Sweet and Sour Chicken (2024)

· Modified: by John Kanell

Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken made with crispy chicken pieces, bell peppers, and juicy pineapple in the most delicious sticky sweet and sour sauce. This recipe shows you how to make the best Chinese takeout inspired dish at home!

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I love classic takeout dishes whether it’s Orange Chicken, Bourbon Chicken, or this Sweet and Sour Chicken. That’s why I love to recreate the classics at home to not only make them a little healthier but just as comforting! This sweet and sour chicken is made with crispy and juicy chicken pieces tossed with sweet peppers and pineapple chunks in a sticky and delicious sauce.

And it’s not nearly as hard to make as you may think in fact, it can be ready in under half an hour! Check out my step by step recipe tutorial below complete with helpful photos and all the tips you need! If you would like something more truly authentic than my Americanized version, then try something fromWoks of Life.

What you need to make this recipe

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Chicken – I like to use skinless and boneless chicken breasts cut into small pieces but you can also use chicken thighs.

Ketchup – It may seem like a strange ingredient for a Chinese recipe but not only does it add a delicious tangy flavor but it replaces the food coloring that’s added in takeout dishes to give the chicken that orange color.

Pineapple chunks – I find pineapple chunks super easy and convenient instead of cutting up fresh pineapple!

Apple cider vinegar – this is essential for creating the sourness that we all love. Rice vinegar will also work well!

How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken

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1. Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

2. Toss the chicken pieces in cornstarch, beaten egg, and then all-purpose flour. You’ll need to do this in batches.

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3. Fry the chicken in hot vegetable oil until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

4. Stir fry the bell peppers and pineapple in a hot skillet until softened.

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5. Pour the sauce into the skillet and bring to a boil.

6. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat in the sauce until it has thickened slightly. Serve topped with sesame seeds, scallions, and rice.

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Pro tips for making this recipe

  • The oil should be 350F when you start cooking the chicken.
  • Whether you use chicken breasts or thighs make sure they are skinless and boneless.
  • Feel free to add in any other veggies you like such as broccoli, baby corn, sweet peas. It’s a great way to use up leftover veg!
  • If you’re looking for a healthier version then you can grill or bake the chicken without the batter. You can also stir fry the chicken with all the veggies and sauce for a lighter and super quick meal!
  • Remember that leftovers won’t be crispy because the batter will have soaked up a lot of moisture!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know the chicken is cooked?

Because the chicken is cut into small pieces it will cook fairly quickly especially in hot oil. If you want to double-check that the chicken is cooked through cut the largest piece in half and if it’s completely white with no pink bits you’ll know it’s cooked through.

What is Sweet and Sour Hong Kong style?

This recipe is prepared Hong Kong Style which means is cut into small pieces, coated in a batter and deep-fried! It’s absolutely delicious with a light and crispy outside and then tossed in the sticky sauce.

What can I serve with this?

Long-grain white rice is delicious served with this or for a healthier choice check out my Instant Pot Brown Rice recipe. You can also opt for my chicken fried rice.

Can I freeze this?

Yes, you can freeze leftovers in suitable containers or ziploc bags. Thaw completely before reheating. You can also store any leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days.

If you love this recipe try these out!

  • Kung Pao Chicken
  • Chicken Fried Rice
  • Bourbon Chicken
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Moo Goo Gai Pan

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If you’ve tried this recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

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4.95 from 17 votes

Sweet and Sour Chicken

How to make the most delicious Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken at home! Don't forget to check out my step by step photos and tips above!

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Course Main Course

Cuisine Chinese

Prep Time 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes minutes

Total Time 25 minutes minutes

Servings 4 servings

Calories 686kcal

Author John Kanell

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider or rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced

Chicken:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
  • 2 eggs large
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

Vegetable oil for frying

  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 2 bell peppers chopped
  • Garnish with 1tbsp sesame seeds and 3 chopped scallions

Instructions

For the sauce:

  • Add the vinegar, sugars, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil to a bowl then whisk together and set aside.

For the chicken:

  • Pour an inch of oil into a skillet or Dutch oven then place over medium-high heat. The oil should be 350F when you start cooking the chicken.

  • Set up a dredging station with a bowl for the cornstarch, a bowl of whisked eggs, and a bowl for the flour.

  • Toss the chicken pieces in cornstarch to coat then work in batches to dredge in egg and then all-purpose flour. Fry the chicken in batches, cooking until golden before turning over. Once chicken is cooked transfer to a plate and continue to cook the remaining chicken.

  • After the chicken cooks either pour all but a tablespoon of the oil out, or add a tablespoon of oil to a new skillet. Heat on medium-high and add in the peppers and pineapple. Cook while stirring for about 2 minutes until the peppers are slightly softened.

  • Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil then add the chicken pieces and stir to coat, cooking until the sauce has thickened. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallions and serve with rice.

Notes

  • You can add 3 Tbsp minced fresh ginger to the sauce for some extra flavor and bite.
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice is great in this dish, mix it into the sauce and enjoy!
  • The oil should be 350F when you start cooking the chicken.
  • Whether you use chicken breasts or thighs make sure they are skinless and boneless.
  • Feel free to add in any other veggies you like such as broccoli, baby corn, sweet peas. It's a great way to use up leftover veg!
  • If you're looking for a healthier version of sweet and sour chicken then you can grill or bake the chicken without the batter. You can also stir fry the chicken with all the veggies and sauce for a lighter and super quick meal!
  • Remember that leftovers won't be crispy because the batter will have soaked up a lot of moisture!

Nutrition

Calories: 686kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 2179mg | Potassium: 1277mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 62g | Vitamin A: 2067IU | Vitamin C: 91mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg

*Nutrition Disclaimer

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Sweet and Sour Chicken (2024)

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