Home > Recipe, Sides > Chinese Takeaway Style Sweet & Sour Sauce

Chinese Takeaway Style Sweet & Sour Sauce

There are lots of different recipes for sweet & sour sauce, and I’ve tried lots of variations in a, possibly a little sad, mini-quest for perfection, by which I suppose I mean one that best approximates my favourite takeaway’s sauce that I can easily make at home. While I’m certainly not saying this is the definitive sweet & sour sauce, I think it’s pretty good. Drawing inspiration from all over, not least this recipe, this is quite a good approximation of the thick, sticky orange sauce we all know and love.

Ok, the list of ingredients is quite long, but stick with it, it’s worth it, and you may have most of the storecupboard stuff in anyway if you cook Chinese food a lot, or will end up amassing it if you plan to. I’ve suggested pineapple, red peppers and water chestnuts to make a chunky sauce, but play around as you wish. Tinned pineapple is fine, and water chestnuts you can buy either tinned or vacuum packed. In both cases, I’ve successfully frozen the leftover contents of the packages for use another time.

Chinese Takeaway Style Sweet & Sour Sauce (serves 2)

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x 2cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon soft, light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • pinch of salt and ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour, stirred well into 4 tablespoons water
  • 50g pineapple chunks
  • 50g water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, cut into chunks

Heat the toasted sesame oil in a small saucepan, and then add the garlic and ginger. Stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, vinegars, ketchup, pineapple juice, sugar, honey and sweet chilli sauce. Stir everything together well.

Season with a pinch of salt and ground white pepper, and then simmer for a minute or so. Stir in the cornflour mixture, and stir, over the heat, until the sauce begins to thicken a little.

Add the pineapple, red pepper and water chestnuts, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, until everything is heated through. Serve with crunchy coated pork, chicken or turkey, over egg fried rice.

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