Restaurant Style Sweet and Sour Sauce

It drives me completely crazy that it’s impossible to find a good recipe online for sweet and sour sauce like the bright red stuff they have at Chinese takeout restaurants. Or that it’s not just sold in bottles at the store.

I don’t want sweet chili sauce, I don’t want duck sauce, I don’t want chunks of whatever (peppers? onions? fruit?) in it, and I don’t want it to be some fancy concoction worthy of a gourmet meal. I want it to taste and look like the stuff that comes in a little plastic container when you order sesame chicken and egg rolls at 10 pm on a Friday night from your favorite takeout joint.

Oh, and for god’s sake, I DO NOT want it to contain ketchup. Why does every recipe online contain ketchup? There’s no reason for it to contain ketchup. It doesn’t taste like tomato, it has vinegar in it already, it has sugar in it already, and there’s red food dye to get the color. Not to mention if I asked for ketchup at my favorite takeout place, they’d probably laugh at me.

Is a good sweet and sour sauce recipe too much to ask?

Not anymore!

At it’s most basic, sweet and sour sauce is sugar for the sweet and vinegar for the sour. It’s almost always red, and it’s usually fruity. So working with that, this is the tried and true recipe I’ve come up with for you.

And yes, there’s red food dye. You can leave it out, but then the sauce will be either yellow or brown, so I don’t recommend it. You can get less chemical-bomb food dyes made with beets if you want, or just the easter egg stuff at the regular grocery store (which is what I used). It’s up to you. Personally, I think we eat with our eyes first, and therefore I want it to be pretty. I’m not aiming for optimal health here when I make a sauce that is almost half sugar.

You don’t really need the soy sauce, but I think it lends a nice depth of flavor. I’ve definitely had it with and without at takeout places. If you’re gluten free and using tamari, you may want to cut the tamari in half and then taste because it’s more intense than a lot of regular soy sauces.

Also, if you don’t have rice vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar or plain old white vinegar in this recipe! Rice vinegar will give you a slightly more authentic taste, but this stuff is mostly about the sugar, and any vinegar will do to give it some tang.

Alright, onto the recipe!

4.71 from 48 votes

Restaurant Style Sweet and Sour Sauce

Course Sauce
Cuisine Chinese American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Sizzling Mess


  • 1 cup canned pineapple juice*
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or GF tamari**
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2-4 drops red food coloring optional, but very recommended


  1. Add pineapple juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce (see notes), and sugar to a sauce pan and whisk together. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. While you’re waiting for the sauce to boil, mix together your cornstarch and water to make a slurry.
  3. Once the sauce is boiling (big bubbles), add in the cornstarch slurry. Stir until thickened and then remove from heat.
  4. Add in your food coloring. Do not add it in before this or it will lose some of it’s vibrancy and you’ll end up needing more.
  5. Let cool at room temperature. Store in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

*This is slightly more than 1 can of most pineapple juice.

**Not all Tamari is gluten free, and not all gluten free soy sauce is created equal. Check your labels and stay away from things with added sugar. If using tamari, you may want to leave the soy sauce out and then taste, then if it’s missing something, add 1 TBSP and taste. Tamari is more intense than standard soy sauce, so make sure you don’t overpower the sauce.






143 responses to “Restaurant Style Sweet and Sour Sauce”

  1. […] can serve it with any dipping sauce you’d like, but I would recommend my restaurant-style sweet and sour sauce! I dream of crispy coconut chicken dipped in super sweet, fruity red […]

  2. Marisa Avatar

    Thank you for this recipe. I’ve been searching for a simple but authentic tasting, (without ketchup)sweet and sour recipe. I’m going to try thi’s one. Thanks again!


      Did you make this? I have also been searching for a sauce without ketchup!

      1. Gayla Avatar

        5 stars
        Made this for my sons birthday dinner. It was perfect. Just like the restaurants. I will be saving this recipe.

        1. Pamela B Schulz Avatar
          Pamela B Schulz

          5 stars
          Made this for my grand children even the picky eater loved it.

        2. Myra M Haws Avatar
          Myra M Haws

          Thank heavens I found your recipe.
          Why in the world anyone would want ketsup in sweet and sour is beyond me. Will definitely be trying and I’m sure it will be fine.

      2. Chrissie Avatar

        This was just what I was looking for!!! My three boys are obsessed with the restaurant style sauce and you cannot buy it anywhere. Super easy and simple to make. Thank you!

      3. Andi Avatar

        Have been making this for years. Absolutely one of my favorites. My boys love it. I have to make a batch in a half just to make sure there is enough sauce for them. Thank you for sharing 🥰

    2. Kathy W Williams Avatar
      Kathy W Williams

      5 stars
      Absolutely the best Sweet and Sour sauce ever! Maybe even the best sauce ever!

  3. kendermouse Avatar

    Oh my gosh, thank you! It is so hard to find a recipe for sweet and sour without ketchup…

    1. Jenn Avatar

      I’ve made this so many times now. It’s my go-to!

      1. rabecca wickens Avatar
        rabecca wickens

        does it taste like what you get in the Chinese takeaway? i have just made chin and choo and it doesn’t taste like it, and i have spent quite a bit of money making it, and more importantly time and effort, and it hasn’t worked, I am absolutely gutted, I don’t even like sweet and sour, but my husband absolutely loves it and want to make it for him

        1. Heather D Avatar
          Heather D

          How long does this keep in the refrigerator? Thank you

      2. Jeanette Avatar

        Just found your recipe for red sauce cannot wait to try it

    2. Pam Avatar

      Definitely just like the Asian restaurants so yummy . I only used 1 tablespoon of Tamari and it was perfect thanks for the recipe.

      1. Susan Poole Avatar
        Susan Poole

        5 stars
        Love this recipe! It is the perfect sweet n sour sauce for my favorite dish (sweet and sour chicken with pineapples,onions and bell peppers over rice)Thanks for sharing.

  4. Gail Avatar

    2 stars
    Tastes OK – but still not what I was looking for. Why can’t I find what they serve at the restaurants? It can’t be that difficult – they give you huge takeout containers of it when you order.

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      Sorry it wasn’t what you were looking for! This is how I’m used to restaurant sweet and sour sauce tasting. Every restaurant uses a different recipe, so yours may use half (or all) water instead of pineapple juice, more or less soy sauce, white vinegar which would be more sour, or brown sugar instead of white. Those are all pretty common adjustments. You could always try tweaking those things to get more of the flavor you are hoping for.

      1. Mimi Avatar

        Try adding a bit of teriyaki sauce instead of Tamari – it’s a little richer

        1. Andrew Avatar

          My son loves sweet and sour but has recently found out that he is intolerant to tomatoes. He loves this and doesn’t feel like he’s missing out.

      2. Crystal Avatar

        Question? How do I get it to taste less like vinegar once it’s been made If I don’t like the vinegar? Thanks!

        1. Ace Avatar

          1 star
          Terrible! Perhaps it would have been better with just regular vinegar but all I could taste and smell was apple cider vinegar 🤢

      3. Robin Avatar

        5 stars
        I just love your reply. It was well said. AND I totally agree with you.

    2. danielle Avatar

      try adding a bit of pickle juice. My local place serves their sauce with a pickle and chunk of pineapple in it.

      1. Linda Laguna Avatar
        Linda Laguna

        So happy to find this recipe! Have tried store brands & they don’t make the grade. Can’t wait to try this. Thank you!

    3. Sparki Avatar

      Gail, ask your restaurant what their recipe is. Possibly they will share it with you.

      1. Shirley Avatar

        Good comment. I did that on a fried rice recipe & they shared & were flattered. 🍚

        1. Melissa Avatar

          I want to try this! My daughter LOVES restaurant sweet & sour chicken & is VERY picky… I will see how this recipe goes! I have a question – is the rice vinegar that is called for in this recipe the same as seasoned rice vinegar?

          1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
            Sizzling Mess

            Seasoned rice vinegar has sugar and salt added to it, but in this recipe they’ll be pretty interchangeable.

        2. Birgitt Avatar

          Very good recipe taste just like from the restaurant

        3. Heather D Avatar
          Heather D

          How long does this keep in the refrigerator? Thank you

      2. Janine Avatar

        My first time making sweet and sour sauce and this is a very easy and tasty recipe but I think next time I will just use a little less vinegar and a little more pineapple juice. I guess I like it a little more sweet than sour but overall a great recipe. Thanks

      3. Marcy J Lawrence Avatar
        Marcy J Lawrence

        5 stars
        This is the only recipe for sweet n sour I will use. No store stuff….no ketchup stuff….I might even venture to say its even better than my takeout place’s down the road….love it

    4. Nicole Avatar

      I have had this problem in the past as well and then I saw someone use equal parts sugar and white distilled vinegar boiled it down with a generous slice of bell pepper, onion and lots of chunked fresh pineapple (can use canned instead with juice) just until it started to thicken or stick to the sides like a syrup. Removed it from the heat and added a small amount of red food coloring *optional as it’s only purpose is color. I still never see this one online but it’s spot on for what I’m used to! Hope this helps 😌

    5. Carol Avatar

      Thankyou for sharing this recipe. Ill try it sometime.
      I use Golds, sweet & sour, Duck Sause. Very simply made. They use apricots or peaches for fruit No dyes.

    6. Holly Avatar

      I worked in a Chinese restaurant, as a kid. Honestly, we used white vinegar, sugar, cornstarch and red food coloring. Really simple!

      1. Karol Avatar

        Hi Holly, could you share the recipe that you made?

      2. Lisa Avatar

        5 stars
        That’s what we used too but I don’t know the measurements

      3. Kathy kerr Avatar

        Could you please share your receipe for sweet and sour sauce

      4. Camille T Avatar
        Camille T

        How can you thin out tge sauce if its too thick? The flavor is perfect just the consistency is off for me

    7. Cap Avatar

      I think LaChoy Sweet and Sour Sauce is closest to what you get in restaurant but It’s not easy to find.

      1. Sally Avatar

        La Choy is my favorite sweet & sour sauce.Have not been able to find it since Covid started nor rice vinegar.

        1. Rebecca Allen Avatar
          Rebecca Allen

          They changed packaging I believe.It’s not in the small jar now, but in a taller bottle similar to what you’d see stir-fry sauce in.

    8. Kimberley Avatar

      I think that the sauce from the restaurant is called cherry sauce if you are looking for it In a bottle at a grocery store. Homemade would be so much better though 🙂

    9. Tina Avatar

      This sounds simple and good but take it up a notch with these, add some apricot juice to the pineapple juice, Ginger &/or a dash of hot sauce

    10. Michael Avatar

      Just ran across this recipe and will have to play with it.

      I will add one ingredient to it. When I was in Florida I found the best Sweet and Sour I ever had. A little place in a rundown neighborhood. They added triple sec to it.

      1. Erin Avatar

        Triple sec. Interesting.

    11. North Star Avatar
      North Star

      If you want what’sike in the the restaurant go on line and and find a restaurant supplier. I did.

    12. Susan Mercier Avatar
      Susan Mercier

      I know what you are talking about. It tastes like cherry pie filling and typically has chunks of pineapple, carrot, and peppers in it. I like the pineapple and dump the rest. It definitely has NO tomato in it! ICK! It is not cloudy like all the sauces I see online. It is bright red/pink and you can see through it!

  5. […] used my Restaurant Style Sweet and Sour Sauce recipe for this, but you can use any sweet and sour sauce you want to, or you can use bottled Sweet […]

  6. Jessica Duran Avatar

    5 stars
    Just made your recipe and I totally love it!I never understood why they put ketchup in other recipes. Thank you so much.

    1. Ashley Avatar

      4 stars
      Try some maraschino cherry juice. That is how sweet and sour sauce gets its red color. Chinese Restaurants take the leftover cherry juice from the bar and add that to their sweet and sour. Some buy a very bright neon red Premade sauce that’s gross. But the restaurant style from scratch way is sugar vinegar pineapple juice maraschino juice and cornstarch slurry. Then you can season it with soy etc if you like.

    2. Earlene Avatar

      5 stars
      I have been looking for a Good recipe for sweet and sour sauce. This looks and sounds like what I’ve been looking for. I don’t like the ones that I get at the store. Thank you for posting and sharing. 🌹

    3. Brenda Avatar

      4 stars
      Is it possible to can this recipie and store it for later ?

  7. Chris Avatar

    This is similar to a recipe I use. But mine has grown sugar instead of white, and uses white vinegar. Don’t care about the color so no food coloring.

    1. Kim Avatar

      5 stars
      I made vegan egg roll in a bowl and it was missing something…sweet and sour sauce of course! The first recipe I found had ketchup in it. Yuck! Then I found your recipe! Delicious! I used tapioca flour to thicken and 2/3 c sugar instead of 3/4 c. No food coloring. It is sooo good! Thank you!

  8. Bonnie Avatar

    For those that don’t find the flavor to be quite what they are looking for, try adding some red plum jelly. I once asked the proprietress of my favorite local Chinese buffet if her sauce had plums in it, she nodded yes and said “Plum jelly.” She wouldn’t share her complete recipe, of course, but it could be the “secret ingredient” you’re looking for. 🙂

    1. Ed Matthews Avatar

      Would Plum preserves be better than the jelly type ?

      1. Jeri Avatar

        Plum preserves will have chunks of plum in it while the jelly is all gel which would probably be better in this sauce. If the preserves have too big pieces, it could always be chopped or put in the blender/food processor.

      2. Kimberly Conley Avatar
        Kimberly Conley

        4 stars
        I made this recipe and it was so close to restaurant quality. I am pretty happy with it as it tasted delicious. I made it spur of the moment so had to use Apple Cider vinegar but I am going to purchase rice vinegar to see if there is an appreciable taste difference. Thanks so much!

        1. Nelly Carrasco Avatar
          Nelly Carrasco

          One can of pineapple juice of how many oz?

          1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
            Sizzling Mess

            The recipe isn’t for one can, it’s for one cup (which is 8 oz).

  9. Caroline Avatar

    5 stars
    I followed the recipe to the letter and it was really good. I didn’t taste it until it was finished. My husband and mother-in-law liked it too, said it tasted pretty close to the take-out restaurant we call once in a while. I will make it again and this time I’ll cut back on the sugar, a little. I used ACV next time I will use white vinegar. Thanks for the recipe, without the ketchup!

  10. Sue Avatar

    What size tin of Pineapple juice do you use? Also, how long will this keep after it is made? Thank you……it sounds like a nice recipe.

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      I buy the 6 oz cans but it takes a little more than 1 full can to get the full cup. I use the leftovers from the second can in mixed drinks! It’ll keep for about a week in the fridge, but it does get a little more jelly-like once it’s cold :).

  11. Bruce Avatar

    5 stars
    One word, Excellent!

  12. Rachel Avatar

    Perfect!! Just made it!! So easy and exactly how I expected it to taste!!

  13. Kathi Avatar

    Can this be frozen?

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      I’ve never tried, but I don’t believe that cornstarch freezes well :(. You could try using arrowroot powder to thicken instead (you’ll have to look up arrowroot to see how much because I’m not as familiar with it) which would handle freezing better.

  14. Jc Avatar

    4 stars
    I found this to be a delicious recipe! It’s not healthy but a wonderful treat on occasion. Thanks you!!

  15. Kim Avatar

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and it is PERFECTION!!

    I recently discovered I cannot have corn products and 99% of food made in restaurants contain some sort of corn (usually corn starch.) I have been mourning the loss of so many delicious foods but none are missed as much as sweet and sour chicken from the chinese place.

    Like you, I have scoured the internet for a recipe and been unimpressed. (Ketchup?!?) I was beginning to think I would never have my beloved meal again.

    Until tonight! I am still shoveling delicious sweet and sour sauce covered rice into my mouth as I type this.

    To be honest, its a *teeny* bit too much pineapple taste for me so I may cut that down and use some water instead, but its not bad in the least!

    My husband (who is rarely impressed with restaurant hacks) said “that is a b**tchin sauce, babe.” – and really thats the only review you need, lol.

    Thank you!!

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      Yay! I’m so glad you both liked it!

    2. john wayne Avatar

      Kim , You Can Switch Out The Corn Starch With The Same Amount Of , Potato ,Rice , Arrowroot Starch , Or 1 Tablespoon Granulated Tapioca !!!

      1. Alison Avatar

        5 stars
        Hello, how long can this sauce keep in the fridge after making please as I have leftovers. The sauce was delicious, perfect for my prawn toast!

  16. Andi Avatar

    Okay so I been using this recipe for a while now and hands down is my go to favorite. I use fruit cocktail juice or mandarin orange fruit juice instead of pineapple. But over all it’s pretty on point with the taste of sweet and sour.

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      Those are both great substitution ideas!


    I think you miss one ingredients. chili paste just put 1 or 2 tablespoons is enough.

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      Actually I didn’t intend for there to be chili paste because that’s not what is served at the restaurants I’m copying, but if you like it that way then I’m happy it works for you :).

  18. Ygraine Montgomery Avatar
    Ygraine Montgomery

    Wow, this is DELICIOUS! And so easy. Thanks for this!

  19. Benita Avatar

    5 stars
    Awesome sauce. Made it with homemade egg rolls!! Just like take o

  20. Gmadiane Avatar

    Sometimes I feel like ketchup, sometimes I don’t 🙂

  21. Joan Taddy Avatar
    Joan Taddy

    5 stars
    I made this exactly as the recipe called for but at the end I made a slurry of cornstarch and 2 tblsp. of maraschino cherry juice. I didn’t have to add food coloring and I think it added to the taste. Anyway it’s as good or better than any of the jarred sauces you can buy.

  22. Betty McCommon Avatar
    Betty McCommon

    Has anyone tried using beet powder to color it?

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      I haven’t, but you could always try! I think you’ll need to add it as a liquid for it to color evenly, so if it won’t hurt the pigment, I would try adding it either before cornstarch or as part of the cornstarch slurry.

  23. D.J Avatar

    5 stars
    This was the taste that I was looking for.

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      Glad to hear it!

  24. Janet Avatar

    A lot like mine but I add 1/8 teasp. paprika and 1/8 teasp. dried ginger powder. I just buy a can of pineapple and use the juice… add the chunks to whatever I am making. I know it’s good because I’ve been making it this way for years and it’s like the restaurants.

  25. Elizabeth Avatar

    5 stars
    This is was delicious and I was so happy it did not have ketchup. The one recipe I tried previously had ketchup and it was not good. I did not have pineapple juice on hand so I used fruit punch (don’t usually keep any juice in the house so we got lucky). It had just the right amount of sweetness, and it saved from having to use food coloring.

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      Fruit punch is a great idea! I’m going to try that next time I make it.

  26. Jaybo Avatar

    3 stars
    Liked this one, thumbs up on the no ketchup.. Ive tried about a dozen online sweet sour recipes, have not found one yet that resembles the common take out sauce…the sauce im used to is almost transparent, red, definitely no soy or ketchup in it, dont think its pineapple either.. .im thinking might be simpler like white sugar, white vinegar, cherry flavoring, red dye.. not sure.

    1. Angela Avatar

      How long will this sweet and sour sauce keep it the fridge ? And can it be frozen ? I was hoping to make a large amount to have it made ahead if possible. Thanks !

      1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
        Sizzling Mess

        Hi! It’ll keep in the fridge for about a week but it does congeal a bit. I’m not sure if it can be frozen, I’ve never tried, but the starch might lose its thickening power. I’d probably mix all of the ingredients except the cornstarch together to freeze, and then after thawing, thicken with the cornstarch slurry.

  27. Brittany R Avatar
    Brittany R

    5 stars
    Just made this, turned out great. Thanks

  28. angela metzger Avatar
    angela metzger

    I made this used the soy sauce and it made it blood clot brown does not look good but tastes fantastic instead of the water with the corn starch I used the cherry juice someone mentioned and it made it really tasty,,,Thanks for this…Im having sweet and sour chicken not…next thing I need to find is a sesame chicken sauce

    1. Teresa Avatar

      5 stars
      Omg. I am sooooo happy with this recipe!!! It’s what I have been looking for.. thank you so much for sharing it. Sweet and delicious.

  29. Ally Avatar

    I find that if I add in a small can of crush pineapple to the sauce, it makes it even more tasty!

  30. Dan Avatar

    5 stars

    I swear you read my mind.

    I have said everything you have about the horrible sweet and sour sauce the stores sell.

    I haven’t tried yet but the ingredients sound like what I was working on.

    Thank You

  31. Sarah Avatar

    Hiii! I had a question, I love sweet and sour sauce but I am highly allergic to pineapple, can I substitute something for the pineapple? I know of one Chinese place in my town that doesn’t use pineapple in their sauce. But they won’t give me the recipe lol

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      Hi! You can use any sweet fruit juice, I would probably substitute with cherry juice or fruit punch! Cranberry would be good, too.

  32. Sara Avatar

    How long does this keep for please? It’s lovely by the way xx

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      About a week! Maybe two.

  33. Lynsey Avatar

    5 stars
    I just made this tonight and it’s perfect.

  34. […] like to serve them with fried rice and homemade sweet and sour sauce for dipping. […]

  35. Lori Avatar

    I used 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 3/4 cup brown sugar instead of white, oml tasted exactly like my face local chinese restaurant

    1. Lori Avatar

      Favorite not face sorry

  36. Earl Tessimond Avatar
    Earl Tessimond

    Sounds good–I will make it next time. However, most folks don’t know
    that red food coloring is mad from bug juice ! I make my own coloring
    from beets. (google it , it’s worth it.)
    Give me a shout back if you can.

    thanks, Earl T.

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      Yep! Some red dye is derived from a certain type of beetles. There are lots of alternatives if that bothers anyone :).

  37. Karen Riser Avatar
    Karen Riser

    Is the pineapple juice from the 6-8oz individual cans of juice?

    1. Sizzling Mess Avatar
      Sizzling Mess

      Yep! I used a full 6oz can plus part of a second 6oz can to get 1 cup.

  38. Simon Wright Avatar
    Simon Wright

    5 stars
    At last. I’ve tried so many recipes (all of which included ketchup), but this is the only one that tastes like my local (rather good) takeaway.

  39. Glenda Avatar

    I’ve made ketchup and have never added food colouring to get the red colour. The tomatoes give ketchup the red colour.

  40. Mike Avatar

    5 stars
    Minor adjustments and I got exactly what I wanted first time with this setup. Thank youuuuuuuu very happy 🙂

  41. Sara Wolff Avatar
    Sara Wolff

    Hi! Great recipe. How long will this last in the refrigerator please? Xx

  42. Lana Avatar

    This was so delicious. I didn’t have the pineapple juice so I used some orange juice. Also put in a tiny bit of chili paste.. I will be getting pineapple juice in the future as I did want it a little sweeter.. this was so easy. Thanks

  43. Nancy Hall Avatar
    Nancy Hall

    Made this today. I like it.😊

  44. Rebecca Garcia Avatar
    Rebecca Garcia

    5 stars
    I looked forever for the perfect sweet and sour sauce and this one is absolutely the best! It freezes well also if you have any left

  45. Karen Avatar

    5 stars
    This is the recipe I’ve been looking for all my life. Added grated carrots and sriracha and it beats my chinese take out favorite. Thank you!

  46. Shelley Avatar

    5 stars
    This is my Hubs’ favorite sweet and sour sauce. He puts it on everything. I make it with ACV and brown sugar, and omit the food coloring. Otherwise all according to recipe. It makes up so quickly and is SO much better than store bought or even restaurant! Thanks so much for a great recipe!

  47. C61 Avatar

    5 stars
    Thank you. Loved it.

  48. CC Keller Avatar
    CC Keller

    Take it up a notch and use red koolaide..kool-aid.. the food coloring get rid of..this will up the flavor a notch

  49. irene Avatar

    am 75 years old. have been making this sauce since my kids were teenagers (early 50s now) uses brown sugar and white vinegar.regular soy pineapple tidbits, 1 cup pineapple juice and cornstarch. make sweet and sour meatballs. everyone loves. nothing red added.

  50. Lisa Avatar

    4 stars
    I cheat…I buy the small cans pineapple juice 6oz and then finish up the cup with maraschino cherry juice. I also cut sugar in half. We like ours sweet and fruity.

  51. Jan Avatar

    5 stars
    This is the best sauce I have made . The other recipes had too much vinegar and I like yours because it didn’t have ketchup . Thank you so very much for sharing this great recipe .

  52. Mary Avatar

    5 stars
    Sauce was great! Will definitely make again and may try brown sugar just to compare!

  53. Clive Avatar

    5 stars
    Many thanks

    I have made this about 6 times. I reduce the sugar a little because I prefer that. But I love this.

  54. AnneG. Avatar

    My sentiments EXACTLY…
    “I want it to taste and look like the stuff that comes in a little plastic container when you order sesame chicken and egg rolls at 10 pm on a Friday night from your favorite takeout joint.”
    THANK YOU for this recipe!

  55. Jennie Avatar

    Hello I have been looking for a good sweet and sour sauce I can can and taste great to , I was wondering if anyone made this then canned it for future use if so please let me know ty Jenn

  56. Dottie Avatar

    5 stars
    Best sweet and sour sauce ever! Tangy, sweet and perfect for dipping!
    Best part….no ketchup! We loved it with our Crab Rangoon!

  57. Tammy Avatar

    I tried this and my husband loved it so this year I canned a few jars for winter ,as a surprise for my husband.

  58. Troy Colton Avatar
    Troy Colton

    5 stars
    Wow! I wasn’t expecting that, amazing.
    Didn’t use red dye but it’s the best I ever made.

  59. Jacque Avatar

    5 stars
    This tasted exactly how I hoped it would. I even used BochaSweet instead of sugar and it was delicious. Thank you

  60. Wendy Hampton Avatar
    Wendy Hampton

    5 stars
    HANK HEAVEN! I have tried recipe after recipe and they were all bad! This is the recipe I have been dreaming of. I am going to circulate to ALL my sisters. All I need is the red food coloring and I’m good to go. I am very thankful you posted this! God bless.

  61. Sue Stovall Avatar
    Sue Stovall

    5 stars
    We loved it, I had use red wine vinegar but it was delicious.
    Definitely going to be my go to..
    Thank you.

  62. Angel S Avatar
    Angel S

    I just used this recipe (minus food coloring)to make sweet & sour tofu and this is the best sweet & sour sauce I’ve ever tried! So delicious,thank you so much for sharing.

  63. Paula Avatar

    5 stars
    Delicious and can see it’s very easy to tailor to personal taste by adjusting the quantities of vinegar or sugar as you go, the flavour profile is pretty instant.
    We tried exactly as stated, (after waiting to add soy to see if we felt it was needed and we agree it needs to be there!)
    Enjoyed by all very much and recipe already shared with dinner guests!
    Thank you, I never thought I find one so close to our favourite takeaway.

  64. Tonya Rosen Avatar
    Tonya Rosen

    5 stars
    I can’t believe it. This sauce tastes just like my local takeout. Have tried so many recipes and your’s is the bomb!! Thank you

  65. Thomas Worzala Avatar
    Thomas Worzala

    Can you already buy premaid or is it better just to make it

  66. Laurie Dmytryshyn Avatar
    Laurie Dmytryshyn

    How can I get that nice clear red if I’m adding black soya sauce? Mine tastes great but it’s brown.

  67. Xpat Paula Avatar
    Xpat Paula

    I’m amazed everyone says they can’t find a sweet-sour recipe without ketchup, when the 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking has 7 (seven!) different sweet-sour recipes, NONE of which contains ketchup! Keep your old books bc it looks like much good stuff is being eliminated by IT.

  68. Gail Tanner Avatar
    Gail Tanner

    This is the best homemade recipe I have tried so far. I was immediately drawn in because of your into. I totally agree that I don’t want ketchup in my sweet and sour sauce! I must add, however, that after trying it on my homemade fried pork, it ended up tasting bland. It tasted good when I was trying it out of the saucepan. But on the food it lost its kick. This recipe is a keeper because it’s quick and easy, but I am going to keep searching for one that has the *kapow*! that restaurant style sauce has.

  69. Tracy Avatar

    5 stars
    I have tried several different versions of restaurant sweet and sour sauce recipes, and hands down this one is the best one that I have tried yet. I believe that I can stop looking. This one does not contain ketchup in it and it’s very good!!

  70. David Missinne Avatar
    David Missinne

    5 stars
    Excellent. Adjustments for personal taste, more sour or more sweet ending taste. I worked in Chinese Restaurant, hand wash dish washer in the back. Never I saw any such extremely expensive “gourmet” addtions in Sweet & Sour Sauce as are specifed on teh ‘net. Restaurant is a business. In business to make money with tasty food. And good food because the restaurant help and the family will be eating late the same ingredients patrons did earlier. Next, I’ll try simple: 1 c Sugar, skip soy sause, too dark coloring, 1/3 c plain cheap vinegar, 2 T Corn Starch mixed with 1 c Water. Mix Sugar, Vinegar, 1/2 c water in small pot. Whisk well to mix all into watery clear slurry. Begin heating to boil. While bringing liquid to boil, mix 2 T Corn Starch with the 1/2 c Water in a cup. As boil starts, slowly stream the 1/2 c watery / corn starch mix into the little pot to begin thickening while stiring with the other hand. When thicker, a coating on the stirrer (fork), pull from heat / fire and let cool. Add 2 t Red Dye for light red color or more for darker. QED, Right?

  71. Tiff Avatar

    I made this sauce the last time I made sweet and sour chicken and I may never need another sweet and sour sauce recipe again. This was exactly what I was looking for.

    By the way I love your rant about all so many recipes calling for ketchup. I feel the exact same way and I’m so grateful you shared this with us online.

    I admit I did tweek it a little because I use the little cans of pineapple juice instead of canned pineapple. I like pineapple flavor in my sweet and sour chicken but I dislike hot chunks of pineapple in it.

    Instead of 1/3 cup vinegar I used 1/4 cup. And instead of 3/4 cup sugar I took it down to 1/2 cup.

    I plan on making this again tonight, I hope it turns out as mindblowing as the first time. Yum.

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