Sweet & sour chicken

Sweet & sour chicken

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(62 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins

Easy

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

  • Sauce can be frozen

Nutrition:

  • kcal654
  • fat20g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs82g
  • sugars50g
  • fibre2g
  • protein38g
  • salt0.57g
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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
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

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
    Pineapple

    Pineapple

    pine-ap-pel

    With its tuft of spiky, dusty green leaves and cross-hatched, golden orange skin, the pineapple…

  • 4 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 50g tamarind paste
    Tamarind

    Tamarind

    tam-ah-rin-d

    A seed pod from the tamarind tree that is used extensively in South-East Asian and Indian…

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml rice wine vinegar or Chinese vinegar

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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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mrsmammy
27th Sep, 2013
Two out of three of us loved this recipe, the other said he enjoyed it but would prefer less star anise next time - cut by half probably. I followed this recipe to the letter and would make again.
ellenandandy
15th Sep, 2013
We really enjoyed this recipe-made it for friends a few times. The tamarind, chili and star anise are nice together with the sweetness of the sauce. If you like sweet and sour sauce-I would def recommend making it.
cheekynieki
8th Jun, 2013
1.05
Not sure if something went wrong, but we didn't really enjoy this. The sauce was very sweet and we didn't like the batter. Won't be making this again.
cheekynieki
24th May, 2013
1.05
Maybe I didn't cook it properly, but it wasn't for me. The sauce was very sweet, too sweet and the batter for the chicken wasn't very nice. I think we will stick with takeaway Chinese.
sarahclooney
20th Apr, 2013
1.05
I don't understand what I am doing wrong but I have tried twice now and the sauce just turns a horrible brown colour is really sour and inedible. I was using rice vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar the first time but even with that corrected it is still awful.
simbasurrey
19th Apr, 2013
5.05
Absolutely gorgeous. Made it without the chilli and star anise and added a bit of ketchup to the sauce. Easy to make and my 2 year old loved it!
lynnymac
1st Apr, 2013
This outshines any Chinese restaurant variety. My family loved it.... From my 15 year old son to my 81 yr old mother!! Would def only use 1 star anise It's a very overpowering flavour!
vaneyk
1st Apr, 2013
4.05
I made a few small changes. I skinned the red paprika and chili, because I didn't like all the bits of skin in the sauce. Instead of tamarind paste I added 2 tablespoons of ketjap (soy sauce), 2 tablespoons of ketchup, and I substituted brown sugar for the white sugar. I thickened the sauce with cornflour, because after 30 min of simmering it was still a bit too runny. I added stir fried garlic, spring onions and green paprika to the finished sauce to add a bit more veges. The chicken was a bit bland, so I sprinkled it with salt as soon as it came out of the deep fryer.
Aunt Jane's picture
Aunt Jane
5th Mar, 2013
Beautiful recipe! Never again will we eat take away so easy! Only downside is my house smelt like a fish and chip shop for 2 days after! Well worth it though. I am making it for 15 on sat....
Drydoni
12th Feb, 2013
5.05
Absolutely delicious!!!!!couldn't believe how good this tasted so much better than the Chinese!cant wait to make again!!!!!

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