I cooked the Roman standard bacallà (salt cod) in sweet-sour sauce tonight for dinner. It's a delightful dish, and bacallà is finally available at a reasonable price. But I wonder if other people have suggestions for taming the sweetness: many of my American friends can't abide the almost candy-sweetness of Roman (and Shanghainese) sweet-sour sauces.
My recipe for the sauce was essentially: sauteed garlic with parsley, the juice of an orange, wine vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar, pepper, white wine, raisins. The commoner Roman style also has tomatoes and onions, but I left them out tonight. If I just increase the acid or leave out the sugar, it comes out too sour, sort of bacallà in agroagro.
Is there an herb or a spice -- or maybe a nut -- that will help balance the syrup? Are the tomatoes critical to making it accessible?