We have had debates around here about what “from scratch” means but when it comes to homemade, the whole point of this post is I could make it at home. And so can you!
I have always wanted to try making my own sweet and sour sauce. I am one of those people guilty of putting that delicious ruby sauce over all my Chinese takeout, I just love it! Sadly there is no where around here that makes MSG-free Chinese food and my husband is very allergic to it so if I want Chinese food, I gotta make it. Including the sweet and sour sauce! I turned to the King of Chinese Cuisine, Martin Yan, for his recipe. You can find it here.
Here are the basic ingredients: rice vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, a tiny bit of chili sauce, he suggests sherry but I used mirin, cornstarch and sugar.
You need to make a slurry for this sauce which just means you put some cornstarch into some water and whisk into the sauce. It is the thickening agent and holy cow it worked so fast I missed being able to take a picture of the sauce before it thickened!
In a split second, after I had added the slurry to the sauce it was thick and ready! Now it is not bright red like you get from restaurants but I would rather the natural dark amber colour, it tasted awesome!
I sauteed up some shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper and then added some of the sauce to coat. Super easy! Yes, deep fried shrimp would taste even better but this way I can enjoy them guilt free.
One thing I found out is you want this sauce warm or at room temperature. It is perfectly fluid hot off the stove but after sitting in the fridge it hardened up a little.
There is something so liberating, so freeing about making your takeout favourites yourself. No waiting for it to show up, no tipping the driver, no red food colouring. All natural and all mine!