5

Recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/19670/sweet-and-sour-sauce-i/

Ingredients:
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:
Place the sugar, vinegar, water, soy sauce, ketchup and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened.

I did everything as said in the instructions, weighed in all the ingredients correctly and the problem is with the vinegar. I don't know if I'm using the wrong vinegar or something, but as soon as I smelled the sauce when it was cooking, I thought my lungs was about to explode in my chest, I could barely taste the sauce as the vinegar felt really really strong in it.

Is it something wrong with my choice of vinegar or is the recipe faulty? I don't understand. On the bottle it says "Food vinegar acid (9%)".

Really need help.

4

5% is the acid content of most common vinegars, and if a recipe doesn't explicitly state to use a stronger one, assume a 5% type is intended. There seem to be versions of white distilled vinegar in both 5% and 10%, an even stronger version called Essigessenz at 25% (!!!) is common in Germany. You likely bought the 9% version by accident, you should dilute it 1:1 with water or only use half the amount.

  • Damnit, I had to pour all of it in the toilet...Lesson learned I guess... – Giancarlo Feb 20 '17 at 13:06
  • I think I'm gonna use a third of it, cuz that felt really disturbing to taste. Or else maybe I could use apple or wine vinegar? Those are 5% in my store. – Giancarlo Feb 20 '17 at 13:11
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    Could have just diluted it with a double helping of every ingredient except vinegar :) BTW, rice wine vinegar (the yellowish stuff) is usually more suited for such sauces than distilled vinegar (except for blatantly american chinese sauces or spring roll sauce for some reason .... ) ... Or balance it out with plenty sugar (make sure you don't upset your stomach though)... – rackandboneman Feb 20 '17 at 15:23
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    As a german I can tell you, that "Essigessenz" is almost exclusively used for cleaning and killing weeds. – TheSexyMenhir Mar 16 '17 at 15:55
  • Oh, it is not that rarely used for vinaigrettes when you don't want to water them down more than necessary. With Obacht of course! It certainly is food grade. – rackandboneman Mar 16 '17 at 17:28
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This may vary between recipes, countries and other factors, but the vinegars I have seen usually contain about five percent of acid, and their name generally indicates the base the vinegar is made from (whine, sherry,...).

So I guess your vinegar is much more acidic than is usual, and could have been diluted for the recipe. Also, it might just be a mix of acetic acid and water, whith a pure acidy taste.

  • Do you think if I didn't use the vinegar at all, would the recipe still work? – Giancarlo Feb 20 '17 at 12:31
  • No - you want the sauce to be sour after all. As I said, you can dilute it (ratio of about 1:1) or use a different vinegar with about 5% acid. – Toffomat Feb 20 '17 at 14:52
  • Ah, and of course you can always first use less vinegar, taste and adjust the seasoning later. – Toffomat Feb 21 '17 at 8:30
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I have found using rice wine vinegar to be a better vinegar choice. U could always up the sugar, I always use pineapple juice in my. Helps balance the sour out a ton. try replacing the water measurement with pineapple juice.

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