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Old 02-20-2017, 06:53 AM   #1
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Having trouble with the sweet & sour sauce recipe

Recipe here: Sweet and Sour Sauce I Recipe - Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch

I did everything as said in the instructions, weighed in all the ingredients correctly and the problem is with the vinegar. I don't know if I'm using the wrong vinegar or something, but as soon as I smelled the sauce when it was cooking, I thought my lungs was about to explode in my chest, I could barely taste the sauce as the vinegar felt really really strong in it.

Is it something wrong with my choice of vinegar or is the recipe faulty? I don't understand. On the bottle it says "Food vinegar acid (9%)".

Really need help.

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Old 02-20-2017, 10:27 AM   #2
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Normally, vinegars used in cooking, such as wine vinegar, apple cider, vinegar, etc. are at 5% acidity. Rice/rice wine vinegar is even a little less than 5%.

Consider buying a bottle of rice/rice wine vinegar for Asian dishes. Save the stuff you have for cleaning.
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:29 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome to Discuss Cooking

I see you're in Lithuania. Food-grade white distilled vinegar in the United States is diluted to 5 percent acidity, so I think that's the problem. If you cut the amount of vinegar in half, the recipe should work.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:57 PM   #4
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You say you WEIGHED the ingredients? That might be part of the problem.

But I agree that white vinegar is super harsh and strong. I don't use it much for cooking.....
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
You say you WEIGHED the ingredients? That might be part of the problem.

But I agree that white vinegar is super harsh and strong. I don't use it much for cooking.....
I like it, but the acidity of the one the OP used has almost twice the acidity of what is commonly used in the United States.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:22 PM   #6
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You say you WEIGHED the ingredients? That might be part of the problem.
Sorry english isn't my first language. How should I say it then?
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lazarusz View Post
Sorry english isn't my first language. How should I say it then?
When we weigh ingredients, we use a scale. Otherwise, we measure them with standard size cups and spoons.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:29 PM   #8
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When we weigh ingredients, we use a scale. Otherwise, we measure them with standard size cups and spoons.
Oh, snap, I sensed there was something wrong with my grammar.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarusz View Post
Recipe here: Sweet and Sour Sauce I Recipe - Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch

I did everything as said in the instructions, weighed in all the ingredients correctly and the problem is with the vinegar. I don't know if I'm using the wrong vinegar or something, but as soon as I smelled the sauce when it was cooking, I thought my lungs was about to explode in my chest, I could barely taste the sauce as the vinegar felt really really strong in it.

Is it something wrong with my choice of vinegar or is the recipe faulty? I don't understand. On the bottle it says "Food vinegar acid (9%)".

Really need help.
The vinegar you are using is probably old style Soviet vinegar, it is much stronger than the vinegar used in the good old USA. What percentage vinegar do you use?
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:58 PM   #10
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The vinegar you are using is probably old style Soviet vinegar, it is much stronger than the vinegar used in the good old USA. What percentage vinegar do you use?
P.S. don't worry about your English, the folks here been putting up with my English for years, they are used to by now.

Your vinegar is probably 9% if I am correct. Just add more water to dilute vinegar to the 5% acidity.
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:07 PM   #11
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A no-fail technique is to make the sauce with all ingredients, except for the vinegar. Taste the sweet sauce, and then add a little vinegar at a time, about 2 tablespoons. Stir the sauce and taste again. Add another tablespoon, stir it in, and re-taste. Continue this process until the sweet and sour flavors balance each other, and the sauce tastes correct to you. Keep track of how much vinegar you used, and record it into your recipe. The next time you make the sweet and sour sauce, you can use the recipe and know it will taste good.

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Old 02-21-2017, 01:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
A no-fail technique is to make the sauce with all ingredients, except for the vinegar. Taste the sweet sauce, and then add a little vinegar at a time, about 2 tablespoons. Stir the sauce and taste again. Add another tablespoon, stir it in, and re-taste. Continue this process until the sweet and sour flavors balance each other, and the sauce tastes correct to you. Keep track of how much vinegar you used, and record it into your recipe. The next time you make the sweet and sour sauce, you can use the recipe and know it will taste good.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Thanks for the advice. What do you think if I replaced the vinegar with lemon juice?
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Old 02-21-2017, 01:47 PM   #13
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It will taste very different and it won't be a Chinese-style sweet and sour sauce. The choice is up to you.
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:27 AM   #14
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After a few more tries and some adjustments I was finally able to get it how I liked. My family often times goes to this local chinese restaurant and this tastes very similar to their food.

Next step for me will be to learn to fry the chicken and mix with that sauce.



Thank you all for your help.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:31 AM   #15
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It looks delicious! 😋
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:27 PM   #16
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Can you share with us what adjustments you made? That looks mighty good, and I'll have to give it a try.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:44 PM   #17
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Can you share with us what adjustments you made? That looks mighty good, and I'll have to give it a try.
Sure thing!

Sauce:
1/4 cup white sugar
2 table spoons brown/cane sugar
1 table spoon rice vinegar
1/3 cup pineapple juice (I used 50% juice)
1 table spoon + 1 tea spoon of light soy sauce
2 table spoons of ketchup
1 table spoon of corn starch

Directions:
Mix every ingredient exept corn starch in to a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stir occasionally. Then scoop out some of the sauce in to a seperate bowl and mix it with corn starch, then slowly pour that mix in to a sauce while stirring and let it cook for another 4-6 minutes on medium low heat.

For other part of the recipe I just cooked some chicken with diced paprika and at the end added some carrots and some sesame seeds. I didn't have it at the time, but you can also add some canned bamboo sprouts. Peas also fit well.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:54 PM   #18
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Thanks for sharing your recipe and adjustments and for sharing the picture.
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:31 PM   #19
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Many thanks for posting your recipe. When I make sweet and sour stir fries I use canned pineapple slices which are cut into pieces. I know where I'll be getting the pineapple juice from!
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarusz View Post
After a few more tries and some adjustments I was finally able to get it how I liked. My family often times goes to this local chinese restaurant and this tastes very similar to their food.

Next step for me will be to learn to fry the chicken and mix with that sauce.



Thank you all for your help.
I can help you with that as well, but not right now. There are a couple of techniques used, depending on the recipe.

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