Here are all the tips and tricks you need to make Saucy Cubed Pork from pork loin in minutes on your stovetop for an easy weeknight meal.
This saucy cubed pork recipe combines a variety of flavors, including sweet, savory, tangy, and a touch of nuttiness from the sesame oil.
Cubed Pork Recipe
Saucy Cubed Pork (aka saucy pork bites) is soul-satisfying and hearty.
The sauce includes Asian dark sesame oil for nutty richness, rice vinegar for mild tanginess, granulated garlic for a savory kick, honey for sweetness, sweet chili sauce for zesty spiciness, ketchup for a sweet and sour element, brown sugar for depth, and low-sodium soy sauce for saltiness and umami.
The result is a blend of flavors with a satisfying balance of sweet, savory, and tangy notes, complemented by the tender pork.
Pork loin is very mild in flavor, making it so delicious in this sweet and tangy sauce with diverse Asian flavors.
Sometimes, it’s almost impossible not to gorge myself since it’s so easy to pop those golden brown pork cubes into your mouth – yowza.
Because my family has become fond of Asian flavors (finally!), I now enjoy serving them all kinds of Asian dishes.
What to Love
- Pork loin is a great value at the grocery store. It is a very inexpensive protein!
- You can have this easy skillet meat on the table in less than 30 minutes, start to finish.
- If there are leftovers, serve them over bowls of warm rice or tucked into a warm flour tortilla – yum.
Saucy Cubed Pork Recipe Ingredients
- Boneless pork loin: I cubed pork loin because it’s very economical and there are no bones to deal with. You can also cube boneless pork chops if that’s easier and what you have on hand.
- Vegetable or canola oil: You will need oil for sauteing the pork to brown and caramelize it. I prefer using olive oil since it’s a very healthy oil, but vegetable or canola oil also works just fine, too.
- Asian dark sesame oil: Dark sesame oil is a finishing oil that adds a nice pop of toasty, nutty flavor to the sauce. Do not sauté with this type of oil since it will burn easily, adding a bitter element to the dish.
- Asian rice vinegar: With a mild, slightly sweet flavor, rice vinegar is also just a bit tangy and has lower acidity.
- Granulated garlic: You can substitute garlic powder for granulated garlic. I like the texture of granulated garlic over garlic powder and feel it dissolves better.
- Honey: Feel free to substitute Agave nectar if you don’t have honey. I have even substituted brown sugar for the honey.
- Sweet chili sauce: Sometimes, Asian chili sauce is Thai sweet chili sauce. It is an inexpensive Asian condiment that is sweet, spicy, tangy, and savory. Sweet chili sauce contains red chilies, garlic, ginger, vinegar and sugar. It is only very slightly spicy and much more sweet.
- Ketchup: Because ketchup is both sweet and sour, it compliments Asian flavors perfectly.
- Brown sugar: I like using dark brown sugar in nearly all my recipes, but use what you have.
- Soy sauce: I use low-sodium soy sauce for nearly every recipe. You can always add more salt, but if your dish is overly salty, it’s hard to reverse that issue.
How to Make Saucy Cubed Pork
Slice the pork loin into 1-inch slices. Then, cut each slice of pork into 2-3 strips, each about 1-inch wide.
Now, cut each strip of pork into 1-inch cubes. When you finish slicing the pork loin, you will have about 24 cubes.
Season the pork cubes with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Let the cubes of pork rest at room temperature for a few minutes while you prepare the sauce.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Preheat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
When the oil is nicely hot and sizzling a bit, gently add the pork cubes. Brown them on all sides, for 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the prepared sauce. Let the pork simmer over medium or medium-low heat for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
When the sauce has nicely thickened, and the pork is hot throughout, serve over warm rice or with your favorite side dish.
- When you are ready to sauté the pork cubes, ensure the oil is nicely hot and sizzling. The hot pan and the hot oil will brown the pork quickly so you can add the sauce.
- If needed, brown the pork cubes in two batches so there is plenty of room for the heat to circulate each piece of meat. If you overcrowd the pan, the meat steams instead of frying. And you won’t get the desired caramelization and deep flavors.
- If you prefer larger pork cubes, you can cut them to 1 1/2-inches. They will need just a few minutes longer to simmer in the sauce to be done throughout.
Is cubed pork the same thing as pork bites or pork nuggets?
I say YES! The pork cubes are cut to one inch in size in this recipe. These are perfect for popping into your mouth.
Most recipes suggest that pork bites and pork nuggets are also around 1-inch to 1 1/2-inches in size.
What is the best cut of pork to cube?
Any fairly lean cut of pork, so you don’t have to trim some fat before cubing the meat. Some cuts may be sirloin roast, loin, loin roast, loin country-style ribs, or chops.
Also, to make cubing the pork even easier, choose a cut that doesn’t have any bones you have to work around. I want to cube the entire piece of meat to feed my family.
I find pork loin to be lean, easy to work with, and slice with not much exterior fat to trim away. As long as you don’t overcook the pork, it’s nice and tender.
If I want pork cubes that are EXTRA tender, I cut up a pork tenderloin.
How do you cut pork into cubes?
Here’s the easiest way to cut a hunk of pork (such as pork loin) into 1-inch cubes:
Place your pork loin onto a cutting board. If it needs to be trimmed of fat a bit, do that first.
Using a sharp knife, cut the pork loin into slices that are 1-inch thick. Once the hunk of pork is all sliced into 1-inch thick slices, it’s time to make strips.
Lay each slice flat onto the cutting board, cutting it into strips that are 1-inch wide.
You will generally get 2-3 strips of pork from each slice of pork loin, depending on how wide it is.
Turn your strips of pork into cubes. Cut each strip into cubes that are each about 1-inch wide.
Typically, each strip will yield 3-4 cubes of pork. All done! Two pounds of pork loin will generally yield about 24 cubes.
How do you know when the pork cubes are fully cooked and safe to eat?
Because the pork cubes are small (1 or 1 1/2-inch in size) they will cook part of the way as you are browning them and then finish cooking pretty quickly as they simmer in the sauce.
It would be hard to take an internal temperature reading of the pork cubes since they are small.
The USDA says a safe internal temperature for cooked pork is 145 degrees F. at the center followed by a three-minute rest.
What meat is diced pork?
Technically, diced pork can be sliced up at home from any of your favorite trimmed cuts of pork.
This may include pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork shoulder, pork butt, or, as in this recipe, pork loin roast.
If you see diced pork available in your grocer’s meat case, it is made available because purchasing it already cut up is a fantastic time-saver in the kitchen.
What does diced pork mean?
When referring to diced pork, it means that it has been cut into small pieces (or cubes) around 1/4-inch in size, possibly even slightly larger.
Can cubed pork be frozen?
Heck yes. If you see pork on sale, it’s a great time to stock up.
It’s just as easy to cube up two or three hunks of pork at a time as it is to cut up just one – it only takes a few minutes.
It’s handy to cube the pork and freeze it in about two-pound packages since that’s a good size for making a meal for 5-6 people.
Cubed pork will thaw quickly, too, since it’s small in size.
I typically don’t freeze cubed pork that has already been cooked, but there would be nothing wrong if you allow the pork to cool before putting it into the freezer.
Always thaw meat in refrigeration to keep it safe.
What to serve with Saucy Cubed Pork
You can serve cubed pork with nearly any side dish.
I like serving cubed pork with roasted, air fryer, or smashed garlic potatoes.
We are fans of air fryer parmesan broccoli served with saucy cubed pork – they complement each other well.
More Favorite Recipes
This Spam Eggs and Rice may be one of my favorite quick and easy meals.
Steak Milanesa might be right in your wheelhouse if you enjoy thin steak fried to crispy perfection on the outside, yet tender and moist on the inside.
Easy Ham Steak and Creamy Potatoes is a classic cheesy casserole, loaded with lots of diced ham Full of cheesy potato goodness and lots of diced ham steak, this 9×13 dish is pure comfort food that is quick to make.
Get ready for this to be your family’s favorite weeknight meal! Big Mac Sloppy Joes are made from seasoned ground beef filling, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions.
Saucy Cubed Pork
- 2 lbs. boneless pork loin
- 2 Tbs. vegetable or canola oil for frying the pork cubes
- 1 Tbs. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1 Tbs. Asian rice vinegar
- 2 Tbs. honey
- 2 Tbs. Asian sweet chili sauce
- 3 Tbs. ketchup
- 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
Make the Pork Cubes
- Slice the pork loin into 1-inch slices, then cut each slice of pork into 3 strips. Now cut each strip of pork into 1-inch cubes. You will have about 24 cubes when you are finished slicing the pork loin.
- Season the pork cubes with kosher salt and pepper, to taste. Let the cubes of pork rest at room temperature for a few minutes while you prepare the sauce.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; whisk until smooth.
- Preheat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is nicely hot and sizzling a bit, gently add the cubes of pork, browning them on all sides, 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the prepared sauce. Let the pork simmer over medium or medium-low heat for a few minutes, just until the sauce begins to thicken. Serve at once.