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If you’ve wanted to create your own Asian-inspired sauces to go with stir-fries and other delicious dishes, you’ve got to try this Sweet and Sour Sauce without pineapple!
Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe Without Pineapple
Asian food has to be one of my favorite types of cuisine. I love the balance that good Asian food has. When I first started learning to make Asian sauces (instead of just pouring them out of a jar), my mom taught me to pay attention to the balance of five basic tastes: savory, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.
Trying to balance these five tastes equally will ensure you can create delicious sauces every time. Most sweet and sour recipes that try to do this will use pineapple juice or pineapple chunks in their recipe, but this one is much easier and much more frugal!
After experimenting with several variations, I have found a super easy but delicious sweet and sour sauce recipe. It might be worth mentioning that you can create this sweet-and-sour sauce recipe in only 5 minutes! There is no red food coloring in this sauce and the flavor is so much better than store-bought. You are going to love it!
How to Use Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce
This sauce would be perfect as a dipping sauce for chicken, chicken nuggets, shrimp, or homemade egg rolls. You could also use it as a drizzle over your favorite stir fry recipe or a glaze over a ham.
If you use this sauce to top dried chicken pieces over some stir-fried vegetables, you will have a delicious sweet and sour chicken with a flavor rivaling your favorite Chinese restaurants!
Ingredients in Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
- Cornstarch. You can use another starch (arrowroot, potato starch, tapioca starch) if you don’t want to use cornstarch.
- Rice Vinegar. This can be replaced with apple cider vinegar if you don’t have any rice vinegar.
- Brown Sugar. Can be replaced with honey or maple syrup if you don’t want to use cane sugar. The flavor is a little different but still good!
- Ketchup. If you don’t want to use ketchup from the store, try homemade ketchup!
- Soy Sauce. Some substitutions for soy sauce are coconut aminos or tamari sauce. You could also use Homemade Soy Sauce.
- Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Instructions for Making Sweet and Sour Sauce without Pineapple
Mix together cornstarch and water in a small bowl, and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a small sauce pan, and bring to a boil.
Add in the cornstarch slurry (as a thickening agent) and mix thoroughly. Continue cooking for an extra minute or two until the sauce is thick. Remove from heat and enjoy!
You can also add in 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapples, chopped onions or chopped bell peppers for a chunkier sauce. But all of those ingredients are optional. If you are looking for a simple sauce, you can stick with it as written.
My picky-eating toddler loves this sauce so much I can actually get her to eat a couple of bites of chicken and vegetables if she has this sauce to dip it in. And since I can make it so quickly, with ingredients I generally have on hand, it’s a perfect recipe for hectic weeknights.
Need to print this Sweet and Sour Sauce recipe for your Recipe Binder? Grab it below!
Sweet and Sour Sauce Without Pineapple
How to make your own sweet and sour sauce without using pineapple in the recipe.
- 1 tbsp cornstarch or another starch
- 2 tbsp water
- 2/3 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
Mix together cornstarch and water in a small bowl, and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.
Add in cornstarch mixture (as a thickening agent) and mix thoroughly. Continue cooking an extra minute or two, until sauce is thick. Remove from heat and enjoy!
Storing Sweet and Sour Sauce
If you plan to make homemade sauces, you need some glass bottles. They fit perfectly in your fridge doors and work great for pouring sauces. They even come with the little “dropper” top (that is removable), so you don’t pour out way too much at once!
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Have you ever made your own sweet and sour sauce (without pineapple) recipe? What is your favorite food to dip in sweet and sour sauce?
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Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.
This recipe for Sweet and Sour Sauce without pineapple was originally published on Little House Living in March 2014. It has been updated as of March 2023.