Tangsuyuk is one of Korea’s most popular fried foods. It is typically eaten with Jajangmyeon or Jjampeong at Chinese restaurants in Korea. Tangsuyuk is more of a “Koreanized” version of a Chinese dish.
This popular dish is made by deep-frying pork strips that are battered in starch powder – making an extra crispy skin. The fried pieces are then drizzled in a sweet and sour sauce that also has freshly diced vegetables in it. Sounds amazing no? Easily one of my favorite fried meat dishes of all time.
Note: You can replace pork with chicken or beef strips – tastes just as great!
Key taste variable: Crunchy Texture
To achieve an extra crispy skin, we will use only starch powder in the batter! No flour needed. We will also only use egg white to bind the batter together. To top it all off, we will also do a double-fry which produces the ultimate crunch level! Its hammer time baby!
Tangsuyuk - Korea's Sweet & Sour Pork
Yield 2-3 people
Tangsuyuk is a very popular Korean-Chinese dish. We eat it alongside a bowl of Jajangmyeon or Jjampong noodles. The dishes go hand-in-hand.
- Pork loin - 400 grams
- Mirin - 1 tablespoon
- Salt - few shakes
- black pepper - few shakes
- Potato starch - 1 cup
- Vegetable oil - 4 tablespoons
- Eggs - 1
Sweet & Tangy Sauce
- Water - 1 & 1/4 cup
- Soy sauce - 1/4 cup
- Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Sugar - 7 tablespoons
- Starch water - Between 3-5 tablespoons (Add more/less)
- Carrot - 1/3 a whole
- Bell pepper - 1/4 a whole
- Onion - 1
- Wood Ear mushroom - 4
- Pour starch powder into a large mixing bowl. Then place enough water into the bowl to cover the powder. Mix together thoroughly. Then place the bowl aside for 30 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, cut pork loin into small strips. Season with mirin, salt and pepper. Cut carrot, bell pepper, onion into bite-size pieces. Place wood ear mushrooms into a bowl with water. Let them hydrate for around 20-30 minutes as well.
- After 30 minutes, return to the mixing bowl and you will see that the starch and water has separated. Throw out the residual water and keep the remaining starch. Also, cut the hydrated wood ear mushrooms in half and place with other vegetables.
Make Crispy Batter
- Crack an egg and pour-in just the egg-white over the residual starch. Then add-in the vegetable oil.
- Use a wooden spatula to lift the starch off the bottom of the mixing bowl. (Note: Don't mix the ingredients just yet - wait until the next step)
- Add the pork strips into the mixture. Then mix all of them together thoroughly with your hand. (Note: The moisture from the pork strips will make it a LOT easier to mix together)
- Pour ample amount of vegetable oil into a large frying pan or pot. Put the pot on a medium-high heat and bring oil to 170C (~340F). (Note: If you don't have a thermometer, place a wooden chopstick with a bit of batter into the oil. If you see lot of bubbles forming, it is ready.)
- Place pork strips into the oil one by one. Use a new pair of chopsticks to prevent any of the frying pieces from sticking together. Fry in the oil until each strip get a nice crispy coating on the white side. Then take them out and place on a rack to get rid of excess oil. Repeat for all of the pork pieces.
- Then raise the oil to 180C (360F). Place all of the freshly fried pieces back into the oil. Fry a second time - take out once you see a nice golden brown color.
- Pour water, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar into a large pot. Bring pot up to a boil on medium-high heat. Add vegetables in.
- While you wait for the water to re-boil, make a small bowl of starch water: Mix 3 tablespoons of starch powder with about 5 tablespoons of water. Stir it around thoroughly. Then add 3-5 tablespoons (one tablespoon at a time) of this starch water into your sauce. The sauce should begin to thicken - looking for the consistency of a McNugget dipping sauce. (Note: If it doesn't thicken - add a few more tablespoons of the starch water in)
- Turn off heat. You can either pour this sauce over the pork pieces or put it in a small bowl as a dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy!
- The starch powder solidifies quickly. You will find it challenging to lift the starch mix off the bottom of the mixing bowl. Use a wooden spatula to make it easier.
- After you free the starch mix, you will add the egg white and vegetable oil. But do not mix the three together just yet. Add the meat pieces in first! Then start mixing. The moisture form the meat will make it lot easier to mix all together.