How to Make a Simple Sweet and Sour Chicken
My daughter wanted to prepare sweet and sour chicken for dinner last night, but we started late because she was in a virtual class for school. In addition, her school is on the west coast, so it was later than usual. I wanted to eat at a different time than 9 pm, so we made a quick version of sweet and sour chicken.
Almost every sweet and sour chicken recipe you'll find on the Internet or in cookbooks includes some coating. Some recipes use tempura batter, others flour, and some cornstarch.
If I were to make a traditional version of this recipe, I would prefer cornstarch to achieve crispiness while keeping it light. If you use a coating, you need to shallow fry the chicken, which means you use more oil than pan fry but less than deep fry.
Because we were in a hurry, I chose to stir-fry the chicken without a coating and with other ingredients and finish with my sweet and sour sauce.
Fresh pineapple is a must for this dish, but using canned pineapple or frozen is fine. You've heard me say many times on this site to use the freshest and best ingredients you can find but don't let that stop you from preparing any dish.
For Christmas, I gave my wife this great pineapple corer/slicer. Like always, when I put a kitchen gadget in her stocking or as a gift under the tree, she looks at me, narrows her eyes, and says, "Really?".
This one was different. We purchased a fresh pineapple and gave it a try. She loved how easy it was to remove and slice the entire core of the pineapple with just a few twists. You can find a selection of brands at Amazon.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Wok - if available
- 1 pound chicken breasts cut into bite-sized cubes
- ½ red pepper cut into bite-sized strips
- ½ yellow pepper cut into bite-sized strips
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- olive oil to saute chicken and vegetables
- ¾ cup pineapple chunks
For the Sauce
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅛ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup ketchup
- salt and pepper to taste
- hot pepper flakes optional
Prepare the Sauce
- Combine the sugar, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ketchup in a medium sized bowl and whisk until well mixed.
- Heat a wok over medium-high heat until hot, add enough oil to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute for 3 -4 minutes.
- Push the chicken to the side of the wok and add the onions and saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the pepper and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. If you need a little more oil, add some.
- Add the prepared sauce to the pan and stir to combine.
- Add the pineapple chunks and stir again to combine. Let this cook for a couple of minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. If you want to spice it up, add a little hot pepper flakes but this optional.