Easy Sweet and Sour Sauce

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
June 12, 2020 | Updated on March 15, 2023

This sweet + sour sauce is good. Like, really, really good. It’s our sauce of choice for lumpia, and perfect for sweet + sour chicken, +fish, +shrimp, +veggies… literally anything! With five (main) ingredients and 15 minutes, you’ll have this delicious, multipurpose sauce. Learn more about how this recipe has been in our family for over two generations.

easy sweet sour sauce

Sweet and sour sauce–and its many renditions–is quite easy to make and highly versatile. This sweet and sour sauce recipe is a family favorite and much better than the store bought bottle.

Where it all started

In 1975 (years before my time), my mother worked at a well-known Chinese restaurant in the Philippines. At this particular restaurant, one of the favored dishes was their egg rolls, but even more-so, the sweet and sour sauce.

Many yearned for the recipe of this coveted sauce that only the restaurant’s chefs were privy to. Customers and admirers of the sauce assumed it was a complex recipe with a number of ingredients and took hours to create.

Over time, she befriended one of the chefs, who showed her all she needed to know to make this “secret sauce”. Decades later, this sweet and sour sauce recipe remains with our family and has been passed down two generations.

What is sweet and sour sauce?

If you’ve never tried sweet and sour sauce, you’re in for a treat! The sauce is well-balanced, rich and exudes restaurant-style goodness.

Sweet and sour sauce is commonly used in resturant style Chinese cuisine. There are many ways to make sweet and sour sauce dipping sauce, some call for using pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup and rice vinegar.

If you’re familiar with the sauce, then you’ve probably heard of or tasted sweet and sour chicken (or pork). Ways in which you can use sweet and sour sauce are endless; it pairs well with fish, breaded chicken or stir fry veggies, the options are endless.

Ingredients to make sweet and sour sauce

With just 7 ingredients, you’ll have this sweet and sour sauce and on your way adding it to your favorite eats.

  • Ginger
  • Ketchup
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Cornstarch
  • Flour
  • Water

How to make sweet and sour sauce

  1. Add ginger to the pan of water and bring to a boil. Bring to a boil;
  2. Reduce flame to medium and add ketchup;
  3. Add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves;
  4. Add vinegar and bring sauce to a boil;
  5. Mix cornstarch and flour and water.

Recipes that pair well with sweet and sour sauce

  1. Chicken and Shrimp Lumpia
  2. Crab Rangoon
easy sweet sour sauce

Easy Sweet and Sour Sauce

This sweet and sour sauce is good. Like, really, really good. It’s our sauce of choice for lumpia, and perfect for sweet + sour chicken, +fish, +shrimp, +veggies… literally anything! With five (main) ingredients and 15 minutes, you’ll have this delicious, multipurpose sauce. Learn more about how this recipe has been in our family for over two generations.
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 32 ounces
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Sauce
Cuisine Asian

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and smashed
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1¾ cup vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp flour

Instructions

  • Add ginger to the pan of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes.
  • Reduce flame to medium and add ketchup. Stir well and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.
  • Add vinegar and bring sauce to a boil. Cook for an additional 3-minutes.
  • Mix cornstarch and flour with 3 tbsps of water. Pour into sweet + sour sauce mixture, a little at a time while mixing with your other hand. Continue adding cornstarch + flour mixture until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Voila–now you have sweet + sour sauce to accompany your lumpia!

NOTES

Place sauce in a sterilized bottle and keep in the refrigerator. Sauce will keep for 1-2 weeks.
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @whisperofyum on Instagram and hashtag it #whisperofyum!
easy sweet sour sauce

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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