Fancy a Chinese with no sugar or MSG?

Since I have sworn of the white stuff (sugar of course what were you thinking…?) the one thing I can’t eat is Chinese so I have developed a recipe for a sugar free sweet and sour sauce which tastes surprisingly good

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6)

  • 1tsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced (Waitrose do ready chopped for ease)
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely diced or pinch of chilli flakes, optional
  • ¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 200ml fresh chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of stevia (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 200g fresh pineapple cut into small pieces (I buy ready chopped)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onion for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli if using and stir for a minute.
  2. In a small bowl add the cornflour and mix in 3tbsp of chicken stock to make a smooth paste.
  3. Add the remaining chicken stock, vinegar, stevia, soy sauce and tomato puree to the pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, add the pineapple chunks and cornflour paste and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken the sauce. Season to taste.
  4. This can pour this sauce over cooked meat or vegetables or use as a dipping sauce. You can store the sauce in the fridge for 2-3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
You may ask is this worth it, why don’t we just get a takeout?  Well, Eddie Izzard, who is about to embark on a mammoth 27 marathons in South Africa so he is pretty fit, has this to say:

“Sure, some drugs have worse effects than sugar does. But eventually it has a health effect, as everyone becomes one of these large rolling mountains. Since I’ve dropped refined sugar it’s sort of changed my life. I lost more weight in the two months I gave up sugar than in the two months I ran 43 marathons.”