Not Too Sweet, Sweet and Sour Sauce

"Some Sweet and Sour sauces seem too sweet or synthetic for our personal tastes, so I decided to develop my own. This recipe has been worked on over time and you’ll notice there are a couple of optional ingredients. I’ve tried all permutations and also varied the amount of tomato paste and water, but these days I make this sauce with everything listed and we think it’s just right! Good served over egg fried rice and stir fried vegetables."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1 1/3 cups




  • Put the vinegar, sugar and soy sauce in a saucepan and place over a low heat; stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Stir in the tomato and tamarind pastes then pour in most of the water, reserving a little to mix with the cornstarch; turn up the heat to medium and heat the sauce until nearly boiling, stirring occasionally; remove from the heat.
  • Mix the cornstarch to a paste with the remaining water and stir into the sauce, add sherry if using then return pan to the heat.
  • Keep stirring the sauce and heat through until thickened and gently bubbling; serve immediately.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Really good. I was out of brown sugar so I used simple syrup (sugar and water) Used it for a stirfry of mock-duck, peppers, onion and pineapple. will use this as a basis for future sweet and sour recipes-thanks!
  2. Looking for the perfect sweet and sour sauce? Look no further, this is it! We just loved this sauce, we had it with chicken and it was terrific!! Thanks for posting!


I live with my husband and 2 cats in Worcester Park; a quiet typical 1930s suburb (which no one has ever heard of!) about 12 miles South West of London. I'm a fair weather gardener and as my husband is a vegetarian I grow a few easy vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, mainly in containers. My husband loves growing flowers, the brighter the better, and we have a pretty garden as a result. Our cats, Araminta and Purrl, like it too! I do a lot of cooking and try to keep our diet as healthy and varied as possible. Although I work full time, I use very little in the way of pre-prepared foods. This is partly because of the limited choice of vegetarian meals, which I think are overpriced anyway; but mainly because I like to know what goes in my food! I love using the Internet for all the great ideas it gives me. Last year I participated in the Zaar World Tour (under my previous public name Caroline Blakey), which was great. Mr B and I tried lots of new foods and discovered new favourite meals. Researching recipes for the Tour was really interesting, however as I didn't have time to try them all, some were posted untested. I'm still working my way very slowly through them. To make matters worse I keep seeing other recipes I want to save and have also participated in Zaar world Tour II. So many recipes, so little time to make them! <img src=""> My 'rules' for posting recipes are a) if I wouldn't make a particular recipe, I won't post it and b) if my husband wouldn't eat it, I won't post it. This means that all my recipes are vegetarian friendly. As you will see from the number of recipes saved in my cookbooks, I particularly enjoy making jams and chutneys; I'd say it was one of my favourite hobbies. We always have a good supply of home preserves; my friends and work colleagues are well supplied too. If we won the lottery (say £5m, as a good number) we'd like to give up work, move to the country and buy a place with a bit of land. In my dreams this would be a manor house or old vicarage, with a walled garden, an orchard where I could keep hens, a vegetable garden, etc, etc, etc! In my more realistic moments (the £1m win perhaps) I would like to run a B&B, perhaps offering Vegetarian taster weekends. Luckily it costs nothing to dream.......I’d also love more time to read, do embroidery, learn a language, see more of the countryside; and of course play on Zaar.
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