I love making this Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple recipe for dinner. The combination of sweet and tangy sauce, with pineapple chunks, bell peppers and crispy chicken, it's almost healthy!
Growing up, every Sunday after church, we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant. This was my introduction to Sweet and Sour Chicken, one of my childhood favorites. I never knew how they made the bright red color of the Sweet and Sour Sauce. The answer is simple, it's a ketchup based sauce (surprise) and you don't need to add any food coloring!
Always use a Wok
I use a traditional Chinese seasoned wok to fry the battered chicken pieces. You can use a frying pan, however you might need more oil as you need enough to cover the chicken pieces. A deep fryer could work as well. If you don't have a wok, I definitely recommend getting one! Even if it's a non-stick wok which makes clean up easy. A wok uses less oil to fry, distributes heat evenly and is an authentic part when cooking Chinese food.
Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
You can also use this recipe to make a Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce. Perfect for dipping chicken nuggets or chicken strips, fries or wedges, or spring rolls or wontons. Easy to prepare in advance, remember the sauce thickens as it cools. Naturally made without added food coloring. It's not a mystery sauce anymore when you know how it's made, and healthier than you expect.
- use chicken breast or chicken thighs
- don't use fresh pineapple! 😲 You need the juice from the can for the sauce
- fry in small batches, be patient!
- marinate the chicken overnight for better flavor
- serve immediately, to keep the coating a bit crispy
Although this isn't an authentic Chinese from China recipe, it's a staple of Chinese American restaurants. Most people are surprised that it's not really a Chinese recipe, but an American classic. Sweet and Sour Chicken is incredibly easy to make at home, and it's a recipe the whole family will love. You don't need to order takeout, make this instead! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
- 1 lb /500g boneless chicken breast sliced in strips
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce for marinade
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing Wine Chinese Rice Wine for marinade
- 1 clove minced garlic for marinade
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch for marinade
- 1 cup flour for batter
- 1 egg for batter
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch for batter
- ½ teaspoon salt for batter
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
Sweet and Sour Vegetables
- oil for frying
- 1 green bell pepper cut into small cubes
- 1 red bell pepper cut into small cubes
- 1 can of pineapple chunks reserve juice for sauce
- ½ white onion cut into wedges
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- ½ cup ketchup for sauce
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar for sauce
- ¾ cup sugar for sauce
- juice from pineapple can for sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce for sauce
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch for slurry
- 4 teaspoons water for slurry
- Place the boneless chicken strips into a bowl with the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, minced garlic and cornstarch. Mix and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a saucepan, place the ketchup, rice wine vinegar, sugar, pineapple juice and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Prepare a cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch and water. Add the to sweet and sour sauce and allow to simmer for another minute. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
- To make the batter, mix together the flour, egg, cornstarch, salt, baking powder in a bowl. In small batches, take the marinated chicken pieces and toss in the batter. In a wok or frying pan, heat 1 cup of oil until hot. Fry the batter chicken pieces in the wok for for about 3-5 minutes until it's cooked and golden brown. Remove and allow to drain on a paper towel on a plate. Repeat until all the chicken is cooked.
- To prepare the vegetables, heat 1 tablespoon fresh oil in a wok until hot and fry the onions and bell peppers and pineapple chunks for about 1 minute. Return the crispy chicken pieces back to the wok and pour over the sweet and sour sauce. Toss to coat, serve with steamed white rice.