In Chinese cooking, sweet and sour sauce is used in two ways – as a sauce in the actual food preparation, or as a dipping sauce for the prepared food, with certain flavors of sauce being associated with particular meats.

  • 24 raw (large prawns, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 medium (fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced into 1/8ths lengthwise with the core removed)
  • 1 yellow pepper (sliced into narrow wedges lengthwise)
  • 1 red pepper (sliced into narrow wedges lengthwise)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (sliced into 1/8ths then separate each eighth into 2 or 3 pieces)
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 large piece of gingerroot (approximately 2 square inches, peeled and minced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1–2 fresh red chillies (deseeded and diced)
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (coarsely chopped (optional))
  • Heat a large, heavy griddle over a high heat, and lay the pineapple slices on top for 3 or 4 minutes until charred. Turn ever minute or so, then remove to a cutting board and cool.
  • Add the sliced peppers to the griddle for 3 or 4 minutes, just until soft and char marked. Turn once halfway through cooking.
  • Add the chunks of onion to the griddle for 3 or 4 minutes, cooking until they begin to lose their opaqueness and are char marked. Turn once halfway through cooking.
  • In a food blender, mix the garlic and chilies with a pinch of salt just to make a coarse paste. Add the ginger, then mix until combined.
  • In a large bowl, mix the chilli paste with 1 teaspoon oil. Add the prawns and stir in to coat well.
  • Heat a wok over medium high heat. Add the oil and prawns and stir fry for 4 – 5 minutes until cooked through and no longer pink.
  • While the prawns are cooking, chop the cooled pineapple into bite-sized chunks.
  • In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and a tablespoon of water. Add to the wok with the chargrilled pineapple, peppers, onion and peas. Bring everything just to a boil, then simmer lightly over a low heat for another 2 minutes or so, until thickened and reduced a bit.
  • Sprinkle with the cilantro and squeeze the lime over the top, and then serve.