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Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

 Sweet and Sour Chicken

Tonight I was in the mood for Chinese and decided to make some sweet and sour chicken. This recipe is by far the best sweet and sour chicken I have ever tasted, nothing compares. I tried this at multiple buffets and none of them were even close to this good, maybe I should have given them this recipeJ? Sweet and sour chicken is deep-fried breaded white meat chicken, coated or served with sweet and sour sauce. If you don’t know anything about the sauce, don’t worry because this article includes an amazing recipe for sweet and sour sauce as well! What really makes this recipe stand out from others or the buffets are the fruits and vegetables that go in it. We are tossing a generous amount of pineapple, green peppers, tomatoes, and onions into this dish. If you try this and like it, stay on the lookout for my sweet and sour pork recipe coming soon. Enjoy.

 Sweet and Sour ChickenSweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and Sour ChickenSweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and Sour ChickenSweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour ChickenSweet and Sour Chicken

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Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Bobby


  • 1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 10-ounce can pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
  • 1/4 cup juice from the canned pineapple
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
  • 23 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


  1. Coat chicken with egg white, salt, and cornstarch: In a bowl, combine the chicken with the egg white, salt, and cornstarch. Stir to coat the chicken evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Make the sweet-sour sauce: Whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and brown sugar.
  3. Stir-fry chicken: Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. It’s important that the pan is very hot.
  4. Add the chicken and spread the chicken out in one layer. Let the chicken fry, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned.
  5. Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute. The chicken should still be pinkish in the middle. Dish out the chicken onto a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
  6. Stir fry bell pepper and ginger: Turn the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Let the oil heat up and then add the bell pepper chunks and ginger. Fry for 1 minute.
  7. Add pineapple, sweet-sour sauce, let simmer, add chicken: Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn the heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in.
  8. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Timing depends on how thick you’ve cut your chicken. The best way to tell if the chicken is done is to take a piece out and cut into it. If it’s pink, add another minute to the cooking.
  9. Taste the sauce and add more brown sugar if you’d like.







  1. Lynne says:

    That looks absolutely delicious! I’ve never attempted to cook Chinese food, but I like they way you laid it out step by step (with photos!)

  2. Bobby says:

    Lynne- Thanks, I try and make it as easy as possible for everyone to make this great food. You should really try cooking chinese, alot of it tastes great.

    Karen- Thank you. I’m glad to inspire you, this recipe is great. Stay tuned many more to come, I try and add new recipes whenever I can.

  3. Ric says:

    Bobby, that was the best chicken recipe ever. My wife is usually not a fan of the sweet and sour, but this was amazing. I cooked the chicken in the wok with olive oil for about 7 minutes on medium high, and it worked out great. Thanks so much. I will use the chicken with a orange sauce and a sesame sauce(my favorite). Thanks again and trying the pepper steak tomorrow night.

  4. Bobby says:

    Ric- thanks for the comment. I’m glad you guys enjoyed the recipe. I liked this so much I use to make it once a week :). I hope you enjoy the Pepper Steak as well, let me know what you think.

  5. mharia says:

    so delicious! am not really a fan of sweet and sour recipes, but i just might try this one! 🙂
    thanks so much for sharing the recipes!

  6. Bobby says:

    Ric- Whats funny is I made Sesame Chicken tonight and I just saw your comment. I usually use a different batter for my sesame chicken. The recipe is pretty close to the one your looking at.

    They have very different textures. The batter for the sweet and sour chicken is crispy and the sesame chicken batter is much softer. What I love about my sesame chicken recipe is it’s marinaded in a chicken base/wine mixture and it makes the chicken really flavorful and juicy. I will be posting the recipe tommarrow and you can see if it appeals to you.

  7. Pamela says:

    Hi there! I’d love to try this recipe but I wanted to know if there was a particular type of vinegar I should buy for it (eg. white wine, apple cider, sweet wine, etc…) I know that asian cooking uses a particular vinegar usually but I can’t remember which one!

  8. Rylensmom says:

    I was just wondering if you can make this ahead somehow and freeze it and cook it at a different time. Also would boneless chicken thighs work instead of chicken breast?

  9. Bobby says:

    Rylensmom – On the freezing part I honestly have no idea, sorry. Give it a try… I would say the breaded chicken would freeze well. You could also probably freeze the sweet and sour sauce but I would do the pineapples, onions, tomatoes and green peppers fresh. Boneless chicken thighs would also work fine. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  10. Maggie says:

    Delicious meal! I did omit the tomatoes, substituting red peppers and maraschino cherries for color. I wonder why we used only the egg yolks, and I now have 4 egg whites I must find a use for!! My husband just loved the dish, and we’ll use it again many times!!

  11. Chantal says:

    I just made this recipe, it was simple and delicious, my kids loved it too which is great. Will definately make it a whole lot more times.

  12. Judy says:

    I’m sorry but I’m not understanding…
    When you say add two Tablespoons of cornstarch to
    1/8 of a cup of juice, I’m wondering, what juice?
    Pineapple juice, or perhaps orange juice, I’m just not sure…
    The recipe looks delicious…Can’t wait to give
    it a try.

  13. Dawn M says:

    I’ve just cooked your sweet & sour chicken, but with turkey as it’s far cheaper. I also forgot the tin of pineapple…the rest of the ingredients were used.

    I don’t know why I’ve never tried sweet & sour before, but congratulations to you for the yummy photo that drew me into your recipe. I’ll be making this more often as a weekend treat…with pineapple! Far better than any takeaway I’ve ever tasted!

  14. Johan Amilin says:

    Just tried this recipe…it turned out to be a great family activity as well as my wife did the sauce, my daughter did step 3 and i did the frying of the chicken.

    The photos help a lot..will definitely be trying your other recipes as well.

    Thanks for sharing…

  15. Bob says:

    “Found” your web site through Google – made the sweet and sour chicken and got rave reviews – we were so tired of the dribble that was served at local Chinese places and this was THE BEST.
    Bring on the Pork Sweet and Sour – we’ll be the first to try it!!
    Thank You Thank You Thank you
    PS – the left overs were spectacular!!!1

  16. Claudia, Los Angeles says:

    AMAZING!!!!! Fed the parents AND the kids. Everyone loved it. I will make this again and again. Absolutely delicious!

  17. Sarah says:

    I LOVED the sauce; however, the coating for the chicken came out a bit thick and the chicken turned out to be a little hard rather than crispy. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

  18. Nimah says:

    Frankly I found many useful recipes at your site, I like it and I have add your side address as my bookmark.

    Thanks a lot for all your recipe’s contents.

  19. Cathy says:

    Excellent recipe, my family loved it!! I can’t wait to try some of the other recipes that you feature.

  20. The question concerning mixing the cornstarch with the juice – it does not matter which juice you mix it with or if you use water. In fact, most of the time you do use water. The reason why you mix the cornstarch with a liquid is to pre-dissolve the cornstarch and then evenly mix it into a sauce or soup or whatever as a liquid mixture. You shouldn’t put dry cornstarch directly into your sauce or whatever your thickening. That is the correct way to use cornstarch as a thickener. Do you see what im saying? Just save some of one of the juices, either one, and mix in the cornstarch into that. Then, pour the cornstarch mixture into the sauce to thicken it as a liquid and not dry cornstarch. This is the way you should always use cornstarch to thicken a recipe.

  21. Bobby says:

    Learning Chef – You can use either pineapple or orange juice or even water if you prefer. Also, the method you described is the method that is used in this recipe for mixing the cornstarch into the sauce.

  22. Hi,

    I am making this dinner for 24 people. It will
    be my first time using a deep fryer. I will be making this with both chicken and shrimp.

    Do I need a deep fryer or is it possible to use
    a large frying pan?

    For the recipe listed, how many people would this
    serve, maybe 4-6? I must have an idea so that I can figure on the extra ingredients.

    Leaving on 6/20/09, so I am pretty desperate.

    Thanks for your help.

  23. Bobby says:

    Leslie A Pollan – I would say your serving guess is accurate with 4-6. It is possible to use a large frying pan but I have to recommend a deep fryer because it would be alot easier for the amount you are doing but this can be fried in a pan. Good luck.

  24. Cathy says:

    This recipe sounds freat! I am having a luau in 2 weeks at my home and I am going to use your recipe. Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  25. Holly says:

    This recipe was soooo GOOD!! My family and I just loved it so much : ) Thanks for all your fabulous recipes Bobby! You Rock!

  26. prudence says:


  27. prudence says:

    hi bobby it is me again,it was the best chicken they ever had.they all love it.thank in a million.

  28. Cathy says:

    I had 70 people for a luau at my house and I made this recipe. It was unbelievable! It was delicious, it was colorful and it looked exactly like yours. Among other dishes, I made five recipes of this. Thanks so much for this great recipe. You will not find another one like it!

  29. Stacey says:

    This recipe is excellent.Tried it,husband and I enjoyed every bit of it.You would not believe I did not buy it at the CHINESE restaurant.

  30. jackie says:

    ok,,so it’s me, again,,i just made your sweet and sour sauce,,lemme tell ya,,fantastic,,i feel like julia childs, lol,,i dont know what made me think of this but as a teenager i had a step aunt that made the best ever garlic salad dressing,,she would never give her receipe to anyone,,and actually took it to the grave w/her,,but do you happen to have a receipe for that? would sure appreciate it,,and u really need your own t.v. show.

  31. Julie says:

    This looks great! I have tried other recipes before and the sauce gets absorbed by the breading on the chicken really quickly. The breading breaks down and the plate starts looking a bit messy. Maybe it was the breading I used, I will give your recipe a try this evening. Yum.

  32. Bobby says:

    Julie – I don’t think that will happen with this recipe, the breading is pretty thick. However, it would be wise to wait until you are ready to serve the chicken to mix it with the sauce.

  33. Laura says:

    This is a really good recipe. I only had crushed pineapples instead of chucks so i just added them to the sauce with the juice. My sauce ended up not needed any thickening. But really good and so easy. It really tasted like sweet and sour chicken! Thank you for posting this recipe as it satisfied a sudden pregnancy craving with things that I had just around my kitchen and saved my husband a last minute trip out! I will make this again!!!

  34. Teresa says:

    This is the same Teresa that posted on 12/15/10. I made this recipe once again tonight and have not stopped saying “Wow!” There were only a few things I did different this time. I used peanut oil instead of canola oil to fry the chicken in which, I think, made it even better. I also used pineapple tidbits instead of chunks and my husband preferred it. I would like to know, Bobby, if the vinegar you use is rice vinegar or just plain old white vinegar. Thank you so much for coming up with this recipe. We don’t have to go to Nashville from Bowling Green, KY to P.F. Chang’s to get it anymore. I am still saying Wow.

  35. Bobby says:

    Teresa – I also enjoying using peanut oil, and the vinegar I use is white vinegar but theres nothing wrong with experimenting with different types of vinegar.

  36. Alty says:

    I made this for the first time today. It didn’t turn out too well since the pineapple flavor was too strong and the sauce came out thick.


    I am not saying this recipe is bad. I didn’t have tomatoes/green peppers/onions handy at the moment. Would that be why the sauce came out so thick and ended up so heavy with the pineapple flavor?

    Also, I don’t have a deep fryer but still want to do many of the fried recipes on this site. Is it possible to somehow produce the same results using a wok or pot?

    Thanks. I look forward to making many more of the recipes on this site.

  37. Bobby says:

    Alty- sounds to me like you added a little too much pineapple juice or did not add enough of another ingredient in the sauce.

    As for cooking the chicken without a deep fryer. Just add about an inch of oil to a wok or pan, and fry the chicken pieces. Always be careful with hot oil in a pan though, it can be very dangerous.

  38. Alty says:

    After reading that I checked my notes again and it turns out I did indeed write it down improperly. I wrote 1/3c of vinegar instead of 1/2c. Perhaps that’s why.

    Thanks for the info about frying something without a deep fryer.

    I’ll be trying this recipe again soon and hopefully that will turn out better. Thanks again.

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