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Sweet & sour chicken

Cantonese sweet & sour chicken

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep: -
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

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

Nutrition: per serving


  • 2-3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts , (about 400g/14oz total weight)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • groundnut or sunflower oil , for deep frying, plus extra for stir-frying
  • tempura batter (see below)
  • 1small red pepper , cored, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1medium carrot , sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 2fat garlic cloves , chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger

For the sauce

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


  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.


Mix this just as you are about to cook. Sift 85g/3oz plain flour and 1 tbsp cornflour with ½ tsp fine sea salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in 200ml/7fl oz ice-cold sparkling mineral water along with a few ice cubes using a whisk, but don’t over beat. It doesn’t matter about a few lumps. Use immediately.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2005

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A star rating of 4.2 out of 5.47 ratings

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