chinese takeaway sweet and sour saucerating:
- 250ml pineapple syrup (drain from tin of pineapple chunks)
- 120ml rice vinegar
- 100ml tomato puree
- 100g white sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp water
Mix all the ingredients together in a pan on medium heat, except for the cornflour and water. Bring to a gentle boil. At this point, mix the cornflour and water together to make a slurry, and then add this to the rest of the ingredients, stiring well. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Now the sauce is ready to be used.
There's nothing remotely "chinese" about this. The bright orange/red sauce you get in the takeaways here was purely invented for the western palate. However my daughters challenged me to make this after lunch at one of those all-you-can-eat buffets. I did remember the pineapple syrup "cheat" from a friend of mine who worked in a chinese restaurant in town. The rest was a little trial and error but I think it hits the nail on the head. I usually throw the leftover pineapple chunks in with some chicken into a wok, and then throw about half the quantity of this sauce on top and let it simmer for 5 minutes- Sweet and Sour Chicken. Other hacks you can try is adding a little shiracha to give the sauce a little kick; swap out the salt for MSG for a better umami hit, or replace some of the puree with ketchup if you can't bring yourself to add MSG to your food (it's fine BTW, it's just suffered from an unjustified bad reputation).