Sweet and Sour Chicken is a Chinese dish of crispy chicken, and various vegetables, cooked in a sweet and sour sauce and served over rice or Ramon noodles. Learn how to make sweet and sour chicken at home.
Sweet and sour chicken is my go-to dish whenever we go to our local Chinese restaurant or order takeout. I just can’t get enough of that crispy chicken combined with crisp-tender vegetables and that delicious sweet and sour sauce. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of it, but one day, I realized that I didn’t have to go to the restaurant or order in to enjoy this delicious chicken dish. I’m a cook, after all! I could just simply make my own. And that’s exactly what I did. After trying a few other existing sweet and sour chicken recipes, I took what I learned, tweaked it, and came up with this fantastic version that I think is one of the best recipes of its kind that you’ll ever eat.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
This delicious chicken starts with chicken breast chunks that are dredged in cornstarch and fried to crispy, golden, juicy perfection. It’s mixed with bell peppers – and any other veggies you might want – that have been cooked to that perfect crisp-tender texture we all love in Chinese food. Then, it’s all combined with a sweet and sour sauce and ready to serve over your choice of ramen or rice.
Why You’ll Love This Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
- It’s tender, crispy chicken covered in a homemade sweet and sour sauce mixed with bell peppers and onions and perfect over ramen noodles or rice.
- It’s an easy, hearty, and delicious chicken recipe that’s super flavorful and super easy.
- And, it’s a delicious weeknight dinner the whole family will love.
Tips and Variations
I have some tips here that will help you take this recipe from good to great. They’re simple tips, but they make a big difference. I also have some variations that I think you’ll enjoy, as well.
- Fry your chicken in batches to keep the oil nice and hot. Otherwise, the coating will get soggy and not crispy due to the oil temperature being too low.
- Be sure you cut your chicken into easy-to-eat, bite-size pieces.
- Don’t simmer your peppers and onions for too long. The hallmark of Chinese food are those just-tender vegetables.
- Use pork chunks to make sweet and sour pork.
- Add your favorite Asian vegetables like bamboo shoots, baby corn, and other vegetables for even more flavor and texture.
- Serve this over regular or chicken fried rice.
What to Serve with Sweet and Sour Chicken
This delicious chicken recipe is an entire meal in itself. However, we all know that food like this is the most fun and delicious when paired with some of our other favorites. Some great ideas for pairing include:
- Fried rice
- Chicken fried rice
- Ramen noodles
- Cream cheese wontons
- Crab Rangoon
- Egg rolls
- Cauliflower rice
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about this recipe, then read on. The following FAQ answers the most commonly asked questions about sweet and sour chicken.
What is sweet and sour chicken?
Sweet and sour chicken is a Chinese dish made with chicken coated and fried in a cornstarch batter, vegetables, and a sweet and sour sauce.
What does sweet and sour chicken taste like?
It combines the flavor of crispy fried chicken with a balanced sweet and sour sauce that’s neither too sweet nor too sour.
What’s the difference between General Tso chicken and sweet and sour chicken?
Both dishes are very similar. The main difference is that General Tso chicken has more ginger flavor and heat thanks to adding hot sauce or chili flakes.
Is sweet and sour chicken the same as orange chicken?
No. Both dishes are sweet, however, orange chicken is sweet and tangy rather than sweet and sour. In addition, orange chicken has a brighter feel to the sweetness thanks to the orange juice used to sweeten it.
Can you freeze this chicken recipe?
Absolutely. You can freeze it for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze leftovers for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
To reheat, place the sweet and sour chicken in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees until hot.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you can find easily at your local grocery store.
For the Chicken
- Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- Soy sauce
- Garlic, minced
- Black pepper
- Large egg
- Bell peppers, 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Low sodium soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Sweet chili sauce
- Sriracha chili sauce
- Red pepper flakes
How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken
Making this recipe is far easier than you might think. As with many Chinese dishes, the flavor profile may be complex, but the recipe itself is not. It only takes a few simple steps and a few minutes to make.
Step 1: Marinate the Chicken
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add them to a large mixing bowl. Then, add the soy sauce, egg, garlic, and pepper to the chicken and stir. Let the chicken marinate while you cut the vegetables and make the sauce.
Step 2: Cut the Pepper and Onions
Cut the peppers and onions into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
Step 3: Make the Sauce
Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, sweet chili sauce, sriracha sauce, and red pepper flakes in a large measuring cup.
Step 4: Fry the Chicken
Dredge the marinated chicken in corn starch until all pieces are coated. Then, fry the chicken in oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and place the pieces on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Step 5: Cook the Sauce
Remove the oil from the pan and then add the sauce to it. Simmer the sauce on low until it thickens.
Step 6: Complete the Dish
Add the pepper, onions, and chicken to the thickened sauce and toss evenly to coat. Simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve over noodles or rice, garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions, if desired.
Try This Delicious Chicken Recipe Today
This delicious chicken recipe is perfectly balanced and loaded with tender chicken and perfectly cooked vegetables. It has everything we love in our favorite takeout chicken, but you never have to leave your house! Whip up this delicious, easy recipe today, and I guarantee you’ll be making it for the family and again and again.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes You’ll Enjoy
Air Fryer Chicken Kabobs – A super quick and easy air fryer made with chunks of chicken, pineapple, and bell peppers.
Chicken Cordon Bleu with Broccoli – A delicious and tender piece of chicken that is filled with cheese and broccoli florets then baked to perfection.
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sliders -Easy and delicious sliders that are loaded with shredded chicken, honey, BBQ sauce, and pineapple coleslaw. These make a great dinner or appetizer for all occasions.
And, try these Spicy Chicken Nuggets from Great Grub, Delicious Treats. They are a Chick-Fil-A copycat recipe that the entire family will enjoy.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
For the Chicken
For the Chicken
- Cut chicken into bite size pieces and add to a large mixing.
- Add soy sauce, egg, garlic, and pepper to chicken, stir. Let sit while you cut veggies and make sauce.
- Cut bell peppers and onions into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
For the Sweet and Sour Sauce
- In a large measuring cup, add soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, sweet chili sauce, sriracha sauce, and red pepper flakes. Stir until well combined.
- Dredge coated chicken pieces in corn starch. Repeat with all chicken.
- Heat oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium high heat.
- Place chicken pieces in hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side. (Fry in batches to avoid overcrowding).
- Remove chicken and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Remove oil from the pan and add sauce. Simmer on low until the sauce thickens.
- Add peppers, onions, and chicken. Toss to evenly coat and summer for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Serve over ramen noodles or cooked rice.
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