Use This Ingredient As A Substitute For Pineapples In Sweet and Sour Recipes

IMAGE Majoy Siason

The sweet and sour flavor is one that isn't as popular as the other flavor combos. Not many recipes call for this combination but there is one recipe that does this pairing justice and it's just as super delicious: sweet and sour recipes

If you love the flavor combination, you know that both the sweetness and the sourness comes from one delicious ingredient: pineapples. This is common among the many sweet and sour recipes you may have come across. Pineapples are naturally sweet and sour. It's a great ingredient, especially if you need to not only add flavor to a recipe, but also if the meat in the dish needs some tenderizing. This crowned fruit is a natural meat tenderizer because of the enzymes present in the flesh.

These pineapple enzymes are an acid component that while adding flavor, also helps to break down the protein strands in meat. All this means is that when you finally do take a bite of your dish, the strands are easier to break or are already broken, so it feels as if it's been tenderized already. However, caution needs to be exhibited when using fresh pineapples since it can also break down those same meat proteins too much, to the point that it becomes mealy, mushy, and disintegrates into an unpleasant texture when you do eat it. The right timing is needed when using fresh pineapples with meats. 


However, in sweet and sour dishes, this doesn't need to be a concern since the meat doesn't need to be tenderized, especially if you're making the fish version. Not only that, if you just so happen to not have pineapples in your kitchen when you're craving a sweet and sour dish, you don't need to ditch that recipe plan out. You can still make your sweet and sour recipe, but use a substitute instead that will result in almost the same, if not more, delicious dish. 

Swap the pineapples for these instead: the sourness with vinegar and the sweetness with sugar.  

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Photo by Marti Bartolome

Vinegar is just as sour as pineapples but without the sweetness. That can be remedied by using sugar. Both are an easy and simple ingredient substitutes that you already have! Every Pinoy kitchen readily stocks these two ingredients so you can easily make your choice of sweet and sour recipes using these two ingredients instead. 

Don't worry! If you use one of our delicious recipes, you won't end up with paksiw! While the paksiw is a sweet and sour recipe, too, the sweet and sour recipe we want you to try is a simple one. What makes it different is the kind of vinegar that is used to make it super delicious! 

Vinegar and sugar create the sweet and sour sauce of this simple fish fillet recipe.
Photo by Majoy Siason

The vinegar makes a difference for this recipe since Chinese black vinegar has a sweetness to the accompanying tang. Think balsamic vinegar with its similarly wonderful balance of sour and its lingering sweetness. The result is a sweet and sour recipe that mimics those which you might get at a restaurant but without the pineapples. 

Curious to try this version of the sweet and sour recipe? Here's how you make it:

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