Sweet Caramelized Pork

The other day I had made some pork with a dry rub, using the same base recipe I use to make my Chili Pork with Peppers (see recipe here).  When making the pork however, I had some  brown sugar rub leftover and so I ended up tossing that into the pan when I  stir fried the slices of pork to get them a little crispy….the result was this delicious sticky sweet pork dish that made me want to sink my teeth into the juicy bits. So that’s how this simple recipe came about.

Sweet Caramelized Pork - PictureTheRecipe

I’ve since  tweaked the proportions of the 5 ingredient rub, making it a little sweeter than the rub I used for the Chili Pork, but I still used cayenne to give it some heat, as well as to add another dimension of flavor other than just sweet. The cayenne breaks up the sweetness and gives the dish a savory element along with a touch of zip, without making it spicy.

I made a big batch of this Sweet Caramel Pork for dinner the other day when my in-laws were visiting and paired it with a bright Sweet ‘n Tangy Apple- Cabbage slaw to make some Sticky Caramelized Pork Sandwiches, which turned out absolutely delicious. They were a huge hit!

Caramelized Pork Sandwich- PictureTheRecipe

I could just eat this pork  plain, all day and not get bored of it. My husband said it one of his favorite dinners and voted to have it more often. As simple as this recipe is, I  could easily make it a weeknight meal. You could serve this pork up with fried rice, as I think it would taste great with Asian flavors too. However you wish to serve it or eat it, this recipe is a definite MUST-TRY!

  Sweet Caramel Pork Recipe- Part 1 Sweet Caramel Pork Recipe- Part 2 Sweet Caramel Pork by PictureTheRecipe

Sweet Caramelized Pork
Serves 4
A super easy, quick and delicious sticky pork recipe that will make you want to sink your teeth into these juicy bits.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
  1. 1 1/2 lbs boneless pork rib meat
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp cayenne (or paprika for less heat)
  4. 1 tsp ground ginger powder
  5. 1/2 tsp black pepper
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1 medium onion
  8. 2 tbsp oil
  9. 1 green onion (for garnish)
  1. – Pre-heat your oven to 375F. Then start by mixing together the brown sugar, cayenne (use less if you’re not a fan of spice or substitute it with paprika), ginger powder, black pepper and salt.
  2. – Spoon over half the dry rub onto the pork ribs on all sides and rub it into the meat well. Save the other half of the rub for later.
  3. – Heat a cast iron/oven proof pan on high heat and add about a tablespoon of oil in it.
  4. – Sear the pork ribs to brown it on all sides, then pop the pan (or transfer to a baking sheet if it’s not oven proof) in the oven pre-heated to 375F for 25-30 mins. Turn the pork over about halfway through the cooking time. Then take the pan out and allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. – In the meantime chop the onion into big dice pieces.
  6. – Once the meat has rested, slice the pork into thin slices.
  7. – Heat a little oil in wok or frying pan on medium-high heat and toss in the diced onion. Saute the onion for about 2 minutes.
  8. – Then add in the sliced pork and toss it well with the onion.
  9. – Add the remaining brown sugar-spice mix and stir it in with the pork so it starts caramelizing. Keep stirring the pork around in the caramel sauce, until it becomes sticky.
  10. – Garnish the caramelized pork with some sliced green onion. Serve with rice or as a sandwich filling. Yummmm…
Adapted from PictureTheRecipe.com
Picture the Recipe http://picturetherecipe.com/


  1. Sarah Scott says

    I have just made this and it was quick, easy and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly – no problem. Butcher helped me with the meat as it was not a cut he or I were familiar with, he cut me rib meat. I served it with jacket spuds, salad and homemade coleslaw, will definitely be making this regularly, my boyfriend loved it…..

  2. Rebecca says

    Stumbled upon this recipe. Exchanged pork loin roast for the rib meat since all I could find of the latter was bone in (it didn’t turn out dry as I might have feared) and otherwise stuck to the recipe.

    The cayenne is currently giving me heartburn — I don’t remember being such a wimp! — but it was so tasty. Met with very pleased reviews from the folks I fed it to, as well.

    Thanks! ^_^

  3. brici says

    omg. thank you so much for this!!! i cant wait to go home and cook now! i want to try all your recipes! i love love love love your blog! i love how everything is pictured! i dislike when other blogs mention a spice or a veggie that i have no clue about and no picture to see what it looks like, i find myself having to google it.

    thank you again! im so glad i found this

  4. Nicole says

    Thank you for the recipe. It looks absolutely killer. Just wondering whether it would be alright to substitute the ginger powder with grated ginger as the former is unavailable where I live unfortunately.

  5. Alicia says

    Noreen, i had made this recipe but instead of putting the meat in the oven i sliced it and cooked in a pan . It cooked nicely..
    It was yummy! Thanks for the recipe

  6. Whitney says

    I’ve been thinking about making this recipe for my family’s 4th of July get-together. I was wondering how many people this recipe would typically serve? Thanks for posting! It looks great!

    • Noreen says

      Hi Anneliese, You can simply pan fry the pork. Sear it first on all sides on high, then turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan letting the meat cook for about 15 minutes on each side. Take the lid off turn up the heat and let the juices reduce till its down to just the fat left the pan and then continue the recipe as intsructed.

  7. Wayne Miller says

    Thank you. My family loved this! I may try adding some Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper to up the heat (& flavor) next time around.

  8. Kate says

    Came across this on Pinterest today and decided to make it… So delicious!!! I cut my pork first and then just panned fried it in the brown sugar mixture and it turned out amazing! Can’t wait to have leftovers at work this week. Thanks for a great recipe!

  9. Bryan M. says

    LOVED IT, have tried a couple of dishes off your site, and this one forced me to leave a comment!

    used a loin, didn’t come out dry. really spiced it up with some birds eyes and increased the cayenne. amazing dish!

    I also enjoyed the bbq shrimp, and suggest ppl to check it out.

  10. Danica says

    The only complaint I have about this dish is that it’s so delish that there are never any leftovers!
    Side note, I add a little bacon grease to the final carmelizing cooking stage. I think it gives it an extra little juicy kick. Also it’s very easy to substitute chicken in a pinch and it’s still amazing.


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