I love some good sweet and sour sauce! Obviously, sweet and sour sauce is easy to get when you’ve ordered takeout Chinese, and it comes in the takeout box. However, if you’re thinking about making Crab Rangoons, Chicken, or Egg Rolls at home from scratch, you’re going to need some of this delicious sauce to go with it!
This is my favorite homemade recipe for Sweet and Sour Sauce. It can be made right on your stove, and is thickened slightly by the addition of cornstarch. Try it out and let me know what you think!
“Hello Reader! I try my hardest to research recipes as best as I can before posting to ensure I am representing each culture correctly. If this recipe is from your country and I have made a mistake or you have suggestions for how to make it more authentic, I would love to hear! Please leave a comment below letting me know what should be different, and I will rework the recipe. It is always my intention to pay homage and respect to each cultural dish that I cook. Thanks for reading!”
Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients
Pineapple juice (I used Dole)
Apple cider vinegar
Red food coloring
How Do You Make Sweet and Sour Sauce from Scratch?
Add pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and food coloring in a medium pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir until the combination begins to bubble.
Once the mixture is bubbling, mix the cornstarch and water together in a separate, small bowl. Pour into the pot, and mix for about 3-5 more minutes until the sauce is thickened.
Remove from heat and allow to cool before enjoying.
Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you think!
Why is Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce Pink?
Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce gets its pink/red color a few different ways. Some version of the recipe include ketchup or tomatoes as a main ingredient.
If you are making this recipe using ketchup or tomatoes, the color of these foods will naturally dye your sauce red/pink.
The version of the sauce that we have here does not include either of the aforementioned ingredients. I didn’t like the thought of boiling ketchup on the stove, so I used different ingredients to achieve the same end result.
Because Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce is traditionally pink, the recipe that I have here simply uses red food coloring to achieve its red hue. I chose to do this so that the sauce would be easily recognizable as sweet and sour sauce, even without using ketchup.
Is Sweet and Sour Sauce Eaten in China?
Yes. Though there are plenty of “Chinese” recipes that aren’t actually eaten in China (AKA Chinese American recipes AKA Egg Rolls), Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce is not one of those dishes.
Sweet and Sour Sauce is a popular sauce made in China that is poured over many different types of foods there!
Though the most common way to eat Sweet and Sour Sauce in the United States is with chicken, this is not the most common way in China. In America, chicken is one of the most popular meats to eat, therefore Sweet and Sour Chicken is very popular!
On the other hand, chicken is not the most popular type of meat in China. Instead, pork is very common! You are instead more likely to find Sweet and Sour Pork in China, another delicious use for this sauce.
Does this Recipe Use Ketchup?
When I was researching different recipes for sweet and sour sauce, I realized that many of the recipes on the internet have ketchup as a main ingredient. Call me crazy, but ketchup doesn’t sound very authentically Chinese to me….
If you want to make a quick but authentic Sweet and Sour Sauce without ketchup, this is the right recipe for you! Pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, and soy sauce are the main ingredients in this recipe. The ingredients are still simple enough to find in your hometown grocery store, but they combine to make this delicious sauce!
Is this Recipe Gluten Free?
Yes! This recipe is completely gluten free. Cornstarch is a thickening agent in this recipe, but it doesn’t contain any gluten like many flours. Those with gluten intolerances can eat this recipe with no concern.
How to Eat this Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce has so many different uses, it’s hard to pick a favorite! You can use your sauce recipe to dip egg rolls, crab rangoons, or any other appetizer you’d like!
Can I Eat Sweet and Sour Sauce Cold?
Because this recipe is made with cornstarch, it’s definitely best to eat it fresh. Putting the sauce in the fridge causes it to gelatinize, which means that it will be thicker the next time you need to use it.
I would recommend making this sauce right before you plan to eat it, especially if you’d like to eat it hot!
If you liked this recipe, make sure to leave a comment letting me know what you think! If you liked this recipe, you should also check out:
- Sweet Potato Fritters with Lemon Tahini Sauce
- Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
- Caramelized Bananas in Pineapple Sauce
- Chinese Peking Duck Recipe
- Fries with Andalouse Sauce from Belgium
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 6 Oz pineapple juice
- ⅓ cup Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 drops red food coloring
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- Add pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and food coloring in a medium pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir until the combination begins to bubble.
- Once the mixture is bubbling, mix the cornstarch and water together in a separate, small bowl. Pour into the pot, and mix for about 3-5 more minutes until the sauce is thickened.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool before enjoying.
- Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you think!