Tangsuyuk, a beloved Korean dish, is a delicious fried food that is often enjoyed alongside Jajangmyeon or Jjamppong at Chinese restaurants in Korea. With its unique Korean twist, Tangsuyuk offers a delightful fusion of flavors.
This popular dish features deep-fried pork strips coated in starch powder for an irresistibly crispy texture. The fried pieces are then coated in a delectable sweet and sour sauce, enriched with freshly diced vegetables. It’s truly an amazing dish and one of my all-time favorite fried meat dishes.
Note: You can easily substitute pork with chicken or beef strips for an equally delicious variation.
Key taste element: Crunchy Texture To achieve the ultimate crunch, we’ll use only starch powder in the batter, omitting flour. The batter will be bound together using only egg whites. And for that extra level of crunch, we’ll employ a double-fry technique. Get ready for some serious crunchiness!
- 400 grams of pork loin
- 1 tablespoon of Mirin
- A few shakes of salt
- A few shakes of black pepper
- 1 cup of potato starch
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 egg
Sweet & Tangy Sauce:
- 1 & ¼ cup of water
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- ¼ cup of vinegar
- 7 tablespoons of sugar
- 3-5 tablespoons of starch water (adjust quantity as needed)
- ⅓ whole carrot
- ¼ whole bell pepper
- 1 onion
- 4 Wood Ear mushrooms
- In a large mixing bowl, pour starch powder and add enough water to cover the powder. Mix thoroughly. Set the bowl aside for 30 minutes.
- While waiting, cut the pork loin into small strips and season with mirin, salt, and pepper.Cut the carrot, bell pepper, and onion into bite-size pieces.Place the wood ear mushrooms in a bowl with water and let them hydrate for 20-30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, discard the residual water and retain the separated starch. Cut the hydrated wood ear mushrooms in half and combine them with the other vegetables.
Make Crispy Batter:
- Crack an egg and pour only the egg white over the separated starch in the mixing bowl. Add vegetable oil to the bowl.
- Use a wooden spatula to lift the starch off the bottom of the bowl. Do not mix the ingredients yet, as we will do so in the next step.
- Add the pork strips to the mixture and thoroughly mix them together by hand. The moisture from the pork strips will make it much easier to combine everything.
Double-fry the Pork:
- Pour a generous amount of vegetable oil into a large frying pan or pot. Heat the pot over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 170°C (~340°F). (Note: If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the temperature by placing a wooden chopstick with a bit of batter into the oil. If you see a lot of bubbles forming, it is ready.)
- Carefully place the pork strips into the oil one by one, using a fresh pair of chopsticks to prevent them from sticking together. Fry the strips in the oil until each side develops a nice crispy coating. Once done, remove them from the oil and place them on a rack to drain excess oil. Repeat this process for all the pork pieces.
- Increase the oil temperature to 180°C (360°F). Return all the freshly fried pork pieces back into the oil and fry them a second time until they turn a beautiful golden brown. Remove them from the oil once they reach the desired color.
Cook the Sauce:
- In a large pot, combine water, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.Add the prepared vegetables into the boiling sauce.
- While waiting for the sauce to re-boil, prepare a small bowl of starch water by mixing 3 tablespoons of starch powder with about 5 tablespoons of water. Stir it thoroughly.Gradually add 3-5 tablespoons of the starch water into the sauce, one tablespoon at a time. Stir well after each addition. The sauce should start to thicken and reach the consistency of a dipping sauce, similar to McNugget sauce. (Note: If the sauce doesn’t thicken, add a few more tablespoons of the starch water as needed.)
- Turn off the heat. You can either pour the sauce over the cooked pork pieces or serve it in a separate small bowl as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!
- The starch powder solidifies quickly, making it challenging to lift off the mixing bowl. Use a wooden spatula to make it easier.
- When adding the egg white and vegetable oil to the starch mix, add the meat pieces first before mixing. The moisture from the meat will make the mixing process easier.