Sweet & sour chicken

Sweet & sour chicken

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(35 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins - 20 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
This homemade sweet and sour sauce is so much better than a takeaway. Great with rice or noodles

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal522
  • fat33g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre2g
  • protein27g
  • salt2.9g
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  • 2-3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, (about 400g/14oz total weight)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    Soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • groundnut or sunflower oil, for deep frying, plus extra for stir-frying
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • tempura batter (see below)
  • 1 small red pepper, cored, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced thinly on the diagonal



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 fat garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
    Soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sherry
  • 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour


  1. Cut the chicken into small chunks and mix with the soy sauce and sesame oil. In a jug or bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients with 100ml cold water. Line a large plate with kitchen paper.

  2. Heat the groundnut oil in a deep-fat fryer to about 180C. Then dip a few chunks of chicken at a time into the batter, then place in the hot oil using tongs or a slotted spoon, but don’t crowd the pan. Fry until crisp and golden – about 2 mins. You may need to do this in batches, so reheat the oil each time. As the chunks cook, lift out with tongs/spoon to the paper-lined plate to drain.

  3. Heat a wok to hot, add about 3 tbsp oil and stir-fry the vegetables with the garlic and ginger for about 3 mins. Give the sauce a quick final stir and pour into the wok, mixing as it cooks to a light glossy sauce. Bubble for 1 min, then spoon over the chicken and serve.

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Comments (32)

rhiannonlwilliams's picture

Delicious, but we always make double the sauce and add some chilli for a little kick.

warbaby's picture

Changed sherry to white wine as not all shops have sherry and still was delicious

cuvier8's picture

Yummy,I substituted the chicken with quorn marinated in soya. It was brilliant

jciacciofera's picture

surprisingly great recipe. I was short of time so just stirfried the chicken with the veg - my fussy family ate it all. I made it with sweet wine (marsala) and apple cider vinegar, and it was still so good

aetas_cavea's picture

My family loved this!! No more not knowing what's in our take away; I'll make it at home and be able to control what kind of flour, soy, and everything else I use.

boistizon's picture

Thought that there was not nearly enough definition between the sweet and sour elements, was a bit bland and lacking in oomph for me, will stick to my tried and tested recipe-don't think this one will make it into my binder!

mayapapaya's picture

The taste was great, but firstly the batter was too thin, hence didn't stick. It didn't have the reddy orangey colour which is expected with sweet and sour

rhiannonlwilliams's picture

Delicious, quick and easy!

mpearsonmadrid's picture

As many have commented the batter was too thin and so I added more flour. The first batch came out perfectly, the second batch not so with the batter not sticking to the chicken, probably due to a drop in temperature of batter whilst first batch cooked. Nice recipe though and I shall make it again.

suecaunt's picture

Not at all impressed with this. Not sure why it is called sweet and sour because it isn't remotely like the restaurant dish! Followed the recipe exactly but really didn't enjoy the finished dish.

timcunningham's picture

This is a really great recipe. I chilled the water on ice for about 20 minutes before whisking the batter and it stuck to the chicken perfectly. I didn't have the vinegar or sherry but still the sauce worked okay, I'd like to try it next time with all the ingredients. I didn't have the sesame oil either, but sauteed some sesame seeds in vegetable oil as a substitute.

frances46's picture

So much better than the takeaway version, it has the same familiar flavour but is fresher and lighter. I didnt fry my chicken and it was still very good.

sailorgirl700's picture

Really enjoyed this. I used quorn pieces instead of chicken as we are vegetarian. I did not make a batter just stir fried the quorn after letting it sit in the soy and oil for a couple of hours. I also added a stick of celery and a few chestnut mushrooms. I used garlic and ginger oil for the stir fry. The sauce was really good a good balance between sweet and sour. I served with chilli noodles which gave a slight kick.

suedebloke's picture

Lovely recipe and the batter and sauuce was lovely. Agree with above battter is too thin so added a touch more flour and could have done with double the sauce so will increase it next time. Used leftover pork from a roast and was delicious!

annamoles's picture

Sauce was very thin. Batter didn't stick, probably needs less water.

jurgike's picture

Great recipe,but didn't think tempura batter worked well for me.Followed the recipe,but batter was too thin.Think it should've been 150ml instead 200ml.But actual sauce was 10 out of 10!!Recommend!

kfurber's picture

Tried this one over the weekend. Didn't realise until after buying the ingredients, that a deep-fat frier was needed, which I don't have! Had to improvise a little using Jon Torode's recipe also on this website, but we were thrilled with the results. It was my first venture into frying in this manner, but once I got the temperature just right, the results were beautiful! The sauce is delicious too. Definitely give this one a try!

cliffj's picture

Great recipe only added 1 thing as sauce looked a little brown so added 1 table spoon of tomato sauce was terific taste served with my special fried rice (rice, egg,prawns, ham, pineapple ) excellent !

bumsyburns's picture

This is a wonderful recipie. Really tasty. The batter was so good. I have made it twice now and it is now has its own spot in my recipie binder. Please try it for yourself.


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