Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir Fry

Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir Fry

Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir Fry is a classic dish on Chinese takeaway menus all over the UK. Find out how to make this family favourite recipe below.

Takeaway dishes at home

It’s surprisingly easy to make some of your favourite takeaway dishes at home and much healthier too! Sweet and Sour appears on every single Chinese takeaway menu and I almost always get it when I’m ordering in. But, I do make a pretty decent sweet and sour vegetable stir fry, even if I do say so myself.

Served with either my vegetable fried rice (vegan) or egg fried rice, it’s a delicious meal perfect for every day of the week. If you’re cooking up a Chinese New Year feast then you might also want to make these classic vegetable spring rolls.

For more Chinese recipes check out the end of this post.

What is sweet and sour sauce?

Sweet and sour sauce comes in a wide range of different varieties. But it is best known as a bright red or orange sauce served at Chinese restaurants alongside crispy tofu or battered chicken or pork.

My version is an authentic “takeaway” style stir fry sauce, rather than an authentic, traditional Chinese sauce. The sweet flavour comes from a mix of tinned pineapple juice, tomato puree and a little bit of brown sugar. The sour element comes from the rice wine vinegar (and the pineapple chunks depending on how sharp they are!) People are often surprised that tomato puree appears in the recipe. It’s a little more “natural” than adding ketchup which is often used in this Westernised sweet and sour sauce.

You can make this sauce in a pan on its own to pour over your favourite vegetables, meat or meat substitute. But, I cook it hard and fast in the pan with the veggies to make sure they are well coated as the sauce thickens up.

Which veggies?

For my sweet and sour vegetable stir fry I’ve used a range of veggies that anyone can find in the supermarket: white onion, broccoli, red peppers, aubergine and carrot.

Other vegetables that work well include mushrooms, mange tout and baby corn!

Add some protein

If you do eat meat, pork and chicken work well. So do prawns for any pescatarians who have stumbled on to the blog!

For fellow veggies and vegans my choice would be tofu, tempeh or even seitan. That being said, I find this dish hearty enough without the extra protein.

Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir Fry

The recipe

Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir Fry

Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir Fry

Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir Fry is a classic dish on Chinese takeaway menus all over the UK. This recipe is the perfect plant based treat.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
0 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people
Calories 239.26 kcal


  • 425 g tin of pineapple chunks drained, 250ml juice reserved
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp cornflour dissolved in 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 red and green peppers chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 aubergine cubed


  • Make the sweet & sour sauce by whisking together the pineapple juice, rice vinegar, tomato ketchup, soy sauce and dissolved cornflour.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok over a high heat. Add the onion, broccoli, peppers, carrots and aubergine and 5-8 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften.
  • Add the pineapple chinks and sauce.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.


Calories: 239.26kcalCarbohydrates: 46.84gProtein: 7.92gFat: 4.61gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.32gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.47gSodium: 682.21mgPotassium: 1129.73mgFiber: 10.85gSugar: 28.24gVitamin A: 7111.48IUVitamin C: 190.38mgCalcium: 121.84mgIron: 2.23mg
Keyword aubergine, broccoli, carrot, cornflour, light brown sugar, red pepper, soy sauce, tomato puree, white onion
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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