Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (2024)

Published: by Nora Reyes · This post may contain affiliate links · 6 Comments

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Sweet and Sour Chicken features crispy chicken nuggets with onions, bell peppers, and pineapple tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce. It is better than Chinese takeout and takes less than 30 minutes to make!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (1)
Jump to:
  • Ingredients you’ll need
  • How to make this recipe
  • Recipe FAQs
  • Explore other Chinese-inspired dishes
  • More about sweet and sour
  • Other chicken recipes you may like
  • 📖 Recipe
  • 💬 Comments

Ingredients you’ll need

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (2)

Notes and substitutions

  • Egg white: It binds the starch to the chicken. Without the yolk, the chicken turned out crunchier.
  • Starch for the batter: All-purpose flour makes a robust, golden-brown crust, while cornstarch makes it lighter. Use potato starch or rice flour in place of cornstarch.
  • Baking powder: It creates bubbles in the batter for a light and crispy coating, like in Ukoy (shrimp and vegetable fritters). It does make a huge difference, so don't skip it.

How to make this recipe

Step 1: Make the sauce by combining 3 tablespoons vinegar, ¼ cup ketchup, ¼ cup sugar, ½ cup water, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Set it aside.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (3)

Step 2: Season 12 ounces of chicken with salt and pepper and mix in 1 egg white. As an option, you can add more flavor by marinating them for 15 minutes with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon onion powder.

Step 3: Combine ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Coat the chicken evenly.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (4)

Step 4: Heat an inch of oil in your wok or skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the chicken for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Drain them on paper towels and remove the oil.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (5)

Step 5: Sauté 1 onion, ½ red and ½ green bell peppers, and 1 cup pineapple over high heat for 2 minutes until slightly blistered. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 6: Push the vegetables aside, then lower the heat to medium. Sauté 1 teaspoon ginger and 3 garlic cloves in a bit of oil for 30 seconds. Toss them all together.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (6)

Step 7: Add 2 stalks scallions and the sauce. Let it thicken for about a minute.

Step 8: Turn off the heat and toss them together with the chicken. Add ground pepper, as desired.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (7)

Sweet and Sour Chicken must be enjoyed right away, so it stays crisp. It will lose its crunch if it sits in the sauce too long. If you enjoy this, consider trying Sweet and Sour Fish for a delicious variation.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (8)

Recipe FAQs

What makes a good sweet and sour chicken?

Adding egg white and baking powder gives the chicken a light, crispy coating that doesn't separate from the meat. The sauce should be tangy, not cloyingly sweet, and have that signature reddish color.

Should I use chicken thighs or breasts?

I prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they have more flavor and stay juicy after frying. For this recipe, chicken breasts can also be used.

Does double frying make the chicken crunchier?

Yes, you can certainly double-fry. It will make the chicken crunchier. To avoid overcooking, let them cool first before frying again.

Does marinating make a difference?

Yes! Marinating the chicken for as little as 15 minutes can make all the difference. Season with salt and pepper, then add a tablespoon of soy sauce and ½ teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder.

Explore other Chinese-inspired dishes

  • Pancit Canton: Wheat noodles stir-fried with meats, vegetables, and seasoned with soy sauce or oyster sauce. Pancit Bihon is a variation with thin rice noodles.
  • Beef Stir-Fry: Tender slices of beef stir-fried with onions, bell peppers, and a savory sauce.
  • Pata Tim: Similar to Asado, this savory and sweet pork hock dish has a rich sauce made with soy sauce, star anise, and other aromatic ingredients.
  • Soy and Ginger Fish: Steamed or fried whole fish or fillets cooked with soy sauce and ginger.
  • Salt and Pepper Shrimp: Lightly-coated fried shrimp tossed with salt, pepper, and spices. Salt and Pepper Squid is a variation with squid.
  • Hopia: Sweet mung bean-filled pastries with a flaky crust, inspired by the Chinese mooncake.
  • Lumpia Shanghai: Fried spring rolls with ground meat rolled in thin lumpia wrappers. Lumpiang Gulay and Shrimp Lumpia are delicious variations.

More about sweet and sour

If you'd like to know more, here are frequently asked questions on sweet and sour recipes, including extra tips, troubleshooting, and more.

Other chicken recipes you may like

  • Filipino Chicken Curry Recipe
  • Filipino Fried Chicken Recipe
  • Chicken Tinola Recipe
  • Chicken Caldereta Recipe
Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (13)

Did you make this recipe? I would love to know! Your feedback helps me make better recipes. Please rate, review, or comment below. Questions about this recipe are welcome, too!

Let's connect on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, and Youtube. Be sure to tag me when you try any of my recipes @recipesbynora!

📖 Recipe

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (14)

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Crispy chicken nuggets with onions, bell peppers, and pineapple tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce.

4.80 from 5 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Filipino

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 628kcal

Author: Nora Rey

Cost: $4-$6

Equipment

  • A wok or skillet

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons cane or white vinegar sub:rice or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the chicken:

  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless thighs or breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 egg white lightly beaten (see note)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (see note)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 medium white or yellow onion cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ red bell pepper about 1 cup; cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ green bell pepper about 1 cup; cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks fresh, frozen, or canned; cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 stalks scallions cut into 1½-inch sections
  • Oil (canola, avocado, or other vegetable oils) for shallow-frying and sautéing

US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  • Make the sauce by combining vinegar, ketchup, sugar, ½ cup water, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Set it aside.

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and mix in egg white.

  • Combine flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Coat the chicken evenly.

  • Fry the chicken over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Drain them on paper towels and remove the oil.

  • Sauté onions, peppers, and pineapple over high heat for 2 minutes until slightly blistered. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Push the vegetables aside, then lower the heat to medium. Sauté ginger and garlic for 30 seconds in a bit of oil. Toss them all together.

  • Add scallions and the sauce. Let it thicken for about a minute.

  • Turn off the heat and toss them together with the chicken. Add ground pepper, as desired.

Video

Notes

  • Egg white: It binds the starch to the chicken. Without the yolk, the chicken turned out crunchier.
  • Starch for the batter: All-purpose flour makes a robust, golden-brown crust, while cornstarch makes it lighter. Use potato starch or rice flour in place of cornstarch.
  • Baking powder: It creates bubbles in the batter for a light and crispy coating. It does make a huge difference, so don't skip it.

Nutrition

Calories: 628kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 19gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 1446mgPotassium: 440mgFiber: 2gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 844IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided here is solely for informational purposes. I am not a certified nutritionist, and this data hasn't been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or any other authority. It shouldn't be seen as health or nutrition advice. The figures are estimates calculated from various food composition databases and might vary based on product types, brands, natural variations in produce, and ingredient processing methods. Individual results may differ.

Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @recipesbynora or tag #RecipesByNora!

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Sandra

    Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (19)
    I love the organization of the recipe directions - laying out the different prep stages before going into the cooking portion. It made everything easy to follow. I'm a slow cook so I knew everything would take me more than 30 minutes to complete but the prep time took me an hour and cooking took me another hour. I made the recipe with gluten-free flour (King Arthur's GF All-Purpose) and it was all delicious, the next time I make it though I'll save it for the weekend. Thank you for the recipe.

    Reply

    • Nora

      Hello Sandra! The pleasure is all mine. I'm so glad you liked the recipe and intend to make it again. Thanks for the info on the gluten-free alternative. Thanks so much for your comment and I appreciate you noticing the layout.=) Did you find the process shots helpful or easy to understand? I'm debating whether to make the process shots side by side or in groups of four, but I'm concerned it might look too small when viewed on the phone - what do you think?

      Reply

      • Sandra

        You're welcome! I found the process shots easy to understand on my phone.

        Reply

  2. jomelyn

    Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (20)
    This recipe is very delicious and mouth-watering.

    Reply

  3. Bim

    Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe (21)
    Prepared this for dinner today, my family loved it. They said it’s better than the one we order sometimes from the restaurant. Thank you Nora.

    Reply

    • Nora

      Thank you! I'm so happy to hear this. =)

      Reply

Thanks for coming! Let me know what you think:

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