If there’s one dish in a Chinese restaurant my husband absolutely can’t stand, it’s Sweet-n-Sour anything. He hates the sauce – thinks is sickeningly sweet. I, on the other hand, love sweet-n-sour sauce despite my general lack of a sweet tooth. There’s something about that thick, sticky, sweet yet tangy sauce that I find very satisfying. Given that we rarely go to Chinese restaurants, I’m lucky to get sweet-n-sour dish once every 3 or 4 years.
Due to my husband’s aversion, I’ve never made anything with sweet-n-sour sauce. But when I cleaned out the fridge today looking for something I could cook up, all the makings of a stir fry were staring me in the face – broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper, carrots. I wasn’t in the mood for a soy or teriyaki-based sauce. I started thinking about sweet-n-sour despite knowing how unhappy that would make my better half.
I searched on line for sauce recipes but they all called for 1/2 – 1 cup of white or brown sugar. Yikes – that’s a lot! I rummaged around the kitchen and found a bag of frozen mango. That got me thinking. Pineapple is commonly used in sweet-n-sour dishes — why not mango? I thawed it and pureed it, then started adding other ingredients until I came up with a fabulous Mango Sweet-n-Sour Sauce, if I do say so myself. My husband was reluctant to try it at first, but once he started eating he kept going. Two bowls later, he finally admitted it was really good. Mission accomplished!
Ingredients (serves 4 – 6)
1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used brown basmati)
1 package extra firm tofu (cubed)
1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
2 large carrots (sliced on the diagonal – about 1 cup)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 recipe of Mango Sweet-n-Sour Sauce
3 tablespoons coconut or sesame oil (divided)
- Cook rice per package instructions.
- Prepare 1 recipe of Mango Sweet-n-Sour Sauce. If you want a sweeter sauce, add about 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar to achieve desired taste.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok. Add the vegetables and gently toss over medium-high heat for 2 minutes to coat all vegetables with oil. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for 3 minutes, for a total of 5 minutes cooking time. If you don’t have a lid, cook the veggies on medium-high heat for about 7 minutes total, gently tossing the entire time to prevent sticking or burning. Transfer the veggies to a separate dish.
- Heat 1 more tablespoon of oil in the wok and add the tofu. Cover with a lid and let heat through over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the Mango Sweet-n-Sour Sauce to the tofu and stir until oil is completely mixed into the sauce.
- Add the vegetables back in to reheat for a minute or two while gently toss until everything is coated with the sauce.
- Serve hot immediately over rice.