Easy, Tasty Thai Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe

Pork skewers with sweet and sour sauce

Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Prep: 6 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 21 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
195 Calories
0g Fat
49g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 195
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 499mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 14mg 68%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 199mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for ​a sweet and sour sauce is easy and tastes so much better than store-bought mixes. Use this sauce to create your own sweet and sour chicken, pork, tofu, and more. You'll love the tangy flavor of this sauce, and it can be made as spicy or mild as you like—great either way. Thai sweet and sour dishes are popular both in Thailand and throughout the world. Give this one a try, and you may just put away your take-out menu the next time a sweet and sour craving hits. Enjoy.


  • 2 (14-ounce cans) pineapple chunks, packed in juice

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar, or red wine vinegar

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or for vegetarians: 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/3 teaspoon sea salt

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 2 drops red food coloring, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Pour 1 can of pineapple chunks (with juice) into a medium to large pot, frying pan, or wok. Drain the juice from the other can into the pot, squeezing out all the juice from the fruit (to save for drinking or using in other dishes).

  2. Add the vinegar, sugar, fish sauce (or substitutions), garlic, cayenne, lemon or lime juice, and ketchup.

  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium to reach a nice strong simmer (uncovered) for 12 to 15 minutes or until sauce reduces by one-third.

  4. Stir cornstarch into the water with a fork until dissolved and add to the sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Add coloring if using.

  5. Do a taste-test, looking for a balance of sweet and sour, plus a hint of spicy and salty flavors. It's easy to adjust these flavors to your liking: if you find it too sour, add more sugar; if it's too sweet or too salty, add more lemon juice. More cayenne can be added for more spice.


  • The sauce is ready to use with your favorite protein source—chicken, pork, tofu, and even vegetables.
  • It's also wonderful as a dip for spring rolls and other Asian finger foods, or as a delicious marinade.