Chinese Sweet N Sour Chicken recipe
Pretty hard to pick what I love more about this – the Sweet & Sour Sauce, or the crispy chicken! The chicken itself is so yum, it’s hard to resist nicking the pieces straight off the baking tray before they even make it to the sauce.
Try to resist! I promise it’s worth the wait. – Nagi x
PS Oh, the other little thing I think makes quite a difference is using some of the pineapple juice in the can for the sauce. It adds that little touch of fruitiness that I really think makes the sauce similar to Chinese restaurants!
My oven baked version of Sweet & Sour chicken which is not like most recipes you will find on the internet. My sauce uses less sugar so it's not overly sweet, the sauce ingredients has a few extra things in it so it really does taste more like restaurant Sweet & Sour sauce, and the chicken is only baked for 20 minutes so it does not dry out (but still lovely and crispy!). The ingredients list for this recipe is longer than most on my site - but it is well worth it!
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats
Recipe type: Chicken, Stir Fry
Cuisine: American Chinese
- 1lb / 500g chicken breast, cut into bite size cubes
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg or 2 small eggs, lightly beaten (enough to coat chicken)
- 1 cup cornstarch / cornflour, placed in a large ziplock bag
- 3 to 5 tbsp oil (vegetable, canola)
- Oil spray
- ½ tbsp oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small onion, cut into large dice
- ½ red bell pepper, cut into bite size pieces
- ½ green bell pepper, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 can (8oz/250g) canned pineapple pieces in natural juice. Separate pineapple from juice.
- ½ cup sugar (white or brown - I use either)
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 - 3 tbsp pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple pieces)
- 3 tbsp ketchup (Australia: tomato sauce)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (Note 1)
- 1 tsp soy sauce (Note 1)
- 1 tsp Oyster Sauce (Note 1)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cornflour / corn starch + 4 tbsp water, mixed together
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F.
- Place chicken in a bowl, sprinkle with salt then add the egg. Mix to coat all chicken with egg, then drain out excess egg. (Note 2)
- Working a handful at a time, shake excess egg mixture off chicken then place chicken in ziplock bag. When all the chicken is in the bag, seal (trap as much air in it as you can to make a "balloon") and shake well to coat chicken in cornflour. Discard excess cornflour.
- Heat oil in a large skillet on high. Add chicken (in 2 batches if your skillet is not big enough) and cook briefly for 2 minutes, turning, just to make the outside light golden and a bit crispy. The chicken should be raw inside.
- Transfer to baking tray, spray with oil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until it becomes a little more golden brown and is crispy.
- Meanwhile, discard oil in the skillet and wipe briefly with paper towels. Reduce heat to medium high and heat ½ tbsp oil. Add garlic and sauté for 20 seconds, then add onion and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add bell peppers and cook for 1 minute.
- Add Sauce ingredients. Stir until sugar has dissolved and the sauce begins to bubble.
- Add Thickener. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Then cook until it thickens to a syrup consistency - about 3 minutes.
- Stir through pineapple pieces (just to warm) and remove from stove.
- When the chicken is done, add it into the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce.
- Serve immediately with rice, garnished with scallions if desired.
Notes1. These 3 ingredients are what makes this sauce more like the Sweet & Sour sauce that is served at Chinese restaurants. They are my "secret ingredients"! You can omit one (substitute with more of one of the others) and it will still taste similar. But please don't leave out all 3! The sauce will taste quite flat and bland.
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