Sweet and Sour Chicken

There’s no need to order out! This better than takeout sweet and sour chicken is ready to go in a little over an hour!

This sweet and sour chicken was so much better than any takeout we could have ordered! Plus I loved that I knew what was going into it and had control over how it was prepared. Sometimes that makes all the difference! For more sweet and sour cravings try Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

Sweet and Sour Chicken on top of white rice in a bowl

Better Than Takeout!

I couldn’t resist hopping back in the kitchen to create another Chinese takeout-inspired dish! I’ve shared some ridiculously good orange chicken and now I’m back with a killer recipe for sweet and sour chicken!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a huge fan of the sweet and tangy flavor of sweet and sour chicken. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try making at home but never realized how easy it could be.

Let me tell you, not only is this recipe incredibly simple, but it tastes 100x better than takeout. If you don’t believe me, I’m going to have to challenge you to make it yourself and see! It really is delicious! I know the pictures don’t quite do it justice (Chinese food is incredibly difficult to photograph!) but I hope you’ll give this better than takeout sweet and sour chicken at try, because I think you’re going to love it!!!

Chopped vegetables for sweet and sour chicken recipe

Ingredient Tips

Vinegar: I’ve found that rice vinegar is by far better than apple cider vinegar in this recipe. I know that there are versions with apple cider vinegar in it, but I think it has a strong aftertaste.

Chicken & Eggs: It’s important to make sure that both your chicken and eggs are at room temperature. Frying with cold ingredients is not only dangerous but can result in tough stringy meat.

Frying Chicken: If you like tempura-style chicken, you can add a little bit of baking powder to the cornstarch to create extra pillowy little chicken nuggets.

What cut of chicken? Chicken breasts are the most common cut of chicken for this recipe. You can also use chicken thighs but they are more fatty and harder to cut into nice cubes. 

Other ingredients to add: 

  • Broccoli
  • Snow peas
  • Green onions
  • Pineapple (drain a small can of pineapple chunks)

How to make sweet and sour chicken - fried chicken pieces on a paper towel

How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken

PREP. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, lightly spray a 9×13 inch glass pan, set aside.

SAUCE. In a medium size mixing bowl (or a 2 c. measuring cup), whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, Sriracha, oyester sauce, worcestershire, rice vinegar, chicken stock, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, set aside.

COAT. Place the cubes of chicken into a bowl with the whisked eggs, toss the chicken (taking care to let the egg drip off it) into a large ziplock bag full of the cornstarch. Zip and shake until evenly coated.

FRY. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Working in batches (3-4), add the chicken and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate. (Note: It’s important to make sure that both your chicken and eggs are at room temperature. Frying with cold ingredients is not only dangerous but can result in tough stringy meat.)

BAKE. Add the fried chicken to the prepared 9×13 pan. Whisk the cornstarch into the sauce and pour over the chicken, then add the chopped vegetables and stir to coat. Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

Note: We’re baking the chicken after it has been fried to help thicken the sauce and make the chicken extra tender. This step makes a huge difference in the taste and the texture of the dish! 

SERVE. Remove and serve immediately.

Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken

Serving Suggestions and Storing

What do you eat with sweet and sour chicken? We love pairing it with: 

STORE the chicken in its sauce in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave for single servings or on a pan on the stovetop for larger servings.

TO FREEZE the sweet and sour chicken, let it cool completely and then place it in a freezer safe bag or in an airtight container. It will last 3-4 months in the freezer. Let it sit in the fridge overnight to thaw and then you can reheat it on the stovetop in a large pan until warmed through.

Better Than Takeout Sweet and Sour Chicken in a bowl with rice

For more Asian chicken recipes, check out:

 

Better Than Takeout Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

There's no need to order out! This better than takeout sweet and sour chicken is ready to go in a little over an hour!
5 from 3 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 342kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breasts - cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch - OR tapioca flour
  • 2 large eggs - lightly beaten
  • 2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 onion - chopped into chunks
  • 1/2 red bell pepper - chopped into chunks
  • 1/2 green bell pepper - chopped into chunks

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees, lightly spray a 9x13 inch glass pan, set aside.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl (or a 2 c. measuring cup), whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, Sriracha, oyester sauce, worcestershire, rice vinegar, chicken stock, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, set aside.
  • Place the cubes of chicken into a bowl with the whisked eggs, toss the chicken (taking care to let the egg drip off it) into a large ziplock bag full of the cornstarch. Zip and shake until evenly coated.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Working in batches (3-4), add the chicken and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the fried chicken to the prepared 9x13 pan. Whisk the cornstarch into the sauce and pour over the chicken, add the chopped vegetables and stir to coat. Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Remove and serve immediately.

Notes

  • This dish is best baked to help develop the flavor of the sauce, to thicken it and to make the chicken nice and tender. If you're in a time crunch, you can fry the chicken and heat the sauce (with the cornstarch and water) in a small saucepan until thick, then pour over the chicken and eat immediately.
  • Please make sure to fry room temperature chicken! It will not only keep the chicken tender will allow the breading to adhere both during and after the frying process. If you have egg allergies, you can omit the eggs and add 1 tsp. of baking powder to the cornstarch in the ziplock bag.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 436mg | Potassium: 595mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 563IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg