Sweet and Sour Chicken




Introduction: Sweet and Sour Chicken

About: I'm a community manager here at instructables! Mountain hermit by day, stitch witch at night. Not a fan of social media, but sometimes you can find me on Twitter at @makingjiggy ^_^

One of my favorites! Insanely easy and quick to put together, and you can feed several people. And then those people will be full and happy and like you a lot.

My friend Cher made this years ago for one of our LOST nights and I've been making it ever since. She got the original recipe here, but I've modified it through the years and I'll be giving additional suggestions for substitutions and tweaking it to fit your tastes.

Feeds: 4-6
Time: 45 minutes to an hour

Step 1: Gather Yourself Some Ingredients.

For the chicken:
  • 1 lb of chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
For the veggies/fruits:
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • pineapple chunks
For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 8 oz can pineapple chunks - you'll use 1/4 cup of the juice (No pineapple? See the note below.)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar - add more as needed to suit your tastes
If you're not a fan of pineapple or happen to have none around, you can substitute 1/8 cup lemon juice and 1/8 cup orange juice. I actually prefer using the lemon/orange mixture for the sauce, but I love the pineapple chunks in the dish.

  • 1 cup rice (I like jasmine)
  • 1 3/4 cup water

Step 2: Prep Chicken.

In a medium bowl, whisk together an egg white, 2 tsp of cornstarch and 1/2 tsp salt.

Add your chicken and stir until everything is well coated.

You'll let this sit for about 15 minutes while you get everything else prepped.

Step 3: Make the Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Combine 1/4 cup pineapple juice (or equal parts lemon and orange juice), 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup ketchup and 1 tbsp brown sugar.

Whisk these together until well combined and taste.

Want it more sweet? Add a little more sugar. More sour? Add more vinegar.

Step 4: Prep the Veggies!

If you want veggies, now is the time to add them.

Chop them up into 1 inch-or-so pieces - it all depends on how big you want them to be. Just try to keep everything around the same size so it all cooks at the same rate.

Also take the time to drain the pineapple chunks the rest of the way right now. :)

Step 5: Extra Credit: Rice!

If you'd like to make rice with this, now is the time to start.

I always do 1 cup rice to 1 3/4 cups water. Rinse the rice well - 3-5 times until the water runs clear. Then cover with the right amount of water, add a pinch or two of salt, and bring to a boil.

Once it boils, stir it, and cover it.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 18 minutes. Turn the heat off, let rest for 5-10 minutes, and fluff with a fork. :)

It should be done about the same time as the rest of the meal.

Step 6: Cook the Chicken.

Heat a bit of oil in your pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers and/or starts to lightly smoke.

Add the coated chicken pieces, making sure to not overcrowd the pan and cook them about one minute per side, so that they're lightly browned. You'll probably need to do this in two or three batches unless you have a gigantic pan. The chicken will still be pink in the middle - it'll finish cooking when it simmers in the sauce.

Reserve the rest of the cooking oil in the pan for the vegetables.

Step 7: Cook the Veggies.

Keep the pan over medium-high heat and add a little more oil if needed.

Cook them, stirring frequently, for a few minutes until they get a bit of color and the onions get kinda translucent. You want them to stay pretty firm.

Step 8: Add Sauce and Pineapple!

Pour in the sauce and add the pineapple, and stir until everything is coated.

Turn down the heat, and bring the sauce to a simmer.

Step 9: Add the Chicken and Simmer.

Mix everything together and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes, until the chicken is done. 

The chicken will be very firm when done, but if you're worried about it - take out of the the biggest pieces and cut into it to make sure you're good to go. :)

Step 10: Serve!

I like it best over rice with a little sriracha. :)

And the leftovers are extra yummy, so it's good for a work lunch the next day.

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    Good 'ible! I like the variation with the orange and lemon. I'll have to try this it looks so easy.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I just made this and shared it with my whole family, per their request, and WOW is it good! Thanks for the recipe!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I love this recipe. And great timing to my thinking as well as the otjhers. I have not made Sweet N Sour in a long time. I also sometimes used to use pork tenderloin or beef. I am weird about liking twice as much sauce. Oh yeah, since I am usually a bit broke... I buy one red bell pepper, one yellow and one green for color. And/or one red, one green and slice a carrot into sticks to save some money cause here in Jax they are so expensive. This makes a beautiful dish for company. This is a great "budget but fancy" dish. Thank you for the recipe and reminder.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Perfect timing Jessy! When I was visiting my daughter her friend used to make sweet and sour chicken strips. I have not made it in a long time so I forgot the recipe. I recently sent her a message requesting it. She said she would send it but she is pretty busy right now. I will try this to hold me over! Who knows maybe this one will be even better! Thanks for sharing.