Sweet and Sour Sauce

Flavorful sweet and sour sauce is so tasty and literally comes together in minutes. Use as a sauce, marinade, or dip!

Sweet and Sour Sauce is definitely synonymous with your favorite Chinese meals. It is often added to your favorite stir fry meats and vegetables. You can bake it with Chinese chicken or pork. You can also use it as a dip for egg rolls or rangoons!

Sweet and sour sauce being whisked in a glass measuring cup

The Famous Sauce

Sweet and sour sauce is one of my favorites. It is a very popular sauce in Chinese cuisine, with many different ways to make it.

The sweetness comes from the ketchup and honey. The sour/spice from sriracha, Worcestershire, and rice vinegar. It is an addicting combination, really.

We love to pour this yummy sauce over our Sweet and Sour Chicken, and Sweet and Sour Meatballs. But really this sauce makes a yummy marinade, or the perfect dipping sauce (even for these favorite wings).

The best part is is comes together in minutes!! 

Adding sweet and sour sauce ingredients to a glass measuring cup

How to Make Sweet and Sour Sauce

MIX. In a medium size mixing bowl (or a 2 c. measuring cup), whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, Sriracha, Worcestershire, rice vinegar, chicken stock, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, set aside.

The remaining steps will depend on how you wish to use your sauce!

  • Over Meat/Vegetables: Whisk the cornstarch into the sauce and pour over the meat add the chopped vegetables and stir to coat. Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Remove and serve immediately.
  • As a Dip: To use as a dip, boil the ingredients except for the cornstarch. Once boiling, make a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp water) and add it. Then stir to thicken.
  • For a Marinade: Simply omit the cornstarch. Place the remaining sauce ingredients in a container and mix together, then add the meat and let it marinate in the fridge. 
How to make sweet and sour sauce

Tips + Variations

This tasty sauce is not just for Chinese dishes! Sweet and Sour sauce can also be paired with more of your favorite recipes such as a spread over your favorite hamburger or chicken burger.

You can use it as a glaze for buffalo wings or meatballs. A dip for chicken nuggets or even a dressing over salad.

To make your sauce thicker simply add a bit more cornstarch. You don’t want to add the cornstarch directly to the sauce, instead place 1 tsp water and 1 tsp cornstarch into a separate bowl and mix. Once smooth pour the cornstarch mixture into the sweet and sour sauce and mix. Repeat until you get the desired consistency. 

COLORING: You may notice that your homemade sweet and sour sauce isn’t as vibrant as the sauces you find at restaurants or the grocery store. That’s because many places add red food coloring to the sauce. If you really want to get that vibrant red, then add a couple drops of red food coloring to the sauce.

SPICE LEVEL: You may notice that there is both sriracha and red chili flakes in this recipe. If you love the heat you can easily add more of each. If you enjoy a more mild heat index then reduce the amount of red pepper and sriracha. 

Using sweet and sour sauce recipe over cooked chicken

Storing Info

If you don’t use the sauce right away you can STORE it in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

To FREEZE, pour it in a freezer Ziploc and freeze for up to 3 months.

Note: If after storing this sauce you find that it isn’t quite as tangy as normal simply add more vinegar. Start by adding only ¼ tsp and adjust from there. If you accidentally add too much counter the tangy flavor by adding sugar. 

Close up of homemade sweet and sour sauce

More Asian Recipes:

Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe

Flavorful sweet and sour sauce is so tasty and literally comes together in minutes. Use as a sauce, marinade, or dip!
5 from 6 votes
Pin Rate
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 8
Calories: 45kcal
Author: Kristyn Merkley
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ c ketchup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¾ c chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Instructions

  • In a medium size mixing bowl (or a 2 c. measuring cup), whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, Sriracha, Worcestershire, rice vinegar, chicken stock, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, set aside.
To Use Over Meat/Vegetables:
  • Whisk the cornstarch into the sauce and pour over the meat, add the chopped vegetables and stir to coat.
  • Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Remove and serve immediately.
To Use as a Dip
  • To use as a dip, boil the ingredients except for the cornstarch. Once boiling, make a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp water) and add it. Then stir to thicken.
To Use as a Marinade
  • Simply omit the cornstarch. Place the remaining sauce ingredients in a container and mix together, then add the meat and let it marinate in the fridge. 

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

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Kristyn Merkley

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge about this sweet and sour sauce recipe! It helped my cooking skills and I am so glad that I know how to make this with your help! Thanks again!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best Sweet and Sour Sauce ever! The flavor is amazing. So simple and quick to make too!

  3. 5 stars
    I will be trying this sauce on all kinds of meat! Of course, chicken is my favorite. It is perfectly sweet!

  4. 5 stars
    So yummy and delicious. WE have this over veggies and rice, although it would be terrific over pork or chicken too. It was easy to make and had the perfect balance of sweet and sour!

  5. 5 stars
    This is the best with crispy chicken! We serve it with rice and some stir fry veggies and it’s a family favorite!