too long to brown in just the oven, which often leads to overcooking. If you sear them in a skillet first, you won’t have to cook the meat as long in the oven and they won’t get too dry!
I do both! I like to pan-fry the chops first and give them that golden brown crust. Then, I move the pork chops to the oven to finish baking at a low temperature, which helps lock in the juices. The combination cooking method really works best when it comes to pork chops.
The sweet and sour sauce you see in most Chinese food is red thanks to food coloring. My homemade sweet and sour sauce is red from the ketchup added to the sauce. I like using ketchup because it gives the sauce a natural color and also adds a tangy taste. No need for food coloring here!
Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 boneless pork chops (about 3/4" thick)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ white onion, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat an oven to 375 F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven.
- Season both sides of each pork chop with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the vegetable oil until hot and it begins to shimmer.
- Add the pork chops and cook for about 4 minutes per side until they start to brown. Remove from the skillet and place on the pan inside the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and ginger, set aside.
- In the same skillet used to sear the pork chops, saute the garlic, bell pepper and onion over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
- Add the vinegar sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the cornstarch and water into a slurry. Add to the sauce and return to a simmer. Cook on low while stirring until it has thickened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Spoon the sauce over the pork chops to serve.