Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce

Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce
Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce Header

Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce is a wonderfully flavored Sauce with bits of Pineapple that is served over deep-fried chicken balls alongside some Fried Rice. This Sauce is the ideal color for what you would expect. The flavors though will surprise you and perhaps better than any takeout. It’s one of the best I have ever tasted and I have eaten a lot of Chinese Pineapple Chicken.

I normally eat Red Sweet & Sour Sauce, however with this Sauce I tend to change things up once in a while and go back and forth with Pineapple Chicken vs Sweet & Sour Chicken.

Pineapple Chicken Takeaway

Chinese Pineapple Chicken

Chicken Fried Rice topped with Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken in a takeaway tray for the true experience.

When making this at home, reserve the tendons of the Chicken Breast to dice for Chicken Fried Rice and use the Breast for Crispy Chicken Balls.

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce Ingredients

  • Whole Pineapple
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Galangal – substitute Ginger
  • Lemon Grass – substitute Lemon Zest
  • Lime Leaf – substitute Bay Leaf and a bit of Lime Zest
Pineapple Sauce
Pineapple Sauce

How to make Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce

2 lbs of Pineapple blended with 1 cup of water

Pureed Pineapple

Place peeled and cored Pineapple into the blender with 1 Cup of Water. Blend until very smooth.

Straining the Blended Pineapple

Strained Pineapple Puree

With a Spatula mix and press the Pineapple puree through the fine Sieve. This takes a while to get it all as it goes really frothy.

Pressed through until just the pulp remains

Pineapple Pulp

Keep at it until only the Pineapple pulp remains.

Simmering Pineapple Sauce

Pineapple Sauce

Combine the remaining ingredients to make the Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce. Bring it to a boil, watch for overflow as it comes to a boil.

Pineapple Sauce scum scooped off

Scoop Pineapple Scum

As the Sauce comes to a boil a lot of scum is going to rise to the surface. Drop the heat to medium and scoop the scum off as best you can.

Pineapple Scum

Pineapple Scum

Scoop off the scum and place into a bowl to discard later.

Potato Starch Slurry

Starch Slurry

Combine equal amounts of Starch and Cold Water to make the Slurry which will be used to thicken the Sauce.

Thickened Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce

Thicken the Sauce

Add the Starch Slurry a little at a time and mix well. Repeat until thickened to your liking.

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce with Pineapple bits

Add Pineapple Chunks

Once the Sauce is thickened, add in the Pineapple Chunks and set aside the Sauce until needed.

Adjust to the desired consistency by adding in more water to thin it out and more starch slurry to thicken it over heat.

Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce Seasoning

Galangal, Lime Leaf, and Lemon Grass are used to season the Sauce and are considered the Thai Holy Trinity in Thai Cooking. This is all that is needed for the flavor tones and adds exceptional flavor to the Sauce. Visit a local Asian Grocery store to source these. They can be hard to find but well worth it. They just make the Sauce.

I add Pineapple bits with the Sauce, It adds a nice touch. Turmeric is for the color. You could use yellow food coloring as well. Salt to enhance the flavors.

There is not much that goes into this. But the Ingredients that are added to this sauce really elevate this into something spectacular. I just Love it!

Quick Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce

Use 3 Cups of already made Pineapple Juice instead of preparing the whole Pineapple and omit the water. This way everything just goes into the pot and brought to a boil before being thickened with the Starch Slurry. You will have to adjust the Sugar since Pineapple Juice has added sugar. Other than that, this is a very fast way to enjoy Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce anytime you want.

Pick up a can of Pineapples to add the Pineapple chunks to the Sauce too. With a Sauce that comes together this easy, now your time can be focused on making those wickedly good Crispy Chinese Chicken Balls.

Pineapple Chicken
Pineapple Chicken

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce Consistency

The recipe below uses 1 Tbl of Potato Starch per cup of liquid. You should get about 3 Cups of Juice from one Pineapple and Water after it is blended and put through a sieve. If you need more, then just add water or juice to top it off at 3 Cups.

Adjust to the desired consistency by adding in more water to thin it out and more starch slurry to thicken it over heat.

The Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce should be thick enough that it coats the Chicken balls but also runs around them.

Pineapple Chicken side view
Pineapple Chicken side view
Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce Pin

Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce

Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce served over Deep Fried Crispy Chicken Balls with chunks of Pineapple. Serve with some Chicken Fried Rice.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Pineapple Chicken, Pineapple Sauce, Sweet & Sour Sauce, Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce
Servings: 3 Cup
Author: JAH


  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Fine Sieve
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Saucepot
  • 1 Whisk


  • 1 C Water
  • 1 Pineapple - save some for chunks to add to the sauce
  • 1/4 C Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Galangal - substitute Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Grass - substitute Lemon Zest
  • 1 Lime Leaf - substitute Bay Leaf and a bit of Lime Zest

Starch Slurry

  • 3 Tbl Potato Starch & Water - each and mixed well


  • Peel, Core and Chop up the Pineapple and reserve some Pineapple chunks for the Sauce.
    Place the chopped Pineapple into a blender with water and blend. Strain and push through with a spatula through a fine sieve discarding the pulp.
  • Place the Pineapple Juice into a pot with the remaining ingredients. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Scoop off the scum and discard.
  • Add in Slurry a little at a time while mixing. Repeat until thickened to desired thickness. Add more slurry if needed. Add in the Pineapple chunks and remove from heat. Remove the Lime Leaf and Let cool. Serve Warm.


Galangal, Lime Leaf, and Lemon Grass can be found at your local Asian store. You can substitute pretty good with it. However nothing beats the original ingredients for this dish as well as certain Thai Curries that also utilize these same three ingredients.


Quick Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce

For a Quick & Easy version, use 3 Cups of Pineapple Juice in place of the Water and Pineapple. Only add the Sugar a little at a time until the desired sweetness is achieved. Since store bought Pineapple Juice usually has Sugar added.  
Serve this over some Crispy Chicken Balls!
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