Sweet and sour sauce, a sauce beloved by many people around the world, is a great way to help elevate your Asian-inspired dishes and sides. Sweet and sour is a popular dipping sauce all over the world that originated in China, and it changed and varied in the United States of America. This sauce can go with all of your favorite Asian and Asian-inspired dishes like orange chicken, egg rolls, crab rangoons, wontons, rice, and many tempura foods. You can even dip or coat simple items like chicken, pork, and vegetables in the sauce. The simple sauce lives up to its name by being the perfect balance of sweetness and sourness that can give any dish a powerful and delicious flavor.
Sweet and sour sauce as we know it in the United States dates back to around the early 1900s when Chinese restaurant owners in America had to feed growing crowds of people who were attracted to the Chinese cuisine brought by immigrants. The chefs had to come up with a quicker and easier way to feed multiple customers the traditional food they remembered from their pasts and the food they wanted to serve. They used ketchup because they noticed that the American people liked ketchup. These ingredients were easier to come by and more familiar to people who were not immigrants from China, and they created a more powerful and flavorful version of Chinese sweet and sour sauce that became what we use today.
Sweet and sour sauce is a blend of sugar, vinegar, water, soy sauce, ketchup, and cornstarch that is boiled and mixed together. You can add vegetables to the sauce as well. Minced garlic and minced ginger can be added to the sauce for more flavor. You can use it to dip or to coat any of your favorite Asian dishes. For varying flavors, you can also use brown sugar instead of white, or add pineapple juice to the mixture. You can also add Different versions of the sauce are made by many different chains and small restaurants around the world. This recipe is just one combination of the classic ingredients that can make sweet and sour sauce.
Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
- ¾ cup of white sugar
- ⅓ cup of white vinegar
- ⅔ cup of water
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cloves of minced garlic (optional)
- Mix cornstarch and water together and set a side.
- Place white sugar, white vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, in a saucepan, then add the cornstarch and water mixture.
- (Optional) Sautee minced garlic and ginger in olive oil for one to two minutes, then add it to the mixture.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Stir continuously until the sauce has thickened.
- Let cool slightly and serve the sweet and sour sauce.
This recipe is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make sweet and sour sauce for your meals at home. This sauce is convenient because the basic ingredients to make it can be found in your home. There is no need to search for hard-to-find ingredients at supermarkets and fancy food stores. It is the perfect dish for Asian meals for any season of the year. It is a sure way to make anyone happy while eating. Kids even like sweet and sour sauce for dipping their foods like chicken nuggets. Popular chain restaurants use sweet and sour as a dipping sauce for french fries and chicken nuggets. It is hard to find someone who dislikes the flavor of this sauce because it has become such a staple of the way we enjoy Asian foods.
The possibilities for sweet and sour sauce are endless. By combining different foods with sweet and sour sauce, you can make new meals for your loved ones to try. You can make anything sweet and sour by coating the food after you cook it like sweet and sour chicken and sweet and sour pork. You can also coat vegetables and noodles in the sauce. You can stir the food you would like to add in the saucepan and coat everything up nicely. Be sure to remove the pan from heat and let it cool before serving it.
Sweet and Sour Sauce FAQ
How long can I store and save sweet and sour sauce?
Sweet and sour sauce can be stored in a covered and airtight jar or Tupperware in a refrigerator for two to three weeks.
I don’t have any white vinegar for the recipe, what substitute can I use for my sauce?
Rice vinegar or cider vinegar are good substitutes for white vinegar. Lemon juice can also be used as an alternative in the sauce because of the acidity.
What makes sweet and sour sauce red?
The amount of ketchup can determine the color of your sauce. For a brighter red color, you are able to use a few drops of red food coloring in the sauce.
Can I use brown sugar to make this sauce?
Yes you can. A half of a cup of packed brown sugar can be used instead of white sugar in this recipe.
How do I make my sweet and sour sauce thicker?
You can use more cornstarch in the mixture to make it thicker. If you are out of cornstarch, a mixture of flour and water can be used.
Is this dish supposed to be served hot or cold?
Sweet and sour sauce can be served hot or cold based on your own preference.
Can I make my sweet and sour sauce spicy?
Yes. You can add spices like cayanne pepper to the sauce to give it a spicy kick.