The BEST Sweet and Sour Chicken

I have posted pictures of this sweet and sour chicken before, but now (with her permission of course) I am sharing my awesome friend Christine’s family recipe for sweet and sour chicken. This is by far the best sweet and sour chicken I’ve ever had, and this is one of my family’s favorite meals. I’m so grateful she shared this recipe with me.

This sweet and sour chicken is pretty simple to make, but it packs in major flavor by using chopped fresh garlic, ginger and scallions in the sweet and tangy sauce. Other than the time to fry the chicken, it comes together really quickly. I almost always double this recipe for the 5 of us, because my teenagers can pack this away!

If you would like to use the black vinegar listed in the recipe (it is my favorite vinegar) you can get some here:

For the chicken:
  • 1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (I use breasts)
  • 3-4 tbsp cornstarch + a lot more for coating the chicken
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • oil for frying
  • cooked rice for serving (see my post on perfectly cooked Asian rice)
For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup orange or pineapple juice
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • dash of ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped spring onion or scallions
  • 1 tbsp oil
sweet and sour sauce
Marinate the chicken:

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and combine in a bowl or ziploc with the soy sauce and cornstarch (it should look like runny peanut butter, add more soy if you need to) and set aside to marinate for 30 min – 1 hour.

Make the sauce:

Heat the 1 tbsp oil in a sauce pan and add the garlic, ginger, and onion. Stir fry until fragrant. Add the the ketchup, citrus, soy, vinegar, sugar, and white pepper, along with 1/4 cup or so of water. Let simmer a little while you finish the chicken, adjusting the seasoning and adding more water as needed.

Fry the chicken:

Heat a deep pot of canola oil to 350. Put some more corn starch into a bowl. Remove chicken pieces from the marinade a few at a time and coat in cornstarch and add to hot oil. Don’t add too much to the pan so the oil stays hot and you get really crispy chicken. Once the chicken is cooked through and golden (about 5-6 min but depends on the size of the pieces and the temperature of your chicken), drain onto paper towels.

Once all the chicken is fried, toss it in the fabulous sauce and serve with hot rice. Yum!

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