This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This homemade sweet, sour, and spicy chili sauce is perfect for egg rolls, fried dumplings, samosas, or nuggets! It is infused with garlic, ginger, and chili for the perfect balance of flavor!

Sweet and sour sauce in a bowl.

The sweet and sour sauce is one of my favorite dipping sauces when it comes to fried finger food, like vegan egg rolls, samosas, or even chick’n nuggets! This 8-ingredient sauce comes together in less than 15 minutes and tastes better than the store-bought version!

📘 What Is It

A sweet & sour sauce is a type of sauce very popular in Asian countries. There are many different types of sweet and sour sauces, each country having its own.

This recipe is based on the Vietnamese one, called “Tương ớt chua ngọt.” It is spicy, garlicky, and has a fresh ginger flavor. It is also thicker than the Chinese version, making it perfect for dipping!

Ingredients like ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, and chili.

🥣 How to Make It

You are just 15 minutes away from this delicious chili sauce! Here is what you will need:

  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic for the best flavor.
  • Ginger – Ginger brings freshness and a zesty flavor.
  • Chili – For spiciness. I went with half of a Thai chili and found the sauce to be spicy enough. Use a full chili for an extra spicy version.
  • Sugar – White sugar works best here. Coconut sugar is too strong and covers the ginger and garlic flavor, so I recommend staying away from it.
  • White vinegar – For the sourness. I went with rice vinegar, but any white vinegar will work.
  • Water – To dilute the sauce.
  • Sriracha – Or your favorite chili sauce. This will not only bring more heat but also add an orange hue to the sauce.
  • Cornstarch – The cornstarch will help thicken the sauce.
Frying garlic, ginger, and chili.

The process of preparing this sauce is super easy and requires just one pot:

  1. Sauté the aromatics: garlic, ginger, and chili for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, white vinegar, chili sauce, and water.
  3. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes over low-medium heat.
  4. Dilute the cornstarch in two tablespoons of water and add it to the sauce.
  5. Cook for one more minute or until the sauce has thickened.

Finally, remove from heat and let cool completely before enjoying! The sauce can be served at room temperature or chilled.

Cooking sweet and sour sauce in a saucepan.

🌶 Where to Use it

This sweet and sour sauce is versatile and can be used:

  • As a dipping sauce: with vegan egg rolls, vegan chicken nuggets, samosas, fried dumplings, baked tofu, onion rings, or tempura!
  • As a stir-fry sauce: perfect to make a sweet and sour veggie stir-fry, or to coat tofu or tempeh!


Can I reduce the amount of sugar?

Yes, feel free to adjust the sweetness to your liking. If you are familiar with the store-bought version, this one has about the same amount of sugar.

Can I use ground ginger instead of fresh ginger?

Fresh ginger is essential to this recipe.

How long does this dipping sauce keep?

This sweet and sour sauce will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Sweet and sour sauce with garlic and ginger.

If you ever wondered how to make sweet and sour sauce at home, look no further! This recipe has the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spicy, with a fresh ginger flavor. You are going to love this dipping sauce!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Sweet and sour sauce in a bowl.
full of plants in envelope

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email below & we’ll send it straight to your inbox! Plus, you will receive new recipes every week!

Save Recipe

I’d like to receive more tips & recipes from Full of Plants.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Sweet & Sour Chili Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Author: Thomas Pagot
Make your own sweet, sour, and spicy dipping sauce! Just 8 ingredients, 15 minutes, and so much better than the store-bought version!
Prep Time : 5 minutes
Cook Time : 8 minutes
Total Time : 13 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 21 kcal


  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 Thai chili minced
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sriracha or sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 and 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch diluted in 2 tbsp water


  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic, chopped ginger, and chili. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Next, add the water, white vinegar, sriracha, sugar, and salt. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  • Dilute the cornstarch in two tablespoons of water. Add the cornstarch to the saucepan and stir using a wooden spoon. Keep heating for 1-2 more minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool completely before using. Use it as a dipping sauce for egg rolls, fried dumplings, nuggets, samosas, and more!
  • This sweet and sour chili sauce will stay in the refrigerator for up to one week.


Serving: 1 tbsp | Calories: 21 kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.1 g | Fat: 0.3 g | Sugar: 4.2 g
Course : Condiment
Cuisine : Asian
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
Share this recipe!

About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

Leave a Comment

Notify of
Did you make this recipe? Rate it!

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Cant wait to make this and your other sauces and recipes soon for me i never had sweet & sour sauce before perfect for my snacks

5 stars
This is one of my favorite dipping sauce ever, especially when it’s served with fried dumplings. Thanks for the super-easy-to-follow instructions!!!