Sweet and Sour sauce

This is a quick recipe that I did at home just to use some stuff up and shove in the cupboard ready for a “can’t be arsed to cook day”

In China traditionally the sauces are made from mixing sugar or honey with a sour liquid such as rice vinegar and soy sauce and spices such as ginger  and cloves. Sometimes a paste made from tomatoes is used but this is rare and normally restricted to western cooking. The sweet and sour as we know it comes from America and the China towns there.

The earliest  sauces with this Sweet and Sour taste are Cantonese and  were dipping sauces for fish and seafood. and was basic honey/sugar and a spiced vinegar. Very harsh but very yummy. As Tomatoes are a South American veg, that will be why the Western version uses them.

There are so many ways you can use sweet and sour from marinating  prawns to serving with freshly cooked chicken, pork balls in batter or just a medley of fresh steamed veg.

To me this is a must to make and hold in your cupboard or freezer until needed.

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Sweet and sour is quick, easy and pretty health, you can swap the sugar for honey if you want to keep off the sweet stuff.

serves 4


dash of sesame oil

1 bell pepper thinly sliced

1 white onion thinly sliced

1 carrot Julienne

1 clove of garlic sliced extremely thin

1/4 tsp of ginger powder or 1 thumb sized grated fresh ginger

1 veggie stock cube

4 tbsp Demerara sugar

4 tbsp rice vinegar

200 g tinned pineapple and the juices from the tin

2 tbsp or tomato paste

zest  and juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 pt of water

2 tbsp of cornflour mixed in cold water


Sweat off the onions, garlic and carrots in a little sesame oil for no more than a few minutes. They should still be crunchy.

Add the ginger  and crumble in the stock cube.

Pour in the water and bring rapidly to the boil

Add the sugar and rice vinegar. along with the pineapple, lemon zest and the juices

Add the tomato puree and then bring to the boil.

Simmer for a few minutes and then add the cornflour.

adjust the seasoning and also check the flavour. I prefer making it slightly sweeter but feel free to adjust the sugar and vinegar to suit yourself.

This should take no more than 10 minutes from start to finish.

I then store them in sterilized jars until needed. And serve with which ever protein Iwant!


hope you enjoy




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