Sweet and Sour Sauce: the easy recipe for making Chinese sauce at home

Total time: 15 Min
Difficulty: Low
By Cookist
White vinegar
1/3 cup
3/4 cup
2/3 cup
Soy sauce
1/4 cup
1 tbsp
2 tbsp

Sweet and sour sauce is the typical sauce of Chinese cuisine to serve with your delicious Oriental dishes such as shrimps or chicken, or tasty spring rolls. Sweet and sour sauce was born in the millennial Chinese cuisine and later exported by the Arabs to reach our kitchens. It is low cost, in fact during the Great Cultural Revolution, the Party provided it in large quantities to the people.

This sweet and sour recipe calls for only six ingredients and has no preservatives or chemicals. Ketchup gives it a wonderful red color and balanced flavor, while cornstarch and water give it texture. Quick and easy to prepare, just bring all the ingredients to a boil in a saucepan until you get a tangy and thick sauce. This homemade sweet and sour sauce will surprise all your guests as it's so much better than store-bought or the one you find at Chinese takeout or restaurants.

How to use Sweet and Sour Sauce

The sweet and sour sauce is a perfect dipping for wontons, spring rolls, chicken nuggets and fish sticks. It goes well with sweet and sour meatballs, chicken, pork, or shrimps. You can also use it as a glaze for grilled dishes.


Being a popular sauce, it changes depending on the region of origin, in fact some people use honey instead of sugar, or even cloves or ginger.

There is no need to use food coloring to get that bright red hue. Ketchup does all the work.

You can also add pineapple juice for a fruity flavor.

If you don't have ketchup on hand, you can use 2 teaspoons of tomato paste.

To make a spicy sweet and sour sauce, you can add some chili peppers: wash and finely chop half a chili pepper, remove the internal seeds that contain too much capsaicin, and place it in the saucepan before turning on the fire.

Don't leave out cornstarch as it is very important to thicken the sauce. If you don't have it, you can replace it with flour.

How to store Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce

You can store your sweet and sour sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Such containers properly retain the flavors and aromas of the seasonings.

How to Make Sweet and Sour Sauce


Place white vinegar, sugar, water, soy sauce, ketchup and cornstarch in a saucepan. Whisk to combine.


Turn on the fire and let it heat up until the sauce thickens, stirring continuously. Taste and adjust the sauce by adding more sugar if it is too sour or more vinegar if it is too sweet. Pour the sauce into a cold container. Serve and enjoy!

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