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Tangsuyuk (Korean Chinese sweet and sour pork).jpg
Place of originKorea
Associated national cuisineKorean Chinese cuisine
Serving temperatureWarm
Main ingredientsPork or beef loin, sweet and sour sauce
Korean name
Revised Romanizationtangsuyuk

Tangsuyuk (탕수육) is a Korean Chinese meat dish with sweet and sour sauce. It can be made with either pork or beef.[1]

History and etymology[edit]

Tangsuyuk is a dish that was first made by Chinese immigrants in the port city of Incheon, where the majority of ethnic Chinese population in South Korea live. It is derived from Shandong-style tángcùròu (糖醋肉), as Chinese immigrants were mostly from Shandong (or other Eastern, Northern and Northeastern parts of China) due to geographical proximity.[2]

Although the Chinese characters meaning "sugar" (), "vinegar" (), and "meat" () are pronounced dang, cho, and yuk in Korean, the dish is called tangsuyuk, not dangchoyuk, because the word tangsu derived from the transliteration of Chinese pronunciation tángcù [tʰǎŋ.tsʰû], with the affricate c [tsʰ] in the second syllable weakened into fricative s [s].[3] The third syllable ròu () was not transliterated, as Sino-Korean word yuk (; ) meaning "meat" was also commonly used in Korean dish names. As the word tangsuyuk is the combination of transliterated loanword tangsu and Sino-Korean yuk, it was not a Sino-Korean vocabulary that could be written in hanja. However, Koreans back-formed the second syllable with hanja su (; ), meaning "water", perhaps because the sauce was considered soupy.[1]


Bite-size pieces of pork or beef loin are coated with batter, usually made by soaking a mixture of potato or sweet potato starch and corn starch in water for several hours and draining the excess water. Glutinous rice flour may also be used. Egg white or cooking oil is added to the batter to change its consistency. Similarly to other Korean deep fried dishes, battered tangsuyuk meat is double-fried.[4][5]

Tangsuyuk is served with sweet and sour sauce, which is typically made by boiling vinegar, sugar and water, with variety of fruits and vegetables like carrot, cucumber, onion, wood ear mushroom and pineapple. Starch slurry is used to thicken the sauce.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "tangsuyuk" 탕수육. Standard Korean Language Dictionary (in Korean). National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  2. ^ 김, 경운 (26 February 2016). "짜장면과 탕수육". Seoul Shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  3. ^ 임, 대근 (10 June 2016). "탕수육은 왜 탕수육일까?". Pressian (in Korean). Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b Ro, Hyo-sun (28 March 2014). "Tangsuyuk (sweet and sour pork)". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  5. ^ Joo, J. (2016). Korean Food Made Simple. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-544-66308-4. Retrieved April 25, 2017.