Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and Sour Chicken

Make your favorite Chinese takeout at home with this sweet and sour chicken chicken recipe. It’s the perfect, easy weeknight meal.

We don’t fry for this sweet and sour chicken recipe. Instead, we use a method to create a tender, smooth, and juicy chicken that pairs perfectly with a lighter, sweet and sour sauce.

The secret is in the chicken marinade, specially formulated with egg white and cornstarch that creates a super light coating all around the chicken. It won’t be a crispy, fried coating. But we think it’s a nice alternative, both in terms of texture and weight!

Just like our shrimp fried rice recipe, a very hot skillet is essential when preparing this sweet and sour chicken, allowing the chicken to sear quickly. Heat your frying pan until a drop of water instantly sizzles and evaporates on contact.

Just add a little water to the hot pan and you should hear a “tssszzzaaaaa” as it hits the surface. If you don’t hear it, let it heat up a little longer.

Some stoves, especially electric stoves, can take up to 3 minutes to reach the right temperature!

Once the pan is hot you can add your chicken. However, make sure you keep the chicken in a single layer and don’t overstuff the pieces. Crowding the chicken pieces will only steam them and not sear them in the pan.

Another important tip for roasting is to bring your meat to room temperature before cooking, if possible. That means letting the chicken rest on the counter for about 15 minutes, which is the perfect time for a quick marinade.

When you put cold chicken in a hot pan, not only does it stick to the pan, but the heat from the pan is so busy heating up the chicken that it doesn’t get a chance to sear the meat right away.

Customize your sweet and sour sauce

So how sweet and how sour? The beauty of this dish is that you can customize it at the end. Taste a little of the sauce. Not sweet enough? Add a spoonful of brown sugar. Not sharp enough? Add a teaspoon of vinegar.


Check out this sweet and sour chicken recipe

More ingredients for this recipe

We include the standard additions like pineapple and colored peppers in our sweet and sour chicken. But this recipe is versatile enough for whatever else you want to throw in. Here are some ideas:

  • snow peas
  • onions
  • Chopped carrots
  • zucchini
  • broccoli florets
  • Sliced ​​mushrooms
  • peanuts
  • Sliced ​​Almonds
  • Spicy chili flakes

Ketchup in sweet and sour sauce? Yes!

You may be wondering why ketchup is in the sweet and sour sauce. Ketchup itself is sweet and sour, making it a good addition to the sauce. It has a certain savory umami flavor that adds depth and color to the sauce.

Five dishes to serve with sweet and sour chicken

  • Sichuan-style fried Chinese long beans
  • Air Fryer Chinese Spring Rolls
  • egg drop soup
  • Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger and Sesame
  • Fried Cauliflower Rice

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Chicken Sweet-sour

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
15 minutes

total time
35 minutes

4 servings


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 big protein

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 (10-ounce) can pineapple piecesdrained, reserved juice

  • 1/4 Cup Juice in a can pineapple

  • 1/4 Cup white wine vinegar

  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 2 to 3 tablespoon Brown sugar

  • 4 teaspoon Cook oil

  • 1 Red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 yellow pepperscut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


  1. Brush the chicken with egg white:

    In a bowl, combine the chicken with the egg whites, salt, and cornstarch. Stir to evenly coat the chicken. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or in the fridge overnight.

  2. Prepare sweet and sour sauce:

    Whisk together pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and brown sugar.

  3. Sear the chicken over high heat:

    Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat until a drop of water immediately sizzles and evaporates. Pour in 1 tablespoon cooking oil and toss to coat. It is important that the pan is very hot.

    Add the chicken and spread the pieces out in a single layer. Roast the chicken, untouched, for 1 minute, until the underside is browned.

    Flip and fry the other side for 1 minute. The chicken should still be pink in the middle. Arrange the chicken on a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

  4. Fry the peppers and ginger:

    Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1 teaspoon cooking oil. Allow the oil to heat before adding the peppers and ginger. Fry for 1 minute.

  5. Add the pineapple, the sauce, and then the chicken:

    Add the pineapple pieces and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn the heat up to high. When the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in.

    Simmer 1 to 2 minutes until chicken is tender. The timing will depend 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 it in. If it’s pink, add another minute to the boil.

  6. Season and serve:

    Taste the sauce and add more brown sugar or vinegar to taste if you like.

    Serve hot with steamed white or brown rice.

nutritional information (per serving)
374 calories
15g Fat
32g carbohydrates
30g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!