Recipes > Sweet & Sour Sauce

Sweet & Sour Sauce


The bold flavor of this sauce showcases balance between sweet, acid and spice. With garlic, ginger, chiles, and sake. This sauce is a nice accompaniment to many Asian preparations.
  • Serves: 3 cups
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Views: 21,735
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Sweet & Sour Sauce

Preparing the Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Apricot Paste*
  • 3 tbsp liquid sweetener
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp chile, minced
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup water


First, gather and prepare your mise en place.

To make the sauce, using a small pot, whisk together the pineapple juice, sake, vinegar, Apricot Paste, liquid sweetener, garlic, ginger and chile.

Bring to a simmer over medium–high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and let gently simmer for approximately 25 minutes, or until reduced by about a third.

Meanwhile, mix together the arrowroot and water to create a slurry.

Once the sauce is ready, slowly pour in the slurry until you reach a glaze–like consistency. The sauce should nicely coat the back of a spoon. Allow to simmer for another minute or so to cook out the starch flavor. Remove from the heat.

Use as a glaze for Sweet and Sour Tofu.

Chef's Notes

*This recipe uses whole food sweeteners. While we’ve used apricot paste, you could also use pineapple or mango paste.

For the minced chile, choose a variety that will suit your desired heat level and that is available to you. For example, red Thai or Hatch chiles could be used. If you don’t have access to fresh red chiles, then use green chiles.


  • Michael G
    Michael G
    How long would this keep in the fridge? Would it freeze well? I'm assuming you would have to return it to a summer and add the arrowroot then if the sauce was frozen.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    I'd store it in the refrigerator for up to a week or just freeze it in small batches. Arrowroot is actually fine to freeze/thaw, it will not impact the ability to thicken or the texture. ~Ken
  • Lenore M
    Lenore M
    I couldn't find arrowroot powder so I used cornstarch for the slurry. I used the sauce for baked tofu but the sauce did not penetrate the tofu so it didn't taste very good. Is this a cornstarch rather that arrowroot problem? Also, the garlic turned a light blue color. Why would that be?
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Lenore - thanks for your great questions. So with regard to the garlic inquiry, this sensation of turning blue does occur occasionally when garlic comes into contact with an acid- this could have been a reaction to the pineapple juice. As for the cornstarch question - this could be a cornstarch issue but I am wondering, did the cornstarch and sweet & sour mixture "glaze" the tofu? That's the result you are looking for. Did your glaze evenly coat your tofu? And in terms of the taste not being desirable, would you mind sharing what those results here? Feel free to email instead if you wish - Thanks much! Chef Kirk
  • Teri M
    Teri M
    Made this tonight exactly as written. It was killer good.
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    So amazing to hear Teri! Boom! Thanks for sharing - Chef Kirk
  • Lori G
    Lori G
    Can you replace the sake with Shaoxing chinese cooking wine 1:1? How would that affect the final flavor?
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Lori, Yes you can! It would have minor effects on the flavor (slightly more earthy and a hint of salt), and there is a bit more color. Overall though, the changes would be minor or maybe even imperceptible in this application. Cheers, Sandy

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