Lightly coated chicken and a luscious sauce make sweet and sour chicken a winner! Unlike the typical heavily breaded chicken you find in Chinese takeout, this chicken is much lighter but still has tons of flavor.
We love Asian-inspired meals. They tend to be easy and quick enough for a weeknight dinner.
Sugar: Sugar is the key to making the sauce sweet.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Sweet and tangy apple cider vinegar is wonderful in sauces.
Orange Juice & Zest: Orange is great in Asian-inspired recipes.
Ketchup: Adds tang and great color to the sauce.
Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: Adds a salty element to the sauce.
Sesame Oil: Gives the sauce a little richness and makes it silky smooth.
Garlic: Adds great flavor and aroma.
Sriracha sauce: Makes the sauce spicy! Use more or less depending upon your tolerance. We like the classic sriracha sauce. Look for the rooster on the label. 🙂
Cornstarch: The cornstarch thickens the sauce and will also provide a nice coating for the chicken.
Chicken: I typically use chicken breast, chicken thighs are also a great option.
Salt & Pepper: Give the coating of the chicken a nice flavor. Add to taste.
Olive Oil: Used to sauté the chicken.
This recipe comes together really quickly. Start cooking your rice so it is ready when the sweet and sour chicken is done.
The sauce and chicken cook separately before being combined.
Grab a small saucepan and add the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce.
Chop the chicken and add to a resealable bag along with cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Shake and mix until the chicken is totally covered with the cornstarch mixture.
Heat up the olive oil and add the coated chicken pieces to the pan. Fry, turning occasionally until the chicken is cooked. The cornstarch will help the chicken fry up golden and a light, crunchy coating will be present on the chicken.
Add the sweet and sour sauce to the pan with the chicken and give everything a gentle stir. I like to use a spatula to get every bit of that lovely sauce.
Finally, let the mixture simmer for a minute or two to assure everything is totally combined.
Serve and enjoy immediately.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 2 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic grated or finely minced
- 1 tsp Sriracha sauce optional
- 1 Tbsp cold water
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Make the sweet and sour sauce: Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and stir to combine. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently. The sauce will thicken as it cooks. Once thickened, turn the sauce to low, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is ready.
- Make the chicken: Add the chicken, cornstarch, salt and pepper to a resealable plastic bag. Seal and shake to coat chicken evenly.
- Add olive oil to a skillet over low to medium heat. Add the chicken and pan fry, turning occasionally, until the chicken pieces are cooked through.
- After chicken has cooked though, reduce heat to low. Add the sauce to the skillet containing the chicken. Stir to coat evenly and allow to simmer for a minute or two.
- Serve over rice.