Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and Sour Crispy Chicken coated in delicious, tangy-sweet, sticky sauce. A takeout style Chinese chicken dinner at home without the wait for delivery. Gluten Free.
So excited to share this Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe. Chinese Crispy Chicken is a lite and crispy fried chicken coated in sweet and sour sticky sauce. Recipe takes just 25 minutes start to finish. It comes together quicker than time to order a takeout and wait for the delivery. Pair with home cooked Jasmine rice for a delicious dinner at home. Gluten free.
Oh, Pineapple shell is only used for the pictures. You don't need it for cooking the recipe.
Let's get started with the recipe. Shall we?!
We have a big Asian community around us. Sweet sour chicken often makes to the community buffet/get togethers. There are so many variations of this recipe that I have tried. Everyone has signature sauce and their family's personal touch but one thing is common - crispy chicken and savory finger-licking sauce.
With this recipe, I have tried to create the same crispy fried chicken with a sweet and sour sauce with very lite breading of corn starch. Sauce is flavored with pineapple juice. You can use canned pineapple juice. Or buy a fresh ripe pineapple and extract juice from it.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Chinese/Indian Chicken recipes are more about sauce than protein. In my opinion, a perfect tasting sauce is the important step for getting any Asian recipe... actually any recipe, right. Don't you think?
Likewise, the heart of best tasting sweet and sour chicken is in it's sauce. Sauce is very very simple. If you follow the recipe exactly, sauce will be ready in just 3 minutes.
Ingredients to make Sweet and Sour sauce include tomato ketchup, Asian staple ginger and garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and honey. I was after pineapple flavor, so I also added pineapple juice. You can also use orange juice or apple juice based on flavor preference.
Once all these ingredients marry together... a delicious bright, and shiny finger-licking sweet and sour sauce surfaces in the pan. See step pictures in the recipe card.
Tip: Sweet and Sour sauce also goes great on tofu. In-fact, I even use it to brighten-up stir-fried veggies and rice.
Once the sauce is ready, rest recipe is as simple as cooking chicken.
Traditional sweet n' sour chicken has fried chicken. I wanted to share the traditional version today so went for fried. However, when not in mood to bread and fry chicken, I often sauté it in little oil and seasonings until it is crisp, caramelized and fully cooked. Next, mix in sauce.
Cooking fried chicken is optional. If you are after that traditional crispy fried chicken coated in sweet and tangy sauce.. go ahead, fry the chicken. If you want to avoid frying and still want to enjoy homemade Chinese-takeout! Simply sauté the chicken. It tastes delicious either ways.
Don't forget to serve rice on the side. To me, Chinese food does not feel complete without a serving of rice or noodles. You can opt for brown rice or whole grain noodles such as quinoa or buckwheat noodles.
Pineapple Shell as Serving Bowl
I can't finish this post without saying few words about the humble pineapple severing platter. I saw this pineapple bowl last year in Delmar Fair. Vishal had shrimp and pineapple fried rice served in a pineapple bowl. It does look pretty. Thanks to Fair for the inspiration.
Tip: Did you know pineapple shells freeze well? If you buy some pineapple, scoop out the flesh and save the shell to use later.
I hope you will enjoy this bowl full of takeout favorite as much as we did. Try something different for dinner tonight! Bring home ingredients and make Sweet and Sour Chicken with pineapple and rice. Enjoy!
Few more delicious chicken recipes from my recipe repertoire:
Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken
IngredientsSweet and Sour Chicken Sauce
1. Prepare Ingredients: In a wide bowl, mix all of the Sweet and Sour Chicken Sauce ingredients. Whisk to combine well. Make sure honey/agave is fully mixed with other ingredients. Set aside. In a medium bowl, add eggs, and beat slightly. Add 2 tbsp of sweet and sour sauce in egg mixture, add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper. Mix well.2. Batter Chicken: Add cubed chicken pieces and coat well. On a large plate, or a paper bag add corn starch. Season with generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper. Add egg coated chicken and toss well to bread evenly. Additional Notes: I like to add 2 tbsp of sweet and sour sauce in egg mixture that makes chicken crust very flavorful.
3. Fry Chicken: Start by heating oil for frying in a heavy bottom cast-iron pan. When oil is hot but not smoking, add battered chicken. Working in batches, shallow fry breaded chicken in oil until crispy from all sides and is fully cooked.4. Fry in Batches: I fried chicken in two batches, 5-6 minutes each batch. Remove fried chicken on a paper lined plate to drain excess oil.
5. Cook Sauce: In a pan, add remaining of Sweet and Sour mix (saved in step 1). Bring the sauce to boil, then simmer for 1-2 minutes or until sauce get little thick.6. Coat Chicken in Sauce: Add in cooked chicken and coat well in the sauce.
- 7. Season and Serve: Sweet and Sour Chicken is ready. Remove in a bowl. Serve over rice with garnish of fresh pineapple and rice. Enjoy!
- Cooking fried chicken is optional. If you are after that traditional crispy fried chicken coated in sweet and tangy sauce.. go ahead, fry the chicken. If you want to avoid frying and still want to enjoy homemade Chinese-takeout! Simply sauté the chicken. It tastes delicious either ways. Only make sure that chicken is fully cooked before adding to the sauce.
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