Classic Sweet and Sour Sauce

This wonderfully piquant sauce is a healthy version of the classic Chinese staple sweet and sour sauce. It is delicious with crispy baked chicken strips, rice and noodles. Alternatively chill and serve as a dipping sauce.

500/600 g tin of pineapple chunks or rings
400 ml vegetable stock
400 ml white wine vinegar
300 ml orange juice
100 ml soy sauce
200 g tomato purée
2 red or yellow peppers
1 tablespoon yeast extract (Optional source of glutamate)
Half teaspoon five spice powder
3 tablespoons cornflour

Dice the pineapple and peppers. Reserve some pineapple and peppers to add after puréeing. Place all ingredients except the cornflour into a pot, simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Use a stick blender to finely purée the sauce and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Cool a little and pour into a wire mesh sieve placed over a large bowl. Use a tablespoon to encourage the sauce through the sieve by scraping the inside. When only fibre remains in the sieve, discard the fibre and return the sauce to a clean pot with the reserved finely diced pineapple and peppers.

Bring the sauce back to the boil. Mix the cornflour with 45 ml cold water (Fingers work best.) Add the cornflour mix to the sauce and stir well. Simmer and stir for at least 5 minutes to thicken the cornflour and cook away its taste.

Cool and pour off the sauce in to suitable containers and refrigerate. Discard any over-thickened residue that clings to the bottom of the pot.

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