Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken

I was surprised how easy it is to make your own sweet and sour sauce from scratch. Throw in some chicken and vegetables and hey presto - easy sweet and sour chicken. Take away sweet and sour chicken involves deep-fried batter-smothered chicken (yum, but very naughty) so this recipe is the healthy batter-free equivalent with just 585 calories per serving with boiled rice.

I served this to my boys last night and they enjoyed it - probably due to the sweet sauce! It's nice to make one meal that we can all eat. We had it with rice but noodles would also be a good, and quick, accompaniment.

Sweet and sour chicken.jpg

Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken: Serves 4 Adults:

Time:  20 mins start to finish

Cost:  £1.65 per serving (with rice)

Calories:  585 per serving (with rice)

  • 450g diced chicken breast
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 thumbsized piece fresh root ginger, finely diced
  • 1 red & 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into short batons
  • 227g tin pineapple chunks, drained and juice reserved
  • Small handful cashew nuts (optional)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • Pineapple juice (from the tin)
  • 200ml water
  • Salt & pepper to taste

To serve:

  • 300g white rice (or noodles)
  • Sliced spring onions (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Fry the onion in a little oil until soft. Brown the chicken along with the ginger and garlic for around 5 minutes stirring frequently over a medium heat. 
  2. While the chicken is browning pop your rice on to cook. The time it will take to cook will depend on the rice you have of course, but if it takes around 13 minutes then now it a good time to start it.
  3. When the chicken had browned add the peppers and carrots. Stir and leave to cook while you prepare the sauce.
  4. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce thoroughly. It's easier if you start by dissolving the corn flour in the water, then add the remaining ingredients to the cornflour mix.
  5. Add the pineapple chunks and cashew nuts (if using) to the pan and stir.
  6. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and turn up the heat. Stir until the sauce starts to bubble and then simmer for 3 - 5 minutes until the sauce is thick and had reduced slightly. You should end up with a sticky, orange, syrupy-like sauce which coats the chicken and vegetables well.
  7. Serve over the cooked rice topped with fresh spring onions and sesame seeds if you like.

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