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Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe. The best and easiest sweet and sour chicken recipe that anyone can make at home. Much healthier and better than takeout |

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe. The best and easiest sweet and sour chicken recipe that anyone can make at home. Much healthier and better than takeout |

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total Time:


8 oz. boneless and skinless chicken breast (cut into bite-size cubes)
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine (optional)
1 green bell pepper (seeds removed and cut into squares)
1 stalk scallion (cut into 2-inch lengths)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
Oil for frying


4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons Lingham brand hot sauce/chili sauce
1 teaspoon plum sauce
1/2 teaspoon Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Chinese rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
3 dashes white pepper powder
2 tablespoons oil

Cut the chicken breast meat into bite-size cubes and marinate with 1 tablespoon of wine for 10 minutes. Mix the batter in a bowl and add the chicken cubes into the batter. Mix the sweet and sour sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat up cooking oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken cubes. (Shake off the extra batter before frying). Transfer the chicken out on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Transfer the cooking oil out and leave only 2 tablespoons oil in the wok.

Add garlic and saute the garlic until light brown and then follow by the green bell peppers. Stir-fry until you smell the aroma. Add the sweet and sour sauce into the wok and bring it to boil. Toss in the chicken, add the chopped scallions, do a few quick stirs, dish out and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and Sour Chicken pictures (1 of 3)

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and sour chicken is delicious. Easy sweet and sour chicken recipe that calls for chicken, sweet and sour sauce that is better than takeout.

When it comes to Chinese recipes, there are a few basic cooking methods…one of it is definitely sweet and sour.

I love sweet and sour flavors and have shared quite a few recipes, such as sweet and sour pork, sweet and sour fishsweet and sour fish balls.  Sweet and sour sauce goes extremely well with plain white rice; it also “opens up” your appetite.

Today, I am sharing my sweet and sour chicken recipe with you. Sweet and sour chicken is a simple recipe that is friendly to most people. The key to a great sweet and sour chicken is that you don’t want your chicken to swim in the sweet and sour sauce like what most Chinese restaurants do. The sauce should lightly coat the chicken cubes so they don’t turn soggy. Another secret is  the use of baking powder in the frying batter, which does a great job in giving the battered fried chicken an extra crunch. Try it and let me know how your sweet and sour chicken turns out!

Easy and delicious sweet and sour chicken recipe that calls for chicken and sweet and sour sauce. It's better than takeout!

Other popular Chinese recipesBroccoli Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork, Egg Drop Soup, Kung Pao Chicken, Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Orange Chicken, Mongolian Beef, General Tso’s Chicken, Honey Walnut Shrimp, Lettuce Wraps, and more.

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150 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Damien

    That’s a wonderful recipe! A great alternative to Sweet and Sour Pork, not saying I don’t like, just it’s good to have another meat for a change. Your blog is really excellent !!!

  2. Oh, I thought the cornstarch was for the crunch, and the soda for the browning… Well anyway, the dish look fantastic– all that’s missing for me is a steaming bowl of rice and I’m set! :)

    • Manggy – crunch is not exactly the right word to use but I don’t know how else to describe it better. There is a word in my native language to describe it. Anyway, baking soda releases carbon dioxide gas into the batter and thus making the fried chicken cubes extra “crunchy” and “airy.”

  3. Rus

    The batter recipe for your Sweet and Sour Chicken differs from that listed in your Sweet and Sour Pork and your Orange Chicken recipes (both of which use the same batter). Can you explain why? I’ve made both your Sweet and Sour Pork and Orange Chicken with very good results (my kids love it… thank you!).



    • Rus – yes, it’s slightly different. I opted out the egg, but it works the same way and achieve the same results. Just different measurements, etc. Either recipe is fine.

  4. i always use malt extract to make the sauce thick and sticky.
    taught by my dad.

    i guess your alternative here is either the plum sauce or the corn starch?

  5. hey i’d tried making the sweet n sour chicken and the tofu dishes. absolutely amazing! i love them… its so much better to cook oneself when one craves some good ol msian dishes instead of eating out which is expensive overseas and sometimes come out tasting weird!

    thank you for ur great recipes! i will try out more of them with time :)

    • Thanks for trying the recipes. I am glad you enjoyed this sweet and sour chicken and other tofu dishes. Please continue to provide feedback and comments on other dishes you try :)

  6. Thanks so much for this one! I’ve been wanting to cook this myself for ages and ages but never found anyone who could give me a good recipe for the sauce. I’m going to try this out soon. :)

  7. Rasa Malaysia, I tried this last week when I saw it!! It turned out ABSOLUTELY great.. the hubs said it’s the best Swt & Sour pork he’d ever had (he’s being drama!). I plan to do this more eventhough I seldom deep fry stuff, well worth the effort (of cleaning up the smell in my windowless kitchen & small apmt).

    PS : I noticed the earlier recipe does not have lingam chillli sauce. Please tell me you just added it after Fri right? Can’t be my eyes totally missed that after reading the recipe 5 times!

    • Tsu Lin – my original sweet and sour pork recipe doesn’t have Lingham hot sauce because it wasn’t available then. Now that I have Lingham in my neighborhood Asian store, I would use it instead of Sriracha. Seriously, Lingham is so much better than Sriracha.

  8. katpigott

    If I don’t want to marinate the chicken in wine, is there something else I could use or should I skip this step altogether?

  9. Marilyn

    Thanks for the recipe! It was so easy to follow. Instead of chicken I used vegetarian chunks and I added in pineapple chunks, onion segments and a dash of red wine vinegar to the sauce. BTW it’s bachang (kochung) season. Will you be making any? :-)

  10. katpigott

    I made this the other night and it was WONDERFUL! I was trying out different recipes for a large gathering I will be having in a few weeks. So, my family voted for this recipe, but I will have to feed 55 people. Do you have any idea of quantities for that many people? Do you think I will run into trouble if I just multiply the quantities by 20 times or so? I already quadrupled it just for my family of six (I have teenagers, so they eat a lot).

    • Hi Kat – wow, 55 people, that’s a lot of people to feed. Hehe.

      How about you make it into like 6 big portions instead of cooking in one batch. I think it’s fine to multiply everything according to the portions. The more the merrier. Good luck and let me know how it goes. :)

      • katpigott

        Well–I made this for 57 people while cooking on camp stoves. I multiplied the recipe by 30 TIMES(!), and it took me and one other person a good, long while to deep fry all that chicken (about an hour and a half), but it was great. We got rave reviews. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Clueless

    Hi ~~

    I tried this recipe and the sauce was fantastic~!!!! But … I just wanna ask.. my chicken didnt turn out crispy like yours .. was it because the temperature of the oil is too low? (i am using electrical stove : ( ) and i notice all the flour was struck on the bottom of the pan ….

    Hopefully one day I can make it right : D

  12. JT

    I’ve never had any luck getting a satisfying “crunch” out of batter fried chicken, the only success I’ve had in frying chicken to a crispy crunch is from your chicken karaage (excellent recipe by the way). I’ve never added baking soda to the batter before, is that the key? I normally make my batter with just eggs and cornstarch and usually a little bit of soy sauce. Also, would a batter benefit from 2-stage frying like in the karaage recipe?

    • Hi JT – I think baking soda gives that “airy” crunch to battered fried chicken, the mouth feel is definitely different. I think your batter recipe works, too, but do try it with a wee bit of baking soda and see if you like it. Yes, frying the chicken two times definitely help. :)

  13. Amy

    This recipe was perfect. This was the first time I made a sweet and sour recipe and I wanted the best of all!! I made it with shrimp because we love seafood!! It was soo crispy with the batter! It is definitely true to just mix the sauce lightly and serve quickly. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!! I am going to keep this forever and I am now, I am a keeper of your website!! What is your favorite Curry recipe? With seafood?

    • Hi Amy – Thanks so much and I am glad that you love this sweet and sour chicken recipe and a convert to my website. :)

      For curries, yes, I love seafood curry the best!

  14. I tried your recipe the other night using seitan in place of chicken and it was amazing!! For any vegetarian out there wondering if this would translate well with fake chicken, it does, it does!! I used Morning Star fake chicken strips. Thawed them out before cutting them into cubes and fried them the way you would regular chicken. I also added a little pineapple because I’m big on the sweet portion of sweet and sour. :-)

    Thank you so much for the post!

  15. Laura

    I love your site, and for sure I’m gonna try this recipe…. do you have some recipe for lemon soy sauce, sorry, I’m mexican and I like the soy sauce but, here in mexico and some restaurants in usa use diluted version of the soy sauce….. but I don´t know how can I make it. Thanks!!!!

  16. Jo

    I cooked the sweet & sour chicken recipe last week couldn’t believe how well it turned out as sometimes my dishes don’t look like the pictures… BUT this one did brilliant… cooking it again tonight yum yum !!

  17. Jill

    Just made sweet and sour chicken using your batter recipe. Wow! What a simple and satisfying recipe. I already had the sweet and sour sauce (in a jar- I know, I know) and I was looking for an easy batter recipe preferably without eggs. Didn’t really feel like an eggy batter. My chicken was delicious. Nice crunch! I seasoned the chicken slices with garlic and onion powders, a little salt and pepper. Can’t wait to use the batter on shrimp. Reminded me of the crust on Chinese restaurant shrimp but it hadn’t been sitting around for hours! I will bookmark your site and use it for other recipes. Thanks

  18. lorna

    hey this dish looks soo tasty! i’m planning on making it this week for my boyfreind and i, and i was just wondering how many people your reciepe feeds, if i need to cut down on the amount, thankyou! :)

  19. Philip Watson

    Just super! Made it for my family in Moscow, Russia where it is a challenge to find ingredients for Chinese food sometimes.

    I made a few modifications to the sauce – I didn’t have any plum sauce, so I added a tablespoon of sugar for sweetness. I cut down on the chili sauce to a tablespoon because of the kids (no lingam, so I had to settle for sriracha which was fine). I also greatly increased the amount of vinegar to about 2 tablespoons to make it nice and tangy.

    The only other addition I made was to top it off with lots of fresh cilantro.

    yes, I agree with another reader that shrimp would be awesome in this dish. Just wish shrimp here were not so expensive!

    The other dishes here look great – can’t wait to try them all. I’ve already tried the cashew chicken and will come back for more. I really appreciate that they aren’t the standard goopy glooopy American-style Chinese fare.

  20. Hallie

    I tried cooking this just now, it was soooo good! :D But it turned out very dry, I prefer the ones with more gravy. Any advice? Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Nur

    Thanks so much for the recipe! Had a sudden craving for a sweet and sour dish, and being away from home, I had to make it myself. Although I’m a beginner in the kitchen, it turned out fantastic. This recipe is definitely a keeper, my husband loved it! Thanks a lot and looking forward to trying more of your recipes in the future. Cheers from Melbourne!

  22. Katie

    I tried the S&S Chicken recipe tonight with mixed success. First, the hot sauce you recommended was not available at my local grocery store, so I used a general red hot chili sauce (Chinese brand, but can’t remember the name). The sauce came out pretty spicy, my mouth was on fire the first few minutes. Is the sauce supposed to be spicy? Second, I guess from reading other comments that my oil was not hot enough as the batter kept sticking to my pan. Is the chicken supposed to be completely submerged in the oil? I only filled the pan about 2 inches and had to turn the chicken to fully cook (which was especially hard with the batter sticking). But other than that, it was quite the tasty dish – I’m glad my first attempt at “from scratch” Asian went this well!

  23. BIG G

    Looked at your sweet&sour chicken recipe and I want to make it.
    One big problem for me, my stomach cannot tolerate “hot” as in chili.
    What should I subtitute in place of that? More ketchup? more plum sauce?

    Thanks anybody for some help…

    BIG G

  24. THE GB GUY

    this was almost too spicy and overpowered with the chili sauce. other than that it was great, i’ll just use 1/2tsp of chili sauce next time instead of 3 tbls

  25. paleryder2

    I do love your recipes! I try to remain as faithful as I’m able but some ingredients are out of my ability to get…the curse of a rural location. :) With this one I use Tyler Florence’s sesame chicken batter which is a marinade also. I hope you don’t mind. But this sauce is hands down the best I’ve made. To me the sauce is what makes it anyway. It’s good to find something without the pineapple all the time. Thanks so much for your efforts.

  26. Darlene

    Made this for partner last night & he loved it! & he’s a meat & 3 vegies man. Tasted way better than some we have had Chinese restaurants we definatly make this again.

    • Darlene

      Just a update had to have gallbladder removed a month ago Dr has put me on low fat diet so made this without the batter & was still great.

  27. J

    Thanks for the recipe, I just started looking online today and yours seems the best out of the others. They all call for different amounts of cornstarch in the batter, and some don’t use baking soda, or eggs. Yours doesn’t use eggs, does the baking soda replace the eggs? Also, I was wondering if this could be cooked in butter instead of oil or would that just totally ruin the flavor of the batter? please help, I’m not a very good cook :( Thanks again. J

  28. Kate

    This chicken is absolutely delicious! I added an onion and red pepper along with the green pepper and it was fantastic. I was skeptical about the amount of cornstarch, especially because I basically quadrupled this recipe, but that is what makes the coating on the chicken crunchy and fluffy. This is definitely a keeper! Better than some chinese restaurants around here! I was so impressed!

  29. redgems

    I came across your recipe earlier today and was a little scared that I may not be able to do justice to your sweet and sour chicken picture! The chicken came out great – crispy and yummy. I didn’t have some of the ingredients for the sauce but improvised (honey and chili flakes) and it still turned out really awesome. Marking it as a favorite dish. Thanks much!

  30. SparklingRachel

    Oh my, after trying your delicious sweet and sour tofu recipe I am craving for more! Once again you are right about the baking soda, it does make the chicken more crunchy and crispy. I even doubled the sauce….couldn’t help. It’s too yummy! Thanks for this great recipe!

  31. Bubbles

    I tried yr recipe a while ago and whilst I didn’t hv rice vinegar with me, it tasted SO AWESOME! I was skeptical initially when I read linghams but given the above comments I must say it’s the best dish I’ve cooked so far. My hubby finished the whole bowl!!

    Thank u! I’ll be sure to try yr other recipes

  32. daniel

    i want to ask you :) why you add baking powder in the batter ? is baking powder can improve the texture ? or what ?

    tq for answer mam .. tq

  33. m&t

    i added pineapple juice to the sauce and a little fresh squeezed lemon juice. overall was a great recipe to follow and make personal changes too

  34. Rheena

    Wat a fabulous recipe. Made it for lunch today and I just couldn’t have enuf of it!
    Ps I’m hooked on to ur blog!

  35. Su Lim-Macdonald

    Tried this recipe this evening – it’s fantastic. I’m not a fan of sweet sour chicken/pork (although the rest of Australia is! haha) but the balance of taste is perfect. Just one question – I guess the addition of 2 tbsp of oil to the sauce is to give it the glistening look. Am I right? Can I omit it or reduce? I used olive oil instead but would still welcome your feedback re omission of oil. Thanks a bunch, mate!

  36. I tried this tonight and had an issue with the chicken sticking to the bottom of the pan. I have my wok on order, so I used a regular soup pot for frying. Should I have stirred as I added the chicken? Was it not enough heat? Managed to scrape it up and it was delicious anyway!

    • Yes, the hot is not hot enough and also you can stir it as you added the chicken. So sorry I don’t know much about Weight Watchers so not sure about how to calculate the calories.

  37. I want to add – I am on weight watcherfs, and while this is not a low-fat dish, it is great to at least know exactly what goes into it, so I know what to track. I LOVE being able to make my favorite dishes at home, and really appreciate your site!

  38. Buck Sidhu

    Old Taiping boy, 40 years in UK, many thanks. Brought back childhood memories. Sweet & sour fish (cod) turned out perfect with a few adjustments of my own due to some ingredients not aviable. Thanks once again.

  39. Zsusha

    Hi! I’ve just discovered your blog and I LOVE it! We are from Australia but are living in Argentina. At home we can get really amazing asian food for great prices so we never end up cooking it ourselves… But here it’s not very common and sadly not very good so I’m now going to try and cook all our favourites ourselves! I can’t say thank you enough for your recipes and tips! I can’t get every ingredient though, so I’m substiting here and there. So you may get some questions from me about this! So for this recipe I have everything except the plum sauce :) Do you think there might be a substitute I might use? Thanks again from a very happy reader!

  40. Hello, I discovered your book and made the Kung Pao chicken last week. It was great! I would like to try the S&S Chicken next. Is there a difference in the Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce or can I just use a brand like Heinz that is already in my refrigerator?

  41. Shauna

    Sweet and Sour Chicken is my absolute favourite dish to order when going to a Chinese Restaurant. Never ever expected that a homemade recipe would come close but this is AWESOME. Multiplied it easily by 5 as was having a lot of family over. Highly recommend and will definitely be eating this again!

  42. daisy

    I tried your recipe last night and it was really spicy. It actually overpowered the actual taste. I hardly tasted sweet. But overall it was good, did I do something wrong?

  43. paulina

    I’ve tried this recipe yesterday with the Lingham sauce, It was delicious, and not spicy. This will be my sweet and sour sauce for everything. Thank you.

  44. Akari Akatsuka

    Thank u so much! I can’t wait to surprise my mom when she comes back from china! She will be very happy. Thanks again! :) x

  45. Victoria Peabody

    I to am confused as to using 1/2 tsp baking powder or baking soda….which do I use????
    (Per the recipe above….1/2 teaspoon baking soda/baking powder)
    I want to try this immediately but don’t want to use the wrong ingredient and have to throw the entire dish away.
    Anyone that has made this…your help would be so appreciated.

  46. DanRobin99

    Can you recommend a recipe for the plum sauce and the oyster sauce? My son has celiac disease and is allergic to corn. All the plum and oyster sauces on the market have either or both gluten and corn. I can easily convert the rest of this recipe to gluten free, but it’s tricky with the plum and oyster sauce – there are so many recipes out there for these and they vary widely. I want it to taste like real sweet and sour chicken. Hope you can help!!

  47. bheifner

    I don’t like American Chinese sweet and sour so I’ve never tried to make it. I’ve read that real sweet and sour is not Americanized. Is this a “real” Chinese recipe?

  48. Ray

    I am not a fan of sweet and sour sauce and do not order it often. But I tried your recipe and its amazing especially as it does not call for any sugar(not a fan). I was initially sceptical of the batter cause I really do not like fried food especially with batter on it, but it turned out to be very light which I guess is as a result of the baking soda. I will definitely make this again. Thank you. @ bheifner, I made my own plum sauce because I prefer to be certain of whats in the sauce so I never by if I can make it and it had no corn starch in it. Just google how to make plum sauce, there are different recipes, choose what best works for you. I hope that helps. I am not too sure about the oyster sauce though.

  49. Michelle

    I love authentic Chinese, even more so when I can make it at home and know it’s not “Americanized”, which most Chinese places are where I live.
    My big question here is; have you cooked with bamboo? I don’t know if there are different kinds of bamboo or which to cook with; but one of my favorite dishes in Germany was a mix of fast sautéed vegetables with bamboo served on rice and topped with seasoned breaded chicken and fresh sweet & sour sauce.
    I look forward to trying your recipe and my family having another added favorite home made Asian dish to the menu!

  50. PJ

    I used onion instead of scallion and added pineapple as well. Personal preferences but the pineapple tasted AMAZING with the sauce. Thank you for this recipe. I love sweet and sour but hated not knowing what crazy chemicals might be thrown in. Now I can make it myself!

  51. Dianne

    Thank you for your awesome recipes..I made this dish last night and we loved it..I also made your BBQ Pork and was awesome…Great work!


  52. DanS

    Chicken looks very good! Gorgeous photo!
    Would you recommend to fry the chicken twice ( low to cook and high for crispy)?

  53. The sauce taste superb ! However my batter turns out to be very watery, I wonder what’s wrong? Should I use less water instead, adjust it so that it’s just enough to cover the back of a spoon ? Thanks !

  54. Sheila

    Hi there. Just a suggestion – you should put the “Cook’s Note” about using Sriracha chill sauce right in the ingredients list. I used Sriracha because that’s all I had and cut it back to 2 tbsp because I knew it was spicy but it was still very spicy. Ok for me but too spicy for my daughter. If the note had been in the ingredient list right after the Lingham sauce listing, I would have know to only use 1/2 tbsp.
    Otherwise, very good recipe.

  55. paintnmynails

    I made this 2 nights ago and it was absolutely wonderful! I have Celiac disease so I always have to sub out anything containing gluten. I did and the recipe was still completely successful. Family had no clue they were eating gluten free. Batter fried up very crisp and light. I just love your website and thank you for teaching me how to make these dishes. I can’t safely go out for Chinese food with having Celiac and now I can have food at home that tastes even better. I am not missing out. Big hug to you!

  56. Adrian

    Just tried this today, very yummy and a balanced taste, even though i did not have plum sauce, Thanks for the great recipe!

  57. shyan

    I recomend a cornflour and egg batter when used it keeps the chicken crunchy without the sauce making it soggy put the chicken in the corn flour then egg then cornflour again☺

  58. Tracey

    Today I made my first recipe from your website. It took me a month to find all the ingredients in Greece. Sweet & Sour Chicken – absolutely delicious!!!

  59. Melinda

    I made this dish yesterday and it was a hit. My hubby loved it and said that it’s even better than restaurant sweet and sour chicken. A couple of questions, if I want more sauce, do i just double the sauce recipe? Also, I couldn’t find shaoxing wine. Any idea where to get it in KL? Also, I used rice vinegar (white) as I couldn’t find Chinese rice vinegar. Does that make a difference to the dish?

  60. Wonderful and easy to follow recipe for a dinner for two! :) The only two questions I had was:
    1) The Chinese restaurants seem to use more batter?
    2) Do the restaurants use more than two tablespoons of oil?
    Apart from that, everything else tasted great.

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