Sweet & sour chicken

Sweet & sour chicken

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(49 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 4

Try an authentic version of this classic Chinese takeaway dish, with natural sweetness and a warm chilli flavour to spice things up

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Sauce can be frozen
Nutrition info

Nutrition

kcalories
654
protein
38g
carbs
82g
fat
20g
saturates
3g
fibre
2g
sugar
50g
salt
0.57g

Ingredients

  • sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 100ml soda water, chilled
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • spring onions, finely shredded, to serve

For the sauce

  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into chunks
  • 3 red chillies, 1 cut into chunks, 2 halved and deseeded
  • 425g can pineapple chunks, drained and juice reserved
  • 4 star anise
  • 50g tamarind paste
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml rice wine vinegar or Chinese vinegar

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Method

  1. For the sauce, put the red pepper, chunks of chilli and pineapple juice in a pan and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 10 mins, then purée in a food processor. Return to the pan with the pineapple chunks, chilli halves, star anise, tamarind, sugar and vinegar. Gently simmer for 20-30 mins until reduced and sticky. Keep warm, or reheat to serve.
  2. Fill a large pan 1cm deep with oil and heat until shimmering. Whisk the soda water and 100ml cold water into the self-raising flour with a little salt. Tip the cornflour onto a plate, line a tray with kitchen paper and turn on the oven to low.
  3. Stir the batter well. Dust the chicken with cornflour, then dip into the batter. One at a time, lower into the hot oil (about 5-6 every batch). Turn up the heat to keep the chicken frying, if needed, and cook for 5-6 mins, turning once. When cooked, drain on the tray, and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Stack onto a plate with the warm sauce on the side, and scatter with shredded spring onions.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2010

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Comments

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siobhanm's picture
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This was really, really good.

janfoweraker's picture
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I absolutely loved this although my husband found the sauce a bit too hot! The chicken was delicious so perhaps next time I will use a sweet chili dipping sauce. This would probably work really well with pollack or monkfish and a tartare sauce.

sarahmacp's picture
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Absolutely amazing. Family loved it and will be making it again and again.

ulsterrugby's picture
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Excellent, we love the tangy flavour from the star anice & if I could get away with it I'd add more chilli. Regular meal in our house now. Good man John.

purplemwendy's picture
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Fabby! Can't believe how well this turned out - even hubby who apparently doesn't like sweet and sour liked this. Going to try with pork next time.
Only used 2 chillis and 2 star anise for sauce as hubby not great with really spicy food and he still thought it had a bit of a kick!

pixieden's picture

Can anyone suggest an alternative to pineapple for the sauce as I have a bit of an allergic reaction to it. Would love to do sweet and sour but stuck on what to substitute

thanks

alizonc's picture
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This was awesome, bf loved it! I used the sauce recipe but I velveted the chicken for an hour before flash frying it to lower the fat content. Is now on our ever expanding try again list!

salbird's picture
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This has become a family favourite! Really easy to make and delicious.

lislec's picture
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Absolutely lovely recipe, me and my fiance loved it! Sauce was spicy, but we love spicy so that was great. I did struggle to reduce it by much in 20 minutes, it needed a higher heat than I had it on and another 20 minutes, but that's probably my error!

mighty_south's picture
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A very nice Sweet & Sour. I made it with prawns instead of chicken though. The star anise is quite a strong flavour and I only used 3. If I cook it again I will use only 2 star anise. It needed a larger water to flour ratio but my main criticism is that there was a lot of pineapple but not enough sauce, especially as I served it with rice.

toughtoplease's picture
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I love this recipe, I never do Sweet and Sour Chicken another way now. You must try this recipe! 5 stars all the way.

diself's picture
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I also thought that 4 star anise and 3 chilies made it too hot which was a shame, as the basic taste was lovely. Chicken was excellent. Will leave out at least 1 star anise and maybe only use 1 chili next time.

supercook69's picture
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Im not a big fan of chinese, but I thought I'd have a go at this. It was REALLY nice, I like the chicken balls. The sauce was good, thou my son struggled with it. I didn't use 3 chillies, as I knew my son wouldn't eat it. It definitely didn't need 3, just 1 is enough. I also think 4 star anise was to much too!!!

zhagan's picture
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yummy, will be making again and again

peterf1061's picture
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Made this a few times now. Used one chilli, left out tamarind and star anise.

Added orange juice and shaoxing wine, absolutely amazing! Thanks John!

pennyclark's picture

Only used 1 chilli and doubled quantities as feeding kids. Was amazing will defo make again

reedd87's picture
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Absolutely brilliant recipe! I didn't have any tamarind paste, but apparently lemon juice is an okay alternative, and it turned out lovely.

The chicken came out really moist and tender - recommend this!

star2501's picture
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Gorgeous...will never get takeaway again!

peterraven's picture
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Have never tasted better

steve2177's picture
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Great flavours but far too spicy. Would only use 1 chilli in the sauce next time. Chicken was great but makes more than expected when battered.

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