Sweet and Sour sauce contains so much sugar it is unreal! But I know that many ladies crave sweet and sour whilst pregnant with gestational diabetes and it is one of those things that I’ve always advised avoiding until baby is born as it is just so high in sugar.
I’ve tried lots of lower carb and sugar free versions of sweet and sour over the years, but they never seem to really hit the spot for a true sweet and sour sauce that is really punchy and super sweet and sticky like you get from a Chinese takeaway.
Many seem too weak and watery in comparison. That was until I had a crazy moment when trying to adapt my version of sweet of sour that uses sugar and pure pineapple or orange juice and I thought I’d try something different and it WORKED!…
My secret ingredient in this recipe is No Added Sugar Double Concentrate Orange & Pineapple Squash! Yes, diluting juice! I used Robinsons, but other no added double strength concentrates can be used too. Just double check the total carbs are still very low per 100ml. This Robinsons one contains 1.4g of carbs per 100ml of CONCENTRATE (not diluted).
Our family favourite is sweet and sour chicken and so I made this dish with leftover cooked chicken thighs, but you can of course change this for the meat or fish of your preference.
This dish can also be made vegetarian or vegan by using Quorn pieces, Tofu or seitan. It’s important to add a good source of protein to the dish to help pair the meal and so vegetables alone will not suffice.
As much as I love pineapple in my sweet and sour, unfortunately it is just too high in fructose to be able to safely add into this recipe and so this is one thing that must be left out of a GD friendly sweet and sour
Sweet and Sour
*no added sugar
*can be made vegetarian or vegan
Warm the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat , then add the thickly sliced pieces of ginger
Once you can smell the aroma from the ginger cooking (after a few mins) add the cloves of garlic which have been bashed with the flat blade of a knife, to cook for a couple of minutes
Sprinkle the Chinese 5 spice seasoning into the pan and stir
In a jug combine the boiling water, orange & pineapple squash, tomato purée, vinegar and dark soy sauce, stir well and then pour into the pan
Pour in the sweetener, add the sliced orange, stir and turn up the heat to bring to a boil
Keep the sauce on a rapid boil for 10 minutes. Carefully taste the sauce (it will be very hot, so please be careful you do not burn your mouth!) Add more vinegar if you would like a more sour flavour, add more sweetener if you would like a sweeter flavour
Once the sweet and sour sauce is to your taste, pass it through a sieve to remove the ginger, garlic and orange pieces to discard and put the sauce back on a medium-high heat to simmer
For the rest of the dish
Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the chicken pieces to cook through (or if using leftover cooked meat you can add these after the onion)
Add the wedges of onion to cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chopped peppers
Drizzle the sesame seed oil over and stir
Sprinkle the xanthan gum (or dissolved cornflour) into the sweet and sour sauce and whisk whilst heating gently until it thickens (it should be thick enough to coat a spoon when dipped into the sauce)
Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the chicken and vegetables and stir
Serve with cauliflower or egg fried rice, garnish with finely sliced spring onion and sesame seeds
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