Heat shortening in a large, deep skillet. Sear pork until it turns white, then add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add celery, hot water, salt and pepper. Cover skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Add sprouts and heat to boiling.
In a small bowl combine the cold water, cornstarch, soy sauce and sugar. Mix together and add to skillet mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened to taste.