Sweet And Sour Vegetables

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Of the various Chinese Recipes that I prepare at home, one of the most loved is the recipe of Sweet And Sour Vegetables. This is a plant based recipe and one finds this dish in many Chinese restaurants in India. Here in this recipe, the sauce in which the vegetables are simmered, has both sweetish and sourish flavors. Hence, the name of the dish. It is a great accompaniment with any of your fried rice and noodle dishes. Also, a vegan-friendly dish.

sweet and sour vegetables in a ceramic bowl.

How Sweet And Sour Vegetables Is Made

Chinese cuisine, known for its bold flavors and unique combinations, has become incredibly popular. One of the standout dishes in this culinary genre is Sweet And Sour Vegetables.

This dish masterfully blends the tangy sweetness and umami, with a few bold herbs, creating a flavorful and satisfying meal that appeals to a wide range of palates.

Sweet And Sour Vegetables feature a mix of vibrant vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, French beans, cauliflower, celery, and edible fungi like button mushrooms.

The sauce is made with a blend of soy sauce, vinegar, tomato ketchup, and a bit of sugar to achieve the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

To add a hint of some spice and warmth, ginger and garlic are incorporated. Cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce, resulting in a glossy finish that coats the vegetables perfectly.

In my recipe of Sweet And Sour Vegetables, I have used apple cider vinegar in place of white vinegar. You can easily add white vinegar, if you don’t have apple cider vinegar.

The veggies have to be stir-fried on high heat and need continuous stirring so that they do not get burnt.

I have blanched the vegetables first, so that they cook faster when stir-frying. The veggies need not be cooked until soft. You can have some crunch in them.

This Sweet And Sour Vegetables recipe has been adapted from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s cookbook ‘Chinese Cooking.’

The best part of this recipe is that all the ingredients, except for celery, are easily available at home. So, you can skip the celery, if you don’t have it.

sweet sour vegetables in a pan and served in a small bowl garnished with a coriander sprig.

Serving Suggestions

Sweet And Sour Vegetables can be served as a main dish or a side. It pairs wonderfully with steamed rice or Fried Rice, soaking up the flavors of the sauce.

Garnish with freshly chopped scallions or sesame seeds for an added touch of freshness and crunch.

It is really easy to prepare and you can use your choice of mixed vegetables. Sweet And Sour Vegetables very well accompany dishes like veg fried rice, Veg Noodles, Veg Hakka Noodles, Schezwan Noodles or even just plain steamed rice or noodles.

I usually have the Sweet And Sour Vegetables with the flavorful Mushroom Fried Rice.

This dish is not spicy at all. Thus, is a hit with children. It can also be a party dish if you are planning to have a Chinese menu.

Serve Sweet And Sour Vegetables hot with Schezwan Fried Rice or Chow Mein or Chilli Garlic Noodles for a delicious and healthy meal.

More Chinese Style Recipes To Try!

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sweet and sour vegetables recipe

Sweet and Sour Vegetables

Sweet and Sour Vegetables is a delicious plant based recipe made with an array of healthy veggies. In this, the sauce in which the vegetables are simmered, has both sweetish and sourish tastes. It is a great accompaniment with any of your fried rice and noodle dishes.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine Chinese, World
Course Main Course
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3


  • 1 carrot – chopped, small to medium
  • 7 to 9 french beans – sliced diagonally
  • 1.5 cups cauliflower – chopped or 1.5 cups chopped broccoli
  • 5 to 6 button mushrooms – chopped
  • 1 onion – small to medium-sized, quartered and the layers separated
  • 1 bell pepper – chopped or cut into 1 inch squares, small to medium; red or green or yellow
  • ½ tablespoon celery – finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce – naturally brewed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves – finely chopped, small to medium-sized
  • 1 inch ginger – finely chopped
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon sugar or as required
  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoons oil – any neutral flavored oil
  • 2 cups water or add as required
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour) dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • salt as required
  • black pepper as required


Blanching vegetables

  • Rinse, peel and chop all the veggies first.
  • Quarter the onion and separate the layers.
  • Heat 2 to 3 cups water with 1 teaspoon salt until the water begins to boil.
  • Add the carrots, french beans, cauliflower to the hot water.
  • Turn off the heat, cover pan with lid and set aside the veggies to blanch for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Drain all the water and keep the blanched vegetables aside.
  • If you want to preserve the colors of the veggies, then simply drain the water and immediately place the veggies in cold water.
  • In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and tomato ketchup. Set this sauce mixture aside.

Making sweet and sour vegetables

  • Heat oil in a wok or kadai.
  • Add the chopped ginger and garlic and stir fry on high heat for some seconds.
  • Then add the onions and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes on a high heat.
  • Add the bell pepper and mushrooms and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Then add the blanched veggies – cauliflower, french beans and carrots and stir fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the celery and stir fry for a minute.
  • Add the prepared sauce mixture to the veggies. Stir and season with black pepper, sugar and salt.
  • Stir and add 2 cups of water or vegetable stock.
  • Let the sauce get heated through and come to a simmer.
  • Dissolve the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup water to a smooth paste.
  • Add the cornstarch paste to the veggies and stir briskly so that no lumps are formed.
  • Simmer until the cornstarch gets cooked in the sauce and the sauce thickens.
  • Lastly add the apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
  • Stir through and serve Sweet and Sour Vegetables hot with veg fried rice or steamed rice or stir-fried noodles or plain noodles.


  • You can alter the sugar in the recipe as per your taste buds. Also depends on the sweetness in the tomato ketchup.
  • Even the vinegar & soy sauce can be adjusted as per your requirements.
  • For a thicker sauce, add less water. 
  • Opt to add your choice of vegetables. Mushrooms bring in some umami to the dish, but feel free to skip them if you are not a fan.
  • You can use spring onions (scallions or green onions) instead of regular onions. If using spring onions, chop the white bulbs to be added to the sauce and use the greens as garnish. 

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Sour Vegetables
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Sodium 858mg37%
Potassium 513mg15%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 4788IU96%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.1mg7%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.2mg12%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 0.4mg20%
Vitamin B12 0.01µg0%
Vitamin C 82mg99%
Vitamin D 0.04µg0%
Vitamin E 4mg27%
Vitamin K 20µg19%
Calcium 49mg5%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 68µg17%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 31mg8%
Phosphorus 88mg9%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Sweet And Sour Vegetables recipe from the blog archives was first published on September 2013. It has been updated and republished on May 2024.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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