Once you’ve made my Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken you will never use a jar again! It is simple, delicious and you’ve probably got most of the ingredients in your cupboard already.
Making your own Sweet & Sour is much better than using a jar!
I’ve never been a fan of sweet and sour sauce from a jar. Apart from it tasting quite artificial in my opinion, I also don’t like the chunks of onion it has in it. But I do really like sweet and sour, and my favourite is sweet and sour Hong Kong style. I can’t claim that sweet and sour Hong Kong Style is an authentic Chinese recipe, but it is what Chinese restaurants in the UK call meat that is fried in a crisp batter and then added to sweet and sour sauce. If you haven’t tried it you need to!
Once you have made my Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken, I don’t think you will reach for a jar of sauce again. You know what is going into this sauce, there are no nasty preservatives and it really doesn’t take much effort at all. You could even skip the baked chicken stage and just brown the chicken in the pan before adding the sauce ingredients if you want to make it even quicker.
Baking instead of frying
I can’t order a takeaway every time I fancy sweet and sour so I had to come up with my own recipe. I first started making my own sweet and sour back in my first year of uni. Zoe ; my foodie friend that you’ll know if you’re a regular to my blog, and I used to make a big batch of sweet and sour to freeze for quick a quick meal.
Back at uni, we used a recipe that called for some deep frying action which although made the pork lovely and crisp, this effort seemed a little pointless because it softens when you add it to the sauce later. It was also the most time consuming step of the recipe as well as making it a bit unhealthier. So in my version I skipped this step and instead bake the chicken.Baking the chicken gives the chicken the crisp exterior but without the extra hassle and calories.
Tips for making Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken
I recommend adding the baked chicken just before you are ready to serve. This will help keep the chicken at its crispest. You can definitely freeze this dish, but bear in mind the chicken will loose it’s crispiness but still be tasty.
You don’t have to use chicken, pork also works really well and is actually what I used when I started making sweet and sour. I would recommend pork shoulder or leg as they have a bit of fat marbling to keep the meat moist while cooking.
I’ve used spring onions because I much prefer these, but if you want to dice up some normal white onion then please do. You can also use whatever colour of peppers you like.
Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken
Once you've made my Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken you will never use a jar again! It is simple, delicious and you've probably got most of the ingredients in your cupboard already.
For the Marinade
- 450 g chicken breasts (3 breasts)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 50 g cornflour
For the sauce
- 2 tsp sunflower oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 2 peppers
- 4 spring onions
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 4 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 230 g tinned pineapple chunks/ slices (keep the juice)
- 2 tbsp pineapple juice (from the tin)
- 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp pineapple juice optional
- Sprinkle of sesame seeds
- 1 spring onion chopped
Dice the chicken breast into chunks and add to a bowl along with the light soy sauce, shaoxing rice wine, garlic and ginger. Leave to marinade for 15 minutes
After the chicken has marinated, drain it to remove any excess liquid
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted, 200ºC non fan) and line a baking tray with a silicon mat or baking paper
Add the cornflour to a shallow dish and coat each chicken piece in the cornflour. Make sure each piece is completed coated, but tap off any excess cornflour. Place the chicken on the prepared baking tray
Bake the chicken in the oven for 10 minutes before turning the chicken and cooking for another 10 minutes
While the chicken is baking, make the sauce by chopping the peppers into a large dice and slicing spring onions and mincing the garlic and ginger
Add the oil to a pan on a medium heat before adding the peppers, spring onions, garlic and ginger. Let soften for around 10 minutes, stirring often before adding the rest of the ingredients
Cook on a medium heat until the sauce has thickened and turns glossy. If you prefer the sauce to be a bit thicker, mix the cornflour with one tablespoon of pineapple juice to help thicken the sauce
Once the chicken has cooked and just before you are going to serve, add it to the sauce and stir through to make sure it is all coated in the sauce
Serve with rice and top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and spring onions
Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.