Chinese Imperial Palace Sweet and Sour Sauce

Don’t buy sweet and sour sauce in the jar, make your own! This Chinese red dipping sauce is great for wonton strips and egg rolls.

Sweet and Sour Sauce with wonton strips

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Don’t you hate it when you take out Chinese food, and they don’t give you enough sweet and sour sauce?  Well, now you can make your own and you will never have to run out.

This sweet and sour sauce is easy to make. And just think you can make up a large batch of wontons and have plenty of sauce to dip your wontons in.

Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need to make this sauce:

  • White Vinegar
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • MSG
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Cornstarch
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • White Pepper
  • Ketchup

Love Chinese food? Try these recipes:

For more great Chinese restaurant recipes check out The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook by Gloria Bley Miller.

sweet and sour chicken and a bowl of homemade sweet and sour sauce

Chinese Imperial Palace Sweet and Sour Sauce

You can make classic Chinese red sweet and sour sauce for chicken, pork, shrimp, and dipping wontons.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Sweet and Sour Sauce
Servings: 10
Calories: 59kcal


  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon MSG
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup


  • In a medium saucepan add white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, MSG, and Tabasco. Cook over medium heat until heated through. 
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water, and add the mixture to the saucepan while stirring constantly.   
  • Add Worcestershire sauce and a dash of white pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Cook until it is bubbly and thick.
  • Remove sauce from the stove and add 2 tablespoons of ketchup.

Recipe Tips for the Cook

This will stay good in the refrigerator for about a week.


Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 9mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg
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About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. hillary

    I made this sauce with just the sugar, water, corn starch and ketchup. I did add an extra tablespoon of corn starch and some grenadine for color and flavor. And it turned out amazing!

    • stephaniemanley

      It is a flavor enhancer that you can buy. Some people are allergic to it, you may want to leave it out.

      • stephaniemanley

        Well ketchup gets its coloring from tomatoes which some think is preferable to red dye.

    • Monkeyb00y

      Actually it’s the ketchup. The last instruction is to remove from the heat & add 2 tbsp ketchup. I added more but it did turn a nice red color. Perfect 🙂

    • Sharon Kay Mikesell

      My recipe calls for maraschino cherry juice…ABSOLUTELY NO ketchup!! Just store the jarred cherries in the fridge. Or I suppose you can cut them in half & use whatever amount in any entree of your choosing! Sounds pretty good in sweet & sour chicken. At any rate…the color of gorgeous jeweled red is the outcome, it as well as the taste of this sauce REALLY pop! I believe many accomplished/beginning chinese chefs cringe upon hearing about the addition of ketchup!!! Save the ketchup for your fries. Hope this helps…

      • stephaniemanley

        Great suggestion on the cherry liquid. There is a restaurant near me that makes a sauce using the juice from the cherries, I think they call it cherry chicken or something, its delicious.

  2. Rich G

    Is the reference to the Imperial Palace (General Tso’s Chicken) the same as the one in Las Vegas?

    No, it isn’t that one, and I have even stayed there before too! I was referring to a restaurant in the Houston area that had closed several years ago. ~Stephanie

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