Vegan Tang Su Yuk 탕수육 (Sweet & Sour Pork) RECIPE?!

If you are familiar with Korean food at all, then you might know that Koreans have our own version of “Chinese” food, kind of like there is westernized Chinese food. Korean “Chinese” food is SUPER popular in Korea and I would guess is very different from actual traditional Chinese food.  It tends to be super cheap and there are restaurants everywhere. It’s also very common for people to get it delivered because delivery is super quick and like I said, there are Korean Chinese restaurants everywhere!

I used to LOVE Korean Chinese food as a kid in Korea and jajangmyeon (black bean noodles) and tang su yuk were my favourites. It was a special treat every time my parents would get us Chinese food. It’s kind of like the equivalent of when your parents took you to McDonald’s as a kid in North America.

I’ve already done a veganized version of jajangmyeon (black bean noodles) and the recipe can be found below:

Now one thing that I really missed was tang su yuk, which is the Korean version of sweet & sour pork. It’s definitely not exactly the same as sweet & sour pork, but it’s a similar idea. Crispy fried pieces of pork drenched in a sweet & sour sauce. Tang su yuk was definitely one of my favourite foods as a kid and I’m so happy to have made a vegan version of it. Obviously, as vegans, we don’t eat pork! So instead of pork, we made these fried rice/tofu/lentil balls that are super yum. No, it doesn’t taste like pork or tries to imitate pork – it’s just its own thing that tastes great as it is. It may not be the healthiest thing but I’m telling you – it’s SO good.

I didn’t do a “proper” recipe video for this, because I made this up on the spot as I was filming a RECIPE?! video – a type of video where you rummage through the kitchen and find ingredients and formulate some sort of a recipe on the spot. This was part of my collaboration with the amazing hot for food.

Here’s the video of my Tang Su Yuk RECIPE?! (written ingredients and instructions below) 

So this isn’t going to be a standard “recipe” post, because I honestly don’t know how much of everything that I used. But here’s a list of the ingredients and the APPROXIMATE measurements.

For the “meat”: 

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked green/brown lentils
  • 1/2 block medium firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • lots of oil… for deep or shallow frying

For the sauce (from Korean Bapsang):

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Starch water – 1 tbsp starch (I used potato starch) + 2 tbsp water
    • You can use 1/2 tbsp more starch + 1 more tbsp water for a thicker sauce

Recommended vegetables (I used what I had on hand, but these are some ideas): 

  • 1 small onion, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 apple, peeled & chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • Carrots, chopped into small/thin bite-sized chunks
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • Pineapple pieces


  1. In a food processor or a blender, add lentils, tofu and 1/2 rice and blend together.
  2. Add the mixture into a mixing bowl, and mix in the rest of the rice.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together flour and potato starch.
  4. Form small bite-sized balls with the rice mixture and coat them in the flour/starch mixture.
  5. Heat up some oil on the stove and either deep fry or shallow fry the balls until nicely browned.
  6. Now for the sauce – in a pan, add the cup of water and rest of the sauce ingredients (Except for the starch water) and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and bring the sauce to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, add the starch water and stir well. Adjust and add more ingredients if desired. Turn off heat. If using pineapple, add after you’ve turned off the heat.
  7. Add the fried balls on a plate and pour the sauce on top. Serve immediately!! Enjoy 🙂
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2 thoughts on “Vegan Tang Su Yuk 탕수육 (Sweet & Sour Pork) RECIPE?!”

  1. I love your food ideas! Also love the fact that you make Korean vegan food. You’re the best! Post more cheap meal plans. My BF and I were making your cheap meal recipes for a few weeks and loved them.

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