Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce with Tomatoes

It’s officially summertime in Holland so let’s make some tasty sauces, for example for the BBQ or just as a dip for snacks like pangsit, or martabak. I make Asian sauces myself because it is easy and delicious. Like this super simple Indonesian sweet and sour sauce. The flavor of the tomatoes and the tamarind come through unquestionably. It tastes fresh and straightforward. I like that in a sauce.

Every tomato is different and every chili pepper too. That is why it is very important during sauce making that you taste regularly ;-). Try to get the balance right. Make it how you like it best!

Simple sweet and sour sauce I (Indonesian) # 473 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 381.


  • 2 chili peppers
  • 1 large, peeled tomato
  • 3 tablespoons of kitchen tamarind
  • a pinch of salt
  1. Deseed the chili peppers, rinse them under hot tap water and cut them into small pieces.
  2. Soak the tomato in hot water, peel it and cut into slices.
  3. Rub chili peppers and tomato with a little salt into a paste and stir in the tamarind and possibly a few drops of lemon juice.

This sauce can be used as a condiment with spring rolls, omelet of tofu, tofu balls and pangsit.

I still had 1,5 chili pepper left and only a small tomato, so I supplemented that with some sherry tomatoes. Kitchen tamarind contains some sugar, but I only have pure asem (tamarind) in my fridge. So I add 1,5 teaspoon of gula Jawa (palm sugar).

I pour boiling hot water over the tomatoes and let them soak for a minute or two.

Now it is super easy to pull the skin off.

In the meantime, I deseed my chili peppers. According to Beb’s recipe, I should deseed for this sauce. I follow her advice, but if you like it spicy, do not deseed.

I’ve washed the chilies under the hot tap, like the recipe states.

First I rub the chili with salt and sugar.

Then the rest can be added; the tomatoes chopped in pieces and the asem (tamarind). I rub and stir until everything has blended into a sauce.

Let’s taste. I think it can be a little sweeter, saltier and a bit more acidic. So I add another teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of lime juice.

Just stir well and voila, a delicious sweet-sour sauce.

I was working on a new bapao recipe, so I dip my bun in the sauce. Nice to taste that it is indeed simple, but exactly what a snack deserves. You taste the fresh tomatoes well and it is a delicious light sauce, without oil or other fat. Yum!

Want to see more sauces by Beb Vuyk? Here you can find all her sauces I’ve made so far.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *