How to Make Sweet and Sour Sauce: A Chinese-Inspired Recipe

Updated on January 21, 2020
dredcuan profile image

I am a chef on a luxury world cruise liner. I love to cook and write recipes that are inspired by foods from all over the world.

Learn how to make sweet and sour sauce, a Chinese-inspired sauce.
Learn how to make sweet and sour sauce, a Chinese-inspired sauce. | Source

Sweet and sour sauce is a common condiment or component in Chinese cuisine. It is typically used as a dip or as the main sauce in a dish. The sweetness of the sauce usually comes from sugar, although some recipes call for honey or fruit syrup, like pineapple. The sourness of the sauce comes from vinegar. Follow my easy-to-make recipe for making sweet and sour sauce at home.

Cook Time

Prep time: 4 min
Cook time: 6 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: 3/4 cups
The ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce.
The ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce. | Source


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For Preparation:

  • 1 medium bowl
  • 4 small bowls
  • 1 small plate
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons

For Cooking:

  • sauce pot
  • ladle


  1. Dilute the cornstarch in a small amount of water. Set aside.
  2. Put all of the ingredients, except the vinegar, in a pot. Stir the mixture until the sugar has totally dissolved.
  3. Add vinegar. Allow it to simmer.
  4. Stir in the cornstarch. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Serve as a dip for fried food or as a sauce for a dish.
This Chinese-style sweet and sour sauce makes a great dip for fried food.
This Chinese-style sweet and sour sauce makes a great dip for fried food. | Source

Tips and Techniques

  • Serve the sweet and sour sauce in any dish you prefer, whether it's a fried or saucy dish.
  • Check the saltiness level of your soy sauce, as some brands offer low-sodium versions.
  • Adjust the amount of vinegar, as different brands offer different levels of sourness.
  • Do not cook the vinegar in an aluminum pot. Aluminum reacts with acid, which causes metal particles to mix into the food.
  • I enjoy sweet and sour sauce with my Chinese-style fried cream dory and rice.

© 2018 Travel Chef


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    • dredcuan profile imageAUTHOR

      Travel Chef 

      20 months ago from Manila

      HI Sp,

      I love making my own sauces when cooking a dish. It allows me to freely adjust the ingredients that I'm going to use. Anyway, let me know if you liked the recipe! Have a wonderful day.

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 

      20 months ago from Ireland

      Never knew it was as simple as this to make this sauce. I'm totally going to have to have a go at making it.

    • dredcuan profile imageAUTHOR

      Travel Chef 

      20 months ago from Manila

      Hello Liz,

      Sweet and sour pork is one of my favorite Chinese pork recipes. I love the combination of taste. Also, the dish texture of the pork and all the vegetables that come with it.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      20 months ago from UK

      Sweet and sour pork is on the menu for us today. This looks like an easy recipe.

    • dredcuan profile imageAUTHOR

      Travel Chef 

      20 months ago from Manila

      Hi Louise,

      It's absolutely delicious. You can use it in any food you eat.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      20 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Sounds lovely, thankyou. =)


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