Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipes

Chinese Sweet and Sour recipes
Chinese Sweet and Sour recipes. Chris Radley Photography
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Make 1 bowl
Ratings (9)

Sweet and sour pork and in fact sweet and sour in general is very popular in Chinese cuisine. But do you know there are many different ways to make sweet and sour sauce? When thinking of sweet and sour we often think of the sweet and sour from our local Chinese (Cantonese) restaurant or our local takeaway. This is shown in the first recipe but it’s far from my favorite way of making sweet and sour.

I personally love Shanghai Style Sweet and Sour Sauce. It’s less sweet than recipe one and my grandfather used to cook this for me all the time when I was a child. I recently made this sauce for my latest cookbook and my husband loved it so much I ended up cooking it almost every day for a week.

Edited by Liv Wan

What You'll Need

  • Recipe 1: 
  • Cantonese Style / Takeaway / Most Chinese Restaurants
  • Ingredients:
  • 200ml Water
  • 100ml Ketchup
  • 100ml Rice vinegar
  • 100g Rock sugar (You can also use caster sugar or demerara sugar. But I feel like the rock sugar makes the sauce taste better)
  • ½ tablespoon potato starch mix with 1 tablespoon water
  • Some salt for seasoning 
  • Recipe 2:
  • Shanghai Style Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Ingredients:
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 40ml light soy sauce
  • 30ml black vinegar 
  • Recipe 3:
  • If you use canned pineapple in your sweet and sour dish then you can replace part of the water from the Method 1 and make your sweet and sour sauce with the pineapple juice. Reduce down the amount of sugar you use a little bit though as canned pineapple juice can be quite sweet. Some canned pineapples are less sweet but judge it for yourself.
  • Ingredients:
  • 200ml juice from the canned pineapple. If the amount of the juice is not enough then top up with water.
  • 100ml Ketchup
  • 100ml Rice vinegar
  • 70g Rock sugar (You can also use caster sugar or demerara sugar. But I feel like the rock sugar make the sauce taste better)
  • ½ tablespoon potato starch mix with 1 tablespoon water (Potato starch is usually available in Chinese supermarkets. It’s also available on Amazon. Otherwise you can replace it with cornflour/cornstarch.)
  • Some salt for seasoning 
  • Recipe 4:
  • This recipe is from the former Chinese food expert Rhonda Parkinson
  • Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar (Note: I would insist to use rice vinegar as white wine vinegar flavour is too sharp and strong.)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water

How to Make It

Recipe 1 Directions:

  1. Take a saucepan and put all the ingredients in the saucepan and mix evenly before you start cooking.
  2. You must stir the sauce all the time just in case the sauce turns lumpy.
  3. Bring the sauce to the boil and turn the fire to the lowest temperature and simmer until the sauce texture has turned thick and sticky. Then it’s ready. You can stir fry some pork or chicken with vegetable and pour the sauce in.
  1. If you got any extra sauce, you can keep it in a dry and clean container after it’s cool down and store it in the fridge. Usually this sauce should last 7-10 days in the fridge if you store it properly.

 

Recipe 2 Procedures:

  1. Put caster sugar and the water in a wok and caramelize the sugar until it’s golden in colour.
  2. Turn off the fire and add soy sauce and the black vinegar in and stir it until everything has mixed evenly. Please be very careful when you put soy sauce and vinegar in the wok as it could cause sugar spills so stand back a few steps when you do this.
  3. Turn the fire back on and make sure the sauce has totally combined together. Then you can add deep fried ribs or pork belly in the sauce and mix them evenly. Ready to serve. 

Recipe 3 Directions:

  1. Take a saucepan and put all the ingredients in the saucepan and mix evenly before you start cooking.
  2. You must stir the sauce all the time or the sauce can turn lumpy.
  3. Bring the sauce to the boil and turn the fire to the lowest temperature and simmer until the sauce texture has turned thick and sticky. Then it’s ready. You can stir fry some pork or chicken with vegetable and pour the sauce in.
  4. If you got any extra sauce, you can keep it in a dry and clean container after it’s cool down and store it in the fridge. Usually this sauce should last 7-10 days in the fridge if you store it properly. 

Recipe 4 Directions:

Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce together and bring to the boil in a small pot. Mix together the cornstarch and water, add to the other ingredients and stir to thicken.

(If desired, you can add 1 green pepper, cut into chunks, and pineapple chunks as desired after adding the cornstarch. For a thicker sauce, increase the cornstarch to 4 teaspoons while keeping the water constant.)

Edited by Liv Wan