Paleo Sweet n’ Sour Pork Crispy Pork Strips

Sweet n’ Sour crispy battered pork strips made paleo, and even more tasty than I can ever remember!!!

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One of my childhood favourites…sweet and sour sauce made a hell of a lot healthier, optionally sugar free, combined with battered fried pork strips like you’ve never had them before. No grains, no refined oils, lightly coated in egg and tapioca starch and pan fried in organic coconut oil! All of the deliciousness without the belly ache!

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Ok so “back in the day” Chinese take out only ever consisted of chicken based dishes. I’m not really sure why, it was just what my parents ordered so I went with it. I was never really one to be all that adventurous! Strips of chicken coated in batter served with sweet and sour sauce was one of the few meals I’d order from the Chinese take out and although enjoyed at the time it inevitably only resulted in my tummy being less than happy with me.

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I couldn’t point the finger at any one ingredient, god only knows what went in to it and even still I somehow had a longing for that distinctive taste, sweet, lightly sticky, glossy, but a whole lot more fresh with none of the additives, chemicals or unnecessaries!

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As I stood in the kitchen with my ingredients somewhat prepped…sauce made, veggies chopped, pork sliced…I almost opted for just frying up the pork as it was and then in a moment of madness I dunked in tapioca flour, dusted it and then rolled it in egg. I had the coconut oil heating up in the pan and proceeded to fry off the pork until golden brown! Crisp perfection! Once it was combined with the sweet and sour sauce it took on the slightly doughy texture…just like I wanted!

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I’d be happy enough to suggest that this sweet and sour pork would most definitely win a blind taste test! From someone who couldn’t eat traditionally “fried” or “battered” food of any kind for years I’m delighted to report this went down a treat! I even at the leftovers traditionally…cold and from a take out box, sitting in my car between jobs last week. Mighty fuel for the afternoon even if I did manage to drop some of the lip smackingly good sauce on my skirt…as I always say, the tastiest food is always the messiest; clearly I need to invest in an extra long bib!

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What’s your favourite take out dish? Have your ever tried recreating it at home?

Sweet and Sour Pork Paleo Style

by Michelle Hunt

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Keywords: fry entree gluten-free grain free paleo soy-free coconut oil chili pork

Ingredients (Serves 2 -3)

  • 1lb (454g) pork tenderloin cut in to thin strips
  • 1/2 cup (50g) tapioca flour
  • 1 large organic egg whisked
  • 1/3 cup (80g) coconut oil
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper finely sliced
  • 1/2 a yellow bell pepper finely sliced
  • 1/2 an orange bell pepper finely sliced
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds to garnish
  • Chinese chopped lettuce to serve

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili paste
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp (20g) honey or 1-2 tbsp powdered stevia
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch + 2 tsp room temperature or cold water mixed


Blend together all sauce ingredients with the exception of the starch and water. Bring to a low boil in a pot over a medium heat. Add in starch mixture and simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened; set to one side.

Dredge pork in tapioca flour, dust and dunk in egg to coat.

Melt half of the coconut oil in a pan over a high heat. Cook half of the pork an set to one side; approx 8 minutes, turning once. Add the remaining oil if needed and cook the rest of the pork.

Remove any excess oil and leave a tbsp of two to cook off the peppers for 5 minutes. Return pork to the pan, add the sauce, stir to coat and heat through for 2-3 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds, on a bed of chopped Chinese lettuce if desired!

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