Five-Minute Sweet and Sour Sauce

Five-Minute Sweet and Sour Sauce
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sweet and sour
Quick and easy! But beware!

Most times when we make bread, there is always some starter left over. Some people would probably throw that away, but we like to use it to make Sourdough Pancakes, or Greens Latkes, with the leftover starter. It’s nice because it only takes a few more minutes when you split and feed the starter, and you get a whole other meal! This past week, we went with the latkes as an easy lunch.

By themselves, the Greens Latkes are a bit on the bland side, so we generally top them with a bit of soy sauce when we eat them. The soy sauce, with its umami flavor, really helps make latkes quite tasty. It’s not traditional, by any means, but that’s okay; it’s still good, and the latkes are then somewhat reminiscent of egg foo young. This time, we thought that we’d change it a bit by making a quick sweet and sour sauce to have along with the latkes. Partly we did it because we wanted sweet and sour sauce, and partly because we’re on the lookout for a sweet and sour sauce recipe, and partly because we had just seen this recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Favorites by The Moosewood Collective, and thought we’d try it. In the book, it’s called Quick Sweet and Sour Sauce, but we renamed it because it’s so fast.

Makes 1 cup

Five-Minute Sweet and Sour Sauce


  • 1 cup orange or pineapple juice
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs cider or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch

Abbreviated Instructions

Whisk together all ingredients in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisking all the time, until bubbling, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Ingredient discussion:

We only had orange juice on hand, so we used that, but we think that you should go with pineapple, if you have it available.

Procedure in detail:

There’s really nothing to this recipe, so you’ll get photos and commentary below.

making sweet and sour
This sauce is easy and quick, but there is a penalty.
sweet and sour
Bring the sauce to a boil so it can thicken, and cook it a few minutes to ensure that the cornstarch has finished reacting.

This sauce was disappointing. Bland, with almost no sweet and sour taste, it could have been improved with more vinegar and soy sauce, which we did add after making it. It helped, but not enough to call this a successful sauce. We did eat it on our latkes, but we had to add even more soy sauce to make it a palatable lunch. The remaining sauce we discarded (we almost never toss food items), and we won’t be making this one again. Two stars is being kind.

Worth the trouble?

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