Black Pepper and Vinegar Pork Stir Fry

Try my tangy, peppery vinegar pork stir fry for dinner this week! This is a simple, straightforward Chinese recipe that makes 4 servings of crispy, tender pork strips in 30 minutes. Plate it with some seasonal vegetables and serve with fluffy white rice for a well-rounded, delicious meal!

closeup: a platter of vinegar pork stir fry with vegetables

Vinegar pork stir fry is one of the simplest Chinese stir-fries you can whip up on a busy evening. Even after a brief marinade, frying up the meat and vegetables, and tossing them in sauce, you’ll have everything plated in just 30 minutes.

But that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in flavor — not by a long shot! The meat is marinated in sweetened soy sauce and white pepper before it’s fried up and coated in a tangy, mouthwatering vinegar and black pepper sauce.

extreme closeup: my vinegar pork stir fry recipe with bell peppers and onions

These juicy pork strips are coated in cornstarch for a sort of “velveting” effect. It’s not a true velveting technique (which I employ in my Szechuan pork recipe), but it works hard to keep the pork tender and crisp.

Want more like this vinegar pork stir fry recipe? Try my Hunan chicken, moo shu pork, and Chinese curry beef with black bean sauce!

overhead: slicing pork on a white cutting board for vinegar pork stir fry

Tip From Kevin

Pork Loin vs Pork Tenderloin

Pork loin and pork tenderloin are two different cuts of meat from the same animal but come from different parts and have distinct characteristics.

Pork loin is wider, fattier, and usually used for chops or roasts, while pork tenderloin is leaner, smaller, and best suited for quick cooking methods. Both cuts have their own unique textures and flavors, and they can be used in a variety of delicious recipes.

I prefer using the pork loin for this as it is easier to cut into thin strips and holds up better in a stir fry. You can use pork loin chops and remove the bone, or pork loin cutlets as I have.

overhead: prepared pork and sliced bell peppers and onions for my vinegar pork stir fry recipe

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Pork Loin – Slice into 2 or 3 uniform cutlets. Aside from pork loin, you can also use the shoulder, butt, or tenderloin cuts to prepare my vinegar pork stir fry recipe. 
  • Marinade – Briefly marinate the cutlets in soy sauce, sugar, and white pepper before tossing in cornstarch.
  • Cracked Black Pepper Freshly cracked black pepper has a more “in your face” heat than white pepper. And we’re using plenty!
  • Vegetables – Thinly slice one green bell pepper, one red bell pepper, and one white onion. But I don’t want to limit you! Go rogue with any and all of your preferred stir-fry veggies — bok choy, mushrooms, carrots, or whatever else is in season!
  • Roasted Peanuts I include these in my vinegar pork stir fry recipe for texture, but feel free to omit if desired.
  • Sauce – After everything is cooked through, it’s tossed in a mouthwatering combination of:
    • White Vinegar This can be substituted with rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or some combination of the two.
    • Chicken Stock You can use any broth or stock you like.
    • Soy Sauce – Your run-of-the-mill soy sauce will work just fine in this sauce!
    • Cornstarch – To thicken the sauce.
overhead: fried pork in a bowl for vinegar pork stir fry

How to Make Vinegar Pork Stir Fry

  1. Slice & Coat the Pork. Cut each cutlet into ¼” strips, then cut each of those strips into 3 pieces lengthwise. Add these thin strips to a bowl with the soy sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Toss and let marinate briefly while slicing the bell peppers and onion into thin strips. 
  2. Cook the Meat. While the oil heats up in the wok, toss the marinated pork in ¼ cup of cornstarch. Add to the wok and cook on medium-high heat until browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl.
  3. Make the Sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small bowl, whisk together, and set aside.
  4. Cook the Vegetables. Add the vegetables to the wok and cook on high heat for several minutes.
  5. Add the Cooked Meat & Sauce. Return the meat to the wok and pour the sauce over the wok’s contents. Stir until everything is coated. The sauce will begin to thicken.
  6. Season & Serve. Add the black pepper to the pan, toss in the peanuts, and stir to combine. Season vinegar pork stir fry with salt as desired and serve immediately.
  • Sharp Knife – The only way to get uniform, thinly sliced cutlets is with a good, sharp knife.
  • Wok – This is hands-down the best pan for stir-fries. It doesn’t hold onto heat for too long, allowing you to cook different ingredients at different temperatures. Its high walls prevent oil splatter, and its surface area helps you work with a lot of ingredients with ease. 

Storing and Reheating

Transfer any uneaten vinegar pork stir fry to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. This is a delicious leftover meal because the sauce continues to flavor the meat and vegetables. 

You’re in for a real treat when you reheat those leftovers for lunch the next day! Reheat on the stovetop, stirring constantly on medium heat, or in the microwave.

overhead: a hand holding a large platter of my black pepper and vinegar pork stir fry recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep pork stir fry tender?

The first trick is to not overcrowd the wok. Having too much meat and liquid will simmer the cutlets rather than fry them, which will overcook the center before the outside gets crispy. 

Additionally, don’t keep it in the wok for too long! This seems like common sense, but time can get away from you when you’re stirring it in with the vegetables and trying to coat each inch with that silky vinegar sauce. 

Moving quickly while stir-frying is the number one way to keep the meat tender!

Should I boil pork before stir-frying?

No. The fibers of the meat can only take in so much flavor, and you want every second of the cooking time to be spent soaking up the flavors of the sauce and marinade.

What should you not put in a stir fry?

Don’t add vegetables that get soft quickly or release too much liquid. Some examples include tomatoes and many types of squash (zucchini being a common exception).

You also don’t want to add anything that takes too long to cook. Potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts immediately come to mind.

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extreme closeup: black pepper and vinegar pork stir fry with bell peppers and onions
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Black Pepper and Vinegar Pork Stir Fry

Crispy vinegar pork stir fry is coated in a thick, silky sauce, black pepper and loaded with juicy vegetables for a tasty 30-minute meal.
Servings: 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes




  • Slice each pork loin cutlet into 1/4-inch strips and then cut each strip into 3 pieces lengthwise. Add to bowl and mix with soy sauce, sugar, white pepper and marinate while chopping vegetables.
  • Heat the oil in a wok and toss the pork in 1/4 cup cornstarch. Working in batches, cook the pork until crispy and brown. Set aside in paper towel lined bowl.
  • Stir together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Add the vegetables to the wok and stir fry several minutes over high heat. Add the cooked pork and mix well. Stir to mix the sauce mixture
  • and add to wok. Quickly stir fry to coat all and sauce will thicken. Add the black pepper and peanuts and stir to mix through.
  • Season with salt and serve with steamed rice.


Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 713mg | Potassium: 1004mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1051IU | Vitamin C: 64mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): black pepper and vinegar pork stir fry


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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