This Sweet and Sour Sauce is a classic dipping sauce! The perfect blend of sweet and sour, this sauce is delicious served with egg rolls, crab rangoons, and more!
My all time favorite appetizer is crab rangoons — I haven’t nailed down a homemade version, maybe someday — but crab rangoons would be nothing without sweet and sour sauce. If you’ve ever had the bottled kind from the grocery store, you know it’s awful ;), luckily, this homemade version is just as good as the kind you’ll find at your local Chinese restaurant!
What is sweet and sour sauce?
Sweet and sour sauce is a classic sauce that is used in many different cuisines, most commonly, Asian ones. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and sour flavors, and is often used as a dipping sauce for fried appetizers.
One of the best parts about whipping up a homemade sauce is that you know exactly what’s going into it. No unidentifiable ingredients!
- Brown Sugar – provides a rich, sweet, molasses flavor and sticky texture to the sauce.
- Pineapple Juice – adds a fruity, sweet flavor to balance out the tangy vinegar and savory soy sauce.
- Ketchup – adds a bit of sweet, a bit of tang, and gives the sauce the classic red color.
- Rice Vinegar – makes up the sour portion of sweet and sour sauce. Apple cider vinegar should work in a pinch.
- Soy Sauce – adds a rich, umami flavor. Use tamari or coconut aminos to make this gluten free.
- Cornstarch and Water – make up a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.
How to make
Whisk, boil, cool, and serve! This sauce is surprisingly quick and easy to make.
- Place brown sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice, soy sauce, and ketchup in a small saucepan then bring to a boil, whisking regularly.
- Once it’s boiling, whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue to boil until thickened.
- Cool then serve and enjoy!
How to thicken
The sauce is thickened with a cornstarch slurry—a mix of cornstarch and water. It will also thicken as it simmers.
If you make the recipe as directed and it’s still not thickened to your liking, try adding a touch more cornstarch. Keep in mind this may affect the flavors so go easy!
Is sweet and sour sauce vegan?
This sweet and sour sauce recipe is 100% vegan.
Is sweet and sour sauce gluten-free?
To make this sauce gluten-free, sub the soy sauce out for a gluten-free variety like tamari or coconut aminos.
What to serve with sweet and sour sauce
Although this particular sauce is generally served with Chinese food, it’s delicious with a number of different types of other food as well! Here are some of my favorite recipes to make alongside this one. It really is so versatile!
How to store
I don’t recommend freezing it because the texture will be affected.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Equipment for this recipe
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2/3 cup canned pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water (this is our slurry)
- Place brown sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice, soy sauce, and ketchup into a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking regularly.
- Once boiling, whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
- Boil for an additional minute or until thickened to your liking, stirring constantly.
- Let the sauce cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.