Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce) with rice and battered cauliflower, in a bowl with some chopsticks ready for eating photographed from a three-quarter angle
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Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce)

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Welcome to back another recipe: Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce). As I told you in last week’s Gluten-free Kaiserschmarrn recipe, due to my injury I do not know from one week to the next as to whether there will be a recipe on the blog. But, last weekend both my husband and I were craving this dish. I asked him whether he could make both progress and final pictures (he agreed). And it was fun to be his assistant and leave the creativity to someone else. Again, if this week’s pictures look and feel slightly different – that is because they are 😉.

Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce) with rice and battered cauliflower, in a bowl with some chopsticks ready for eating

I created this recipe because I was craving comfort Chinese food but without any of the added sugars or additives. Just real, wholesome, ingredients. Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce) has always been one of my favorites and this dish – sincerely – does not disappoint. It is so, so good 🙌🏻. Instead of chicken, which you would usually find with this sauce, I battered cauliflower. It is the most delicious, crunchy side and only enhances the comfort factor 🥰.

Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce) in a bowl with a spoon stuck into it on a grey background

I think you can tell by the pictures how vibrant the colors truly are. And yes, this dish may be messy – but hey, that is what comfort food is here for, am I right?! Also, please do not get discouraged by the rather long looking list of ingredients – most of it are pantry staples, spices, and flours. Yes, this dish contains a few steps but you pretty much put things on the stove to cook (rice), or in the oven (battered cauliflower). The result will be so worth the effort you will simply love this deliciousness!!!

Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce) with rice and battered cauliflower, in a bowl with some chopsticks ready for eating photographed up close

Why is this Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce) good for you?

Pineapple

Pineapple is a tropical fruit, which is not only super delicious but also balances sweet and tart flavors. This makes it ideal to be also used in savory dishes. Pineapple is super high in vitamin C, a vitamin that is essential for our immunity. The antioxidant superpower of vitamin C has also shown to reduce conditions such as diabetic heart disease, joint pain, osteoporosis, and arthritis when consumed regularly as part of a diet. Pineapple is also high in both manganese and vitamin B1. Both this trace mineral and vitamin are needed in order to support enzymes to produce energy and work towards our body’s antioxidant defense. Last but not least, pineapple contains bromelain which may improve digestion, and also be highly anti-inflammatory. However, more research into both of these factors need to be conducted in order to be conclusive.

Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce) photographed up close

Cauliflower

One of my favorite cruciferous vegetables! I adore cauliflower for its versatility – whether it battered in a dish like this, as an alternative to rice, or frozen and used as a base for smoothies (like in this Coconut Pineapple Smoothie). The options are endless! Cauliflower is also a vitamin C powerhouse, as well as high in manganese. Cauliflower contains something called glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are phytonutrients that contain sulfur and provide a range of health benefits. These nutrients support our cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems and are also great at lowering inflammation. Glucosinolates also possibly play a direct role in Cauliflower’s antioxidant capacity, but research is still trying to establish the direct link. Irrespective, Cauliflower is an antioxidant powerhouse, which protects us both from free radicals and oxidative stress.

Honey

Sweet, delicious, and stock-full of medicinal properties. Honey is one of these ingredients you can easily forget how good it actually is for you! If you want to truly reap all the benefits, you need to focus on raw, unpasteurized honey (the benefits listed are all based on this raw version). First off – and still the most awesome fact of all – Honey does not have an expiry date as one of the only foods on the planet!! How awesome is that??! Other than that, honey is both antibacterial and antifungal. So, if you cut yourself in the kitchen, your best bet is to put some honey onto it, due to both of these properties. It is also the reason why honey may be beneficial when having a sore throat (because it kills off bacteria). In addition, honey is loaded with antioxidants, in particular, polyphenols which have been shown to significantly reduce our risk of heart disease.

How can I adjust this recipe to my dietary requirements?

This recipe is vegetarian and nut-free. If you would like to make this recipe vegan, simply swap the honey for a vegan sweetener of choice (I would suggest agave syrup) and replace the ghee as a cooking oil with olive oil. If you would like to make this recipe paleo and consume vinegar as part of your lifestyle, I recommend to leave the battered cauliflower and replace it with some chicken instead. You would also need to swap the tamari for some coconut aminos. Note: If you do not consume vinegar as part of your paleo lifestyle, this recipe cannot be made paleo.

And there you have it for this week 🤗. Delicious, nutritious, and total comfort food bomb – what could one want more 😉?! I hope you enjoy and love the recipe!! Please let me know how you get on, both in the comments below and over on Instagram. You know I always love to hear from you!! Happy comfort food cooking everyone 🥰.

Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce)

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Ann Robejsek Course: MainCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Medium
Servings

3 – 4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Baking Time

25

minutes

This Chinese Sweet and Sour (Sauce) is made only with whole food ingredients and completely refined sugar free – authentic and delicious!

Ingredients

  • For the rice
  • ¾ cup rice

  • 2 cups water

  • ½ tbsp olive oil

  • For the baked cauliflower
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, washed

  • ½ cup (50 gr.) cornflour

  • ½ cup (70 gr.) chickpea flour

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1tsp garlic powder

  • For the sweet and sour sauce
  • 1 tbsp ghee

  • ¼ cup (60 ml.) pineapple juice

  • ¼ cup (60 ml.) white wine vinegar

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 2 tbsp honey

  • 1 tbsp tamari

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the stir fry
  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 knob ginger

  • 2 bell peppers (any color)

  • 2 onions

  • 1 (ripe) pineapple

  • ½ tbsp ghee

How to

  • For the rice
  • Start by combining the rice and water in a pot and bring to a boil (or cook as per package instructions). Let simmer for ca. 25 minutes. When done, drain any potential access water. Mix the olive oil through rice and cover the rice in the pot with some kitchen towel, and add the lid back on top. This will keep the rice warm and draw out moisture and make it “sticky”
  • For the baked cauliflower
  • Preheat oven to 225 Celsius (450 Fahrenheit) and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. In a bowl, whisk together the corn and chickpea flour with the non-dairy milk, baking powder, salt, onion, and garlic powder. Dip each of the florets into the flour mixture until they are evenly coated and place on the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes until evenly brown
  • For the sweet and sour sauce
  • Melt the ghee in a pot over medium heat. Add the pineapple juice (Tip: use the remainder of the pineapple from the stir fry by juicing for the sweet and sour sauce), white wine vinegar, tomato paste, rice vinegar, honey, and tamari. Let simmer on a low heat whilst you make the stir fry
  • For the stir fry
  • Finely cut the garlic and ginger and set them aside. Cut the bell pepper and onion into chunky pieces. Lastly, cut off both ends of the pineapple and get cut off outside “rind”. Now, slice the pineapple into small, even chunks (about 2 cups). In a wok, heat the ghee and add the ginger and garlic until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Now, add the vegetables and cook on medium to high heat for about 8 minutes. Finally, add the pineapple and sauce and let all heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Combine rice, cauliflower, and stir fry on a plate and ENJOY this deliciousness!

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