This Sweet and Sour recipe is easy to make, healthier than anything store-bought but tastes just like your favourite jar or takeaway but with less sugar. The Jackfruit is accompanied by Onions, Peppers and Pineapple and served with a side of Rice and Spinach.
Most store-bought sauces contain a high percentage of salt and sugar to make them deliciously appealing to us as consumers but we can avoid this by making our own sauces at home.
I totally understand that sometimes we don't have time to make sauces so inevitably we're going to buy ones from the supermarket but for those times you do have the time, save this recipe for later!
I created this recipe one evening when I did pick up a store-bought Sweet and Sour Sauce and was quite shocked that it was 16% of your daily sugar in 1/4 jar (and personally I usually used more than 1/4 jar for one portion) so I came home and made my own instead!
Making your own sauce is actually not very time consuming at all and you can control exactly what goes into it.
TThe sauce is all about getting the right balance, and after some tweaking, I hope you'll agree, I've got it.
Iuse Pineapple Juice to add a natural sweetness, along with brown sugar (packed) which adds the best molasses flavour plus tomato ketchup. I have kept the sugar and the tomato sauce (which has added sugar) to a minimal amount as I’ve tried both with less and then more and think I’ve found the balance. The soy sauce and rice vinegar adds a salty and a sourness which compliments the dish. I also add a little bit of dried chilli flakes which I think is an excellent addition but optional if you’d rather not add any heat at all. The sauce is then thickened with a cornflour slurry which gives it that classic Sweet and Sour thickness.
The main ingredient in this Sweet and Sour recipe, is of course my favourite trusted Jackfruit. If you haven’t tried Jackfruit before then you’re missing out on a very easy to use, adaptable ingredient which goes great in so many recipes and is a great meat substitute. Jackfruit in the UK comes in cans, either in brine or in syrup (make sure you use the brine version) and must be cooked through for approximately 30 minutes until it has softened, and it will also take on the flavours of the dish. The downside to Jackfruit is that it doesn’t provide any Protein which many meat substitutes do but it’s a fruit so it does have a nutritious profile.
To accompany this rather odd looking fruit, I have added onions, peppers and pineapple pieces; keeping it simple which is really all this recipe needs IMO.
This Sweet and Sour Jackfruit recipe reminds me of any Sweet and Sour from a takeaway or restaurant but I’m certain it’s a lot healthier, budget friendly and can be ready in the same time that your takeaway would arrive. I like to serve mine with Wholegrain Rice/Quinoa combination and some steamed spinach on the side. It is also great to store in a Tupperware for a couple of days in the fridge and re-heat for a quick lunch or Dinner.
Sweet and Sour Jackfruit Recipe
- 1 can young green jackfruit in brine
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 can pineapple pieces
- 1 can pineapple pieces (juice only totalling 1 cup)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
- ⅛ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp cornflour combined with 2tbsp water to make a paste
- Wholegrain rice/Quinoa to serve
- Spinach to serve
- Prepare the Jackfruit by draining the brine and giving it a rinse with water. Set aside.
- In a measuring jug, add the drained pineapple juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, packed brown sugar and tomato ketchup and give it a whisk. Set aside.
- Over a medium heat, add a large saucepan or wok and add a tablespoon vegetable oil, add the onion and bell pepper and saute until softened, 5-10 minutes approximately.
- Then add the ingredients from the jug, bring the mixture to simmer and then add the jackfruit, place a lid on the pan and gently cook for approximately 25 minutes or until the jackfruit feels softened.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice/quinoa according to packet instructions.
- Check the Jackfruit for doneness, then stir through the cornstarch slurry and heat for a few minutes to thicken, then stir through the pineapple pieces for a minute.
- Divide into 4 bowls, sprinkle with some chilli flakes if desired and serve with the cooked grains and spinach.