Recipe: Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken
Yum! Photo credit: Asian Food Network

Recipe courtesy of Asian Food Network

A simple, yet classic Cantonese dish, the caramelised pineapples complement the fried chicken, with generous chunks of peppers providing an added bite.


Serves 4-6

  • 800g chicken thigh (cubed) - substitute chicken with pork, prawns or fish
  • ¼ fresh pineapple, cut into large chunks (use canned instead and you won't need to pre-cook the pineapples in brown sugar)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and cut into large chunks
  • ½ large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 5 spring onions, cut into 5cm lengths
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp plum sauce
  • 2-3 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1½ tsp cornstarch
  • 100ml water
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying.


1. Make sweet and sour sauce

  • In a small mixing bowl, stir together the tomato paste, ketchup, oyster sauce, plum sauce, vinegar, garlic, honey, ginger, tsp white pepper, cornstarch and water to make the sweet and sour sauce. Set aside.

2. Cook pineapple

  • In a pan on medium heat, add brown sugar. Add the pineapple chunks when the sugar starts to melt (feel free to add a little bit of water if it gets too thick).
  • Stir-fry for 30 seconds and mix well. Remove the pineapple and set aside.
  • Add the sweet and sour sauce into the same pan and mix well for a minute.   When slightly reduced, remove and set aside.
Sweet and sour chicken
Photo credit: Asian Food Network

3. Coat and deep-fry chicken

  • In a mixing bowl, add the rice flour and tapioca flour and mix well. Add the cubed chicken and mix well to coat evenly.
  • Add the cubed chicken to a pot on a high heat, half filled with vegetable oil. When the pieces turn golden/light brown, remove the chicken. Set aside on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
  • Reserve oil for the next step.

4. Cook sweet and sour chicken

  • In a pan on high heat, add two tablespoons of the oil from frying the chicken.
  • When hot, add the onion, bell peppers and stir-fry for a minute. Pour in the sweet and sour sauce and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until thickened, for less than a minute, then toss the pineapple and fried chicken back in. Stir well and mix evenly.
  • Add the spring onions, and immediately take it off the heat once they start to wilt.
Sweet and sour chicken
Photo credit: Asian Food Network

5. Plate and serve

  • Add cucumber to provide a little more crunch to the dish.

Asian Food Network