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10 Essential Chinese Spices and Sauces

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Sweet and sour sauce awakens your taste buds by incorporating two strong flavor perceptions into one sauce. Thick, rich and often a vibrant cherry red color, sweet and sour sauce can minimize the greasy flavor of fried foods, enhance the delicate texture of vegetables and boost the flavor of mild meats.

If you want to make this traditional sauce, there are a number of options available to you. Although most recipes will use some form of vinegar -- like white vinegar, red wine vinegar or rice vinegar -- for the sour side of the sauce, the sweet contribution can come from sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice, marmalade or jelly, depending on the recipe involved.