Sweet & sour chicken

Sweet & sour chicken

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(65 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins


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


  • kcal654
  • fat20g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs82g
  • sugars50g
  • fibre2g
  • protein38g
  • salt0.57g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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



    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



    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


  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.

You may also like

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
24th Feb, 2014
This recepie was a BIG hit with the family, bearing in mind my partner is an extremely fussy eater. Just made a few adjustments: I didnt have any Tamarind Paste so replaced this with Ketchup, roughly 1 tablespoon. Instead of making the chicken balls I cut up two chicken breasts & fried them for roughly 10 minutes then added them to the sauce to cook for aprox 30 minutes. Next time I will use Tamarind Sauce & attempt the chicken balls. 3 chillies definitely give it a good kick so if you dont like your food spicy then it might be worth trying it with 2 chillies instead. Enjoy :)
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.
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.
8th Jun, 2013
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.
24th May, 2013
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.
20th Apr, 2013
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.
19th Apr, 2013
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!
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!
1st Apr, 2013
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....


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.