Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce (2024)

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A quick and easy homemade sweet and sour sauce made entirely from ‘normal’ everyday ingredients found in most kitchens… lower in sugar than most recipes and NO KETCHUP (or any other highly processed, additive-laden ingredients for that matter!) This Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce takes less than 10 minutes to make and tastes incredible – so much nicer than overly sugary, artificial-tasting, store-bought sweet and sour sauces!

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No ketchup sweet and sour sauce!

One of the things that really annoys me about most Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce recipes is the sauce always includes ketchup… Now, I don’t know about you, but if I am going to make a homemade recipe, I don’t want to start adding additive-laden, heavily processed ingredients like ketchup to it! That kind of defeats the object… I might as well use a store-bought sweet and sour sauce!

Well, if that annoys you too, you are going to love this recipe – it uses tomato puree instead of ketchup. The result means the flavour tastes much more natural and – I would argue – MUCH MUCH nicer than ketchup-based sweet and sour sauces (or store-bought sweet and sour sauces for that matter!)

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Very easy to make…

And this Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce is very easy to make! All you need to do is mix together cornflour, apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar), soy sauce, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, brown sugar and pineapple juice in a small saucepan, then bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the desired consistency and you’re done!

If you are using this sauce in a recipe like Sweet and Sour Chicken then it’s even easier, as there’s no need to pre-cook the sauce. Simply mix up the ingredients in a jam jar, or similar, and then throw the sauce straight into the Sweet and Sour Chicken for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time to thicken.

(Full recipe card below.)

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Much less sugar than most homemade recipes

When I first developed this Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce I was shocked, not only by how all the existing recipes seemed to use ketchup, but also by the enormous quantities of sugar in many of the recipes.

I spent a lot of time tweaking this recipe to make a truly great tasting sauce that didn’t contain obscene amounts of sugar and I am really pleased with the result… it still absolutely tastes like sweet and sour sauce, but with a whole lot less sugar!

Of course, I couldn’t omit the sugar entirely or it wouldn’t be SWEET and sour sauce, but I have considerably reduced it…

My Sweet and Sour Sauce contains only 2 tablespoons of sugar (½ a tablespoon per person), as I found that was the minimum you can get away with and still have a really great tasting sauce.

If you really really don’t like adding sugar to your food, you can just about get away with 1 tablespoon of sugar, but any less than that and it really is just ‘sour’ sauce!

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How to use Sweet and Sour Sauce

This sauce is perfect for making Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken or Sweet and Sour Pork… but you can also use it in stir fries (like my Easy Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles), as a marinade for meat and fish, or as a dipping sauce.

How to store Sweet and Sour Sauce

This sauce will keep in a lidded container (a jam jar is perfect!), in the fridge for 3-4 days. Serve cold or warm through in a saucepan before serving.

You can also reheat the sauce in the microwave, if you prefer.

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Can you freeze Sweet and Sour Sauce?

Absolutely! While this sauce does taste best made fresh, it also freezes well.

Simply put the cooked and cooled sauce into a lidded container and place it in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.

You can also reheat straight from frozen in a saucepan, if you prefer.

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If you like this recipe…

…you might also like:

  • Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Easy Homemade Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles
  • Easy Homemade Stir Fry Sauce
  • Easy Homemade Chow Mein Sauce (Only 5 ingredients!)
  • Plain Egg Fried Rice (Chinese Takeaway Copycat)
  • Special Fried Rice

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Print Pin

A quick and easy homemade sweet and sour sauce made entirely from ‘normal’ everyday ingredients found in most kitchens… lower in sugar than most recipes and NO KETCHUP (or any other highly processed, additive-laden ingredients for that matter!) This Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce takes less than 10 minutes to make and tastes incredible – so much nicer than overly sugary, artificial-tasting, store-bought sweet and sour sauces!

Course Sauces

Cuisine Chinese

Prep Time 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes minutes

Total Time 10 minutes minutes

Servings 4 people

Calories 69kcal

Author Eb Gargano

Ingredients

Metric - US Customary

  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (US – cornstarch)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic grated or crushed
  • 1 cm fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (See Note 1)
  • 165 ml pineapple juice (OR the juice from one 425g / 15oz tin pineapple chunks in juice)

Instructions

  • Place the cornflour and the vinegar in a small saucepan. Stir to combine thoroughly.

  • Add the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, tomato puree and brown sugar, and stir to combine. Then add the pineapple juice and, again, stir to combine thoroughly.

  • Heat the sauce until it starts to bubble, then turn the heat right down and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

  • Alternatively, if you are using this sauce in a recipe like Sweet and Sour Chicken, then there’s no need to pre-cook the sauce. Simply mix up the ingredients in a jam jar, or similar, and then throw the sauce straight into the Sweet and Sour Chicken for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time to cook through and thicken up.

Notes

  1. My Sweet and Sour Sauce contains only 2 tablespoons of sugar (½ a tablespoon per person), as I found that was the minimum you can get away with and still have a really great tasting sauce. If you really really don’t like adding sugar to your food, you can just about get away with 1 tablespoon of sugar, but any less than that and it really is just ‘sour’ sauce! Alternatively, if you prefer a sweeter sauce, increase the quantity to 3 tablespoons of sugar.
  2. Suitable for freezing.
  3. Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

Nutrition Facts

Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce

Amount Per Serving

Calories 69Calories from Fat 1

% Daily Value*

Fat 0.1g0%

Saturated Fat 0.01g0%

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.04g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.01g

Sodium 760mg33%

Potassium 144mg4%

Carbohydrates 15g5%

Fiber 0.4g2%

Sugar 11g12%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin A 43IU1%

Vitamin C 6mg7%

Calcium 19mg2%

Iron 1mg6%

* % Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet

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Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce (2024)

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