I made a recipe for beef with broccoli that turned out fantastic. However- it is way too sweet for my family to eat much at once. Next time I will half the brown sugar, but is there a way to make our leftovers less sweet so we can not waste?

  • 2
    Even though you're mainly interested in modifying your leftovers, it would be a good idea to post the recipe here. I can think of a few things but they might not go very well
    – Chris H
    Nov 5, 2023 at 11:52
  • Sour and spicy can help to balance out sweetness. Even a bit of something bitter can help. Beware of salt, as that can make things taste sweeter. See cooksmarts.com/articles/study-flavor-profiles
    – Joe
    Nov 5, 2023 at 12:15
  • When seeking advice on changing a recipe, the recipe is needed. We are not a site to get recipes from, but we are a site that can offer advice on recipes that need modifiation (even if the need is to suit your taste, as oppesed to one you followed that didn't work at all.) Both the recipe, and any ways in which you didn't exactly follow it are helpful for offering advice on changes. Please edit to add that information
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 5, 2023 at 15:55
  • @Joe though if the salt comes with a source of umami it should be OK (soy sauce, as an example that could be relevant here, or cheese in other cases).
    – Chris H
    Nov 5, 2023 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


Typical recipes I can find for beef and broccoli in a dark sauce with sugar also include soy sauce and usually oyster sauce.

I'd make a batch of similar sauce omitting the sugar entirely. If your recipe used water or stock as well, you can use less or even none. Then I'd try to remove some of the existing sauce, before adding the unsweetened one, mixing well, and reheating.

If that's still too sweet, a little extra soy sauce might be worth a try, but better might be to spice it up with chilli flakes, or extra of any spices your recipe calls for, perhaps avoiding any you might associate with sweet dishes.

It's possible you used a sweeter (rice) wine than the recipe expected. A few drops of rice vinegar or white wine vinegar would help there, but do be sparing until you taste it.

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