Microwave Sweet & Sour Sauce Recipe

This is an easy microwave sweet & sour sauce recipe that takes just a few minutes to make – I’ve adapted it slightly from the Kenny McGovern’s recipe in his Takeaway Secrets book, where he produced an easy and fabulous fakeaway sweet & sour chicken balls recipe. Microwave Sweet Sour Sauce Recipe

The original uses a saucepan on the stovetop – but I like to use a microwave.

So here’s my adaptation, which makes enough for 1-2 portions:


  • 60 ml tomato ketchup, any brand
  • 20 ml white/distilled vinegar – you can use wine vinegar if that’s what you have
  • 70 ml water
  • ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 100 grams white sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons cornflour and 30ml water to thicken
  1. Combine the first five ingredients in a Pyrex jug (my microwave cooking dish of choice usually).
  2. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir, repeat until you can see it’s a sweet & sour sauce (2-3 minutes)
  3. Use the cornflour and water mix to thicken, to your personal taste.
Kenny’s Takeaway Secrets recipe for sweet & sour chicken balls made this sauce in a saucepan on the stovetop.  He used 70 grams of white sugar and 35 grams of brown sugar, which provides a deeper colour, but I just use white sugar most of the time, I like the bright red colour I get from that.
He adds his first ingredients to the pan and brings to the boil, stirring continuously, then turns the pan down to a simmer for 2-3 minutes.  The cornflour and water are then added to thicken – stir that in and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes and serve.
My way’s quicker, easier and creates less washing up – using a jug to make it means it’s easy to pour over my chicken balls when I’ve finished, as that’s usually what it’s intended for!
I would like to add bits of pineapple and some grated carrot, but the practicalities of opening a whole can of pineapple just for a few chunks usually seems a bit daft – it’s also hard to source 6-7 pieces of grated carrot 🙂
This gives me a great instant sweet & sour sauce in just a few minutes, for pence, instead of having to buy it in at £1/pot at the local Chinese takeaway – a much more satisfying result.  Cooking for one is often tricky due to a long list of ingredients – and this is one sauce that can easily be made without buying unusual fresh ingredients that don’t keep; it uses store cupboard ingredients I can easily keep in the house for when I need them!