Tangsuyuk (Sweet and Sour Beef or Pork)

Tangsuyuk (Sweet and sour pork)
One of the things that I enjoy with my extended family is going out to a Korean-Chinese restaurant for jajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce) or jjambbong (spicy noodle soup). It’s really fun to watch my 2-year-old niece and 9-year-old nephew slurp down the black noodles. They also love the tangsuyuk (also spelled tangsooyuk) we always order to share as an appetizer.

Tangsuyuk is a Chinese sweet and sour pork dish adapted for Korean taste. It can also be made with beef. It is another beloved Korean-Chinese dish like the two noodle dishes mentioned above. At home, I usually make this dish for special occasions, especially when my extended family gets together. Growing up, my mother made this dish with pork, and I used to do so as well. But, I now make it with beef because my sister-in-law does not eat pork.

You can use any meat you want for this recipe.The potato starch used to make the batter is pre-soaked for several hours. This is a traditional method used to create a slightly chewy yet crispy crust. It is important to deep fry the meat twice for extra crispiness.

The key to a successful sauce is the balance between the sweetness and tartness. My recipe produces a well-balanced sauce, but you can always adjust to your taste. The vegetables add different textures and a colorful touch to the dish. It’s easy to make, but the process goes very quickly. So, have all your kitchen equipment and ingredients ready before starting to cook. The result will be crispy deep-fried goodness in a delightfully sweet and tangy sauce!

Tangsuyuk (Sweet and sour beef or pork)
Serves 4
A Korean-Chinese style sweet and sour beef or pork
  1. 10 ounces beef (sirloin or rib eye) or pork loin
  2. salt and pepper
  1. 1 cup potato starch (or corn starch), soaked in 1 cup of water for 2 to 3 hours
  2. 1 egg white
  3. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  4. 4 cups canola or vegetable oil for deep frying
  1. 1/2 small carrot, cut into thin bite size slices
  2. 1/4 small onion, cut into bite size chunks
  3. 1/4 small green pepper, cut into bit size chunks
  4. a few pineapple pieces
  5. (Other options include cucumber, cabbage, mushrooms, peas, scallions, etc.)
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. Starch slurry – 1 tablespoon starch* in 2 tablespoons water
  7. (*You can use 1/2 tablespoon more for a thicker sauce. Add 1 more tablespoon water as well.)
Dipping sauce
  1. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  2. 1 tablespoon water
  3. 1 teaspoon vinegar
  4. pinch black pepper
  5. pinch red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  1. At least 2 – 3 hours before cooking this dish, combine 1 cup of the starch with 1 cup of water and refrigerate until ready to use. The starch and water will separate, and you will need to carefully pour out the water on top to use the soaked starch at the bottom.
  2. Cut the beef (or pork) into 2 to 2.5-inch long strips (about 3/4-inch wide and 1/8-inch thick). Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let it sit until ready to deep fry.
    tangsuyuk beef
  3. Prepare the vegetables by cutting into thin bite size pieces.
    tangsuyuk vegetables
  4. In a pan, add 1 cup of water along with the remaining sauce ingredients except the starch slurry. Boil just until the sugar melts and turn off the heat. You will finish the sauce when the meat has been deep fried.
  5. Carefully pour out the soaking water from the starch. Use your hand to mix the soaked starch with the egg white and oil. The starch will be very stiff. The addition of oil will help loosen it a little. Coat the meat with the starch batter.
  6. Add 4 cups of oil to a deep fryer, wok or large pot. Heat over high heat to 350°F or until it starts smoking. (See more on how to check the oil temperature.) Using metal tongs or chopsticks, drop the meat in the oil one piece at a time. Do not crowd the oil. Cook until golden brown, about 1-1/2 minutes, in two or three batches, reheating the oil to 350°F between the batches. Remove them with a wire skimmer or a slotted spoon. Drain on a wire rack or in a large mesh strainer set on a bowl.
  7. Reheat the oil to 350°F. Add the meat (you can do this in one batch for the second frying) and deep fry again for a minute until lightly golden brown. Drain on a wire rack or in a large mesh strainer set on a bowl.
  8. Bring the sauce to a boil again. Add the carrot and onion pieces, which take longer to cook. When the sauce boils, add the starch slurry, stirring well. Taste the sauce and add a little more sugar or vinegar if desired. Turn the heat off, and then add the green pepper and pineapple pieces. The green vegetables such as green pepper (or cucumbers if used) lose their color quickly if boiled in the sauce.
    tangsuyuk sauce
  9. Place the meat on a large serving plate and pour the sauce on top. Serve immediately with a dipping sauce.
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Leave a Comment



  1. Yummy! This looks wonderful. Have a great Labor Day weekend! I really do love this blog.
  2. How interesting - we do have Japanese-Chinese sweet and sour pork too. LOL. Yours look MUCH closer to Chinese version and looks so delicious. My kids love this dish too and I should make your version one day. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
  3. This is a terrible site to go to, especially when the rest of your coworkers won't hurry up and get their work done so we can go to lunch!

    thanks for another excellent recipe. I used to always order this with 짜짱면 so maybe I'll make these two over the weekend!
  4. We love Korean-Chinese restaurants, and this one is one of our favorites, too! (Besides jajangmyeon and jambbong of course!) It's going on my list!
  5. Bliss Bunny - Thanks for your kind words. You have a great labor day weekend too!

    Nami - That's interesting! I didn't know there was a Japanese version. I look forward to seeing it on your blog one day. Thanks!

    Hira - Apparently your coworkers need to have their priorities straight. Lunch first and then work! LOL. Hope you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for visiting and leaving comments!

    Andrea - It's hard not to love them, isn't it? Hope you had a great summer. Thanks for stopping by!
  6. Thank you, Sandra. You have a good weekend too. I will come over soon to see what you're cooking.
  7. Mmmmmlicious, terrific and sumptuous stuff. I could have this for my meat lover dad.
  8. An excellent dish with sweet and tangy flavors!
  9. I miss good tansuyuk, thanks for the detailed recipe. I'll have to give it a shot and then compare my results to the "real thing" when I get to visit Korea again in a couple weeks!
  10. hi hyosun-ssi, thanks for dropping by my blog! i've actually been a big fan of yours for a long time, i made the jeyuk bokkeum few mths back and it was absolutely delicious!! thanks for sharing the recipe and i really look forward to trying more of yr fantastic recipes :)
  11. Your sweet and sour beef looks delicious! I also like your photography as it alwaqys looks so clean and sharp. I have never tried using potato starch for batter but would like to try it next time. :)
  12. Hi Evan-ssi - Thank you so much! I am very happy to hear that you've been a big fan of my blog and liked my jeyuk bokkeum recipe. You have a lovely blog, which I am going to follow.

    Biren - Please try it. You will like it. Thanks for stopping by!
  13. hi again hyosun-ssi, i'm glad you like my blog as well. anyway i've linked you up, your blog is too good to be missed :)

    are you making anything for chuseok? i thought of making songpyeon but i'm not sure where to get pine needles. do you just pluck them off a pine tree? lol. i wonder if its ok to steam the songpyeon without the pine needles?
  14. Evan - We used to do that when I was growing up - just plucked them off a pine tree. That was fun. But, it's okay to steam songpyeon without pine needles. We have several places in the DC area we can buy good songpyeon from, but now I want to make some after talking to you about it.
  15. Ooh! Your Tangsuyuk is so much more delicious than any restaurant's... and now I can try making it myself! Thank you!
  16. Thank you, Soyeon! I know you can make this easily.
  17. Anonymous says:
    I really enjoy your website. I will have to bookmark it and refer to it often. When I make my tansuyuk, I buy canned pineapples and use the juice in the can as part of the sauce. What do you think?

    Jimin Hong-Noden
    Oakville, Ontario. Canada
  18. Jimin - I do that sometimes too when I want to add a nice citrus flavor. Thank you for the nice words, and hope to see you here often. Enjoy!
  19. I made your tangsuyuk for dinner tonight. My family enjoyed it very much and there were no leftovers! I've tried to make this many times before with other recipes, but your recipe was the yummiest! Thanks again for posting and I love your blog.
  20. Wow, I love love your website. I've been looking for a good site for Korean food, but it's been hit or miss. Everything looks wonderful. My husband is Korean and I'm not...so he doesn't get to eat much of his native food...but now with your site, I will be sure to surprise him with all these dishes. Going to try this dish this week.
  21. Hi Hyosun, I tried your jabchae recipe and it was absolutely delicious. I wanted to try your tangsuyuk recipe but I was wondering- we have a deep fryer. Should I still fry twice? Thank you!!!
    • So happy to hear that! Thanks for letting me know. You don't have to if you prefer not to, but it will be crispier with double frying. Thanks for trying out my recipes. Enjoy!
  22. I love tangsooyuk but I cannot eat deep fried food. Can I bake the meat and dip in the sauce? Would it have the same taste? Is there a baked version? Thanks!! Love your site!
    • hmmm I haven't tried baking the meat for tangsuyuk. Try it! I am sure it will be different but it may still be good. Let me know how it turns out if you try. Thank you so much for the love!
  23. wonderful recipe and even better taste i want more :)
  24. luzviminda lola says:
    .this is a big help to those who wants to learn how to make korean food......now its easy for me to know how to make korean food..thank you
  25. Thanks for sharing such an amazing blog post.