Sweet & sour chicken

Cantonese sweet & sour chicken

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(43 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

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 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 cloves, 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, questions and tips

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3rd Nov, 2013
Delicious, but we always make double the sauce and add some chilli for a little kick.
23rd Mar, 2013
Changed sherry to white wine as not all shops have sherry and still was delicious
5th Feb, 2013
Yummy,I substituted the chicken with quorn marinated in soya. It was brilliant
29th Sep, 2012
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
5th Apr, 2012
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.
11th Feb, 2012
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!
4th Feb, 2012
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
21st Jan, 2012
Delicious, quick and easy!
21st Jan, 2012
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.
7th Jan, 2012
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.


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