Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

This Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe is a reminder of my favorite Chinese restaurant dish. While probably not reliably Cantonese, it was fun for us kids!


I remember it coming with crunchy won tons under the bright orange sauce with steamed rice on the side.

This is a pretty representative rendition of the traditional recipe. Try it for family and guests – everyone loves sweet and sour chicken!

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Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Something special and probably different for the family! Very easy to make and a delicious chicken dish. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 8
Calories: 215 kcal
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium green bell peppers seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can 8 ounces pineapple chunks – reserve the juice
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 drops orange food color
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 ¼ cups self rising flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • water as needed
  1. Season the pieces of chicken with kosher salt and ground black pepper and refrigerate it while preparing the rest of the recipe.
  2. Combine the sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice and orange food coloring in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in 1 ½ cups water and bring to a boil over medium heat, making sure the sugar is dissolved. Make a paste with the ¼ cup cornstarch and ¼ cup water, and whisk it in to the sauce. Let it boil until thickened then take it off the heat.
  3. Make the batter for the chicken. Whisk together the self rising flour, the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, the white pepper and beaten egg. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, then slowly whisk in1 ½ cups water. The batter should be like pancake batter. Let is sit while the chicken is in the refrigerator.
  4. Quickly stir-fry the bell peppers in a little of the vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. Cook only enough to soften them – they should not get brown. Remove them to paper towels to drain.
  5. Heat 3 cups of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet. Combine the seasoned chicken pieces with the batter, stirring to coat each piece completely. Fry the chicken in batches until it is cooked through and the batter is golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  6. When all the chicken is ready, layer the green bell peppers and pineapple chunks on a large platter. Arrange the fried chicken over the peppers and pineapple then pour the sweet and sour sauce over everything. Serve hot.

Good To Know About This Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Much of this dish can be prepared ahead of time and if kept separate in airtight containers will be just as fresh as if made all at once. Here’s a “ to do ahead” list:

* Cut the chicken into pieces and season it
* Make the batter
* Cut up – but to not stir-fry – the bell pepper
* Make the sweet and sour sauce

Everything will come together in minutes when you’re ready to serve dinner.

On Your Own – Not everyone keeps self-rising flour on hand. If you don’t think you will have much use for it, save your money and make your own self rising flour:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

Sift all the ingredients and keep in an airtight container until ready to use.


Up Next:

Simple Caribbean Jerk Chicken

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