Do you love Sweet and Sour Chicken? I do. Growing up, I can remember when I first went to a Chinese restaurant. We were living in Pueblo, Colorado, and it was unbelievable.
Right away, I fell in love with Chinese food and thought that sweet and sour sauce should go on everything. While I outgrew that desire, I still enjoy sweet and sour chicken from time to time. You can visit your favorite local Chinese restaurant or make this delicious dish at home. I’ll show you how to cook the chicken just right and make the tangy sweet and sour sauce that is the perfect accompaniment.
Don’t be intimidated by Chinese Cooking
Don’t be intimidated to try making restaurant-style Chinese food from scratch. You can do it, and your everyday grocery store should have everything you need for this recipe. The basics are chicken, cornstarch, flour, white pepper, oranges, lemons, ketchup, and some rice cooking wine or dry sherry. I know you won’t forget the number of your local Chinese takeout restaurant, but now you can follow my recipe and make a delicious CopyKat sweet and sour chicken right in your own kitchen.
Don’t be intimidated by making restaurant-style Chinese food from scratch. You can do it. Your grocery store should have everything you need for this recipe. You will need chicken, cornstarch, flour, white pepper, oranges, lemons, ketchup, and some rice cooking wine or dry Sherry. So you can see this recipe is achievable at your everyday grocery store.
Benefits of Home Cooking
One of the benefits of making restaurant-style recipes from scratch is that you know exactly what’s in your food. In this recipe, you can be sure that the ingredients are exactly the way you like them. For instance, if you try to eat as much organic food as possible, you can use all-organic ingredients including free-range chicken that hasn’t been dosed with antibiotics. And, if you make Chinese food at home, it will not contain any MSG.
The Sweet and Sour Sauce
You could buy ready-made sweet and sour sauce in a jar, but I think this homemade recipe tastes much better. This sweet and sour sauce is made with real fruit which gives it a depth of flavor that you’ll love. Also, by making your own sweet and sour sauce, you can eliminate the artificial coloring usually found in a store-bought product. After all, not everyone wants to eat food containing dyes.
This recipe can be a little bit flexible – you don’t have to stick to chicken. If you like, you could swap the chicken out for pork. Heck, if you have a little batter left over, you could easily slice up some onions and make onion rings – it’s up to you.
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Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients
- 5 cups water
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 2 or 3 slices fresh ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1 cup ketchup
- Red food coloring if desired
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 eggs divided use
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch divided use
- 2 1/4 cups self rising flour
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Sweet and Sour Sauce Directions Wash the orange and the lemon well. Slice the fruit and sliced ginger and place into a medium pot along with 5 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes.
- Drain water with a sieve, press the fruit into the sieve, you want to get all of the water released. Place water into a pot and add 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 cup ketchup mix until well blended with a whisk. Heat the sauce over medium-high heat. Combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch and three tablespoons water in a small bowl. Slowly stream the liquid into the sauce stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken.
- When the sauce thickens, remove from heat. Store unused sauce in an air tight container.
- In a medium-sized bowl add 1 egg. Scramble egg with a fork. Cut chicken into small bite-sized pieces. Add chicken to the beaten egg. Add 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir to combine. The batter will look a mess.
- Allow to marinate for about 15 minutes before continuing the recipe. To make the batter for the recipe in a medium sized bowl combine 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 egg, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Stir until this batter has a uniform texture. Add enough oil to a pot to cover the 4 bottom inches.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees. Batter chicken by taking a piece from the marinade and dipping into the batter with a skewer, and then carefully laying the chicken in the cooking oil. Fry until the chicken becomes a light brown. Remove chicken for about 1 minute, and then place chicken back in and fry for about an additional minute. Frying the chicken twice will make chicken extra crispy. Drain chicken on a wire wrack. Serve chicken with sweet and sour sauce.