sweet and sour chicken

chinese food didn't make an appearance at our house very often growing up. once or twice a year the electric wok would be hauled out from wherever it lived and honestly, i don't even remember what was made in it.even more rare was a trip out for chinese, since our small town had one and only one chinese restaurant that i only remember going to once, and only once, in the 18 years i lived there. and for good reason, since the food was not so good.

when i moved to rochester twelve and a half years ago for school, i was surprised by the sheer volume of chinese food available. it's everywhere! and one of the first things i tried - and got hooked on - was sweet and sour chicken. this homemade version is much better than your standard sweet & sour chicken i've found at most chinese restaurants, chicken coated in a thick dough & deep fried. coating the chicken in cornstarch and stir frying it gives it a nice coating and the extra bit of cornstarch is great to thicken the sauce while it cooks. it's great chinese comfort food!

sweet & sour chicken
adapted from let's dish
1 hour 15 minutes, serves 4

i've made this both with and without vegetables. if you're using vegetables, add about a cup or so, and mix it into the chicken and sauce before it goes in the oven.

2 eggs
1 pound chicken breasts or tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
cooked rice, for serving
  1. preheat your oven to 325F. 
  2. in a medium bowl, beat the eggs. place the cornstarch in a separate bowl. coat the bottom of a skillet with vegetable oil and place over medium heat.
  3. toss the chicken in the egg and then the cornstarch. 
  4. cook the chicken in the skillet until browned. the chicken does not have to be cooked through.
  5. while the chicken is cooking, combine the sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
  6. transfer the chicken to deep 9 by 13 inch pan. coat with the sauce. 
  7. bake for one hour, turning the chicken halfway through. serve with cooked rice.


  1. oh, I love love love sweet and sour chicken. My favorite Chinese food restaurant closed down after like 20 years so now I'll have to make it myself.

  2. I LOVE Chinese food of all kinds, but sweet and sour chicken has always been one of my favorites. But it's so unhealthy and heavy. I cannot wait to try this recipe and have the ability to have sweet and sour chicken anytime in a much healthier version!

  3. Oh this looks so delicious - definitely one of my favorites!

  4. Very nice post. If you like Chinese food, you might like my take on Sichuan chicken. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/my-take-on-sichuan-chicken.html

  5. that can't possibly be 1 & 1/2 CUPS of sugar... Right?

    1. yup, it is. it's definitely not something to eat every day. the original recipe called for half of the sauce i listed, so if you want to cut sugar, that's one way to do it. if you make the dish with less sugar, let me know how it goes. i haven't tried it myself.

  6. I am new in your blog and started to loving it.. :) Thanks for sharing this recipe..


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