Vegan Daughter Paleo Son

Rumi’s Sweet and Sour Sauce

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Rumi’s Sweet and Sour Sauce

For years, Rumi’s egg rolls have been a beloved food in my home. However, the sweet and sour sauce she makes with them was a lost recipe. Thanks to my Mom’s recipe cards, it is now found!!! I am a happy girl immersed in nostalgia.

We are talking about sweet tropical pineapple with fresh green peppers, married with tangy vinegar and deep rich flavors of juicy tomatoes and rich broth. It is yummy enough poured over rice or pork chops, but break open one of Rumi’s egg rolls and pile a spoonfull of this sauce inside … Wow! So good.

This recipe is super simple, with only a few ingredients. I am going to give it to you as it was given to me. Feel free to make any substitutions you like. If you are vegetarian, try using vegetable broth instead of pork or chicken. If you don’t use cane sugar, try honey or another sweetener.


Rumi’s Sweet and Sour Sauce

… as she gave it to my Mom

Boil pork or chicken scraps in large pan.

Mix together in sauce pan approximately 1/2 cup each, sugar & vinegar to taste, dissolve over heat.

Strain pork or chicken from broth. Combine in large pot, the clear broth, sugar & vinegar mixture, and one large can of diced pineapple plus the juice. Let simmer.


Add salt, and cornstarch slurry to thicken. Rumi also used to add accent (msg); I don’t use msg, this sauce is delicious without it.
Let simmer.


Make your slurry by whisking together equal parts cornstarch and water. You can start with about 2 T each. If your sauce does not thicken up enough to your liking after a few minutes, make and add more slurry.



Chop into large pieces: 2 medium tomatoes, 1 medium white onion, 1 or 2 chopped green peppers. Add these close to serving time. They need to be fairly firm when served.


When sauce flavors are nicely developed, add in veggies. Vegetables should be kept firm, not overcooked.


Pour sauce over cooked, baked or fried pork, chicken pieces, or shrimp.

My Mom’s tips: “To be economical, I always boiled a couple of pork chops to make my sweet & sour broth, then I diced the meat and used it for my egg rolls. I served pork sweet and sour sauce and pork egg rolls. I fried garlic chicken pieces with a thick crispy crust for the sweet & sour dish.”




Rumi’s Sweet and Sour Sauce


  • pork or chicken scraps (more scraps = more flavor)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (I use rice vinegar, distilled is fine)
  • 1 large can diced pineapples (I use about 1 cup pineapple juice and 1 cup diced pineapple)
  • cornstarch (I use organic)
  • 1-2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1-2 green bell peppers, chopped


Add pork or chicken scraps to a pot and cover with water. Using a large pot with lots of water will yield more sauce. Less water intensifies flavor. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add sugar and vinegar and stir to dissolve. Simmer for about 45 min- 1 hour to develop flavor. Strain out scraps, and return broth to the pot. Add pineapple juice and chunks.

Make a slurry by whicking together equal parts cornstarch and water. Start with about 2 T each. Whisk the slurry into the broth. If it does not thicken up enough for you, make and add more slurry.

Salt, to taste. Rumi used to add accent (msg), but it is delicious without it.

When sauce it to your liking, add in onion, green pepper, and tomato. How much you add depends upon how much sauce you have and what makes your taste buds happy. I like my sauce saucy with chunks… not all chunky… if that makes sense. The vegetables should not cook for long. They should remain firm.

By the way, these flavors continue to develop in the fridge and are fabulous served as leftovers.

Serve immediately or refrigerate and use anytime. Rumi suggests to pour it over cooked, baked or fried pork, chicken pieces, or shrimp.


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  1. Ricki
    RickiMarch 9,15

    Rumi and I are highly complemented by this. I feel honored. – Mom

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