Miriam SpiceTraveller

Sweet and sour chicken is one the most popular Chinese take-away meals. I personally love sweet and sour pork! First recipe comes from the Hunan province, which is quite different from the modern version.The original recipe is mainly served as a dip sauce for pieces of meat or fish.
This recipe is the classic westernized version you can find in every Chinese take-away. meat can be prepared in 4 different ways;
1. With small meatballs
2. With small pieces of meat
3. With small pieces of meat dipped in dough and fried before being added into the sauce ( Hong Kong style)
4. large meatballs, dipped in the dough , fried and then served with the sauce separate.
I always prepare with chicken thighs or legs. It has more flour than chicken breast but you can use whatever meat you prefer. Fry meat in small amount of oil then add cup of water and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and cool, then remove meat from the bones and it is ready for the further preparation.



This is for the recipe version no. 1 as mentioned above.


1.   Put all meatball ingredients into the food processor and blend until fine.

2.   Now shape small balls , place on a plate and keep refrigerated

3.   Roll in the flour before frying.

4.   Drain on a paper towel.

5.   In a small pot add rice wine and sugar, heat until sugar dissolves. Add soy sauce and ketchup, stir well, it must not boil! After 1 minute remove from the heat. This is your basic sweet and sour sauce.

6.   Chop onion and green pepper into medium size pieces, carrot into tiny strips or thin slices and pineapple into small cubes.

7.   Add oil in the wok, when very hot add onion, pepper and carrot, stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Don't overcook, vegetables should be crispy not soft. 

8.   Last minute add pineapple and then sweet and sour sauce and stir well.

9.   At the end add meatballs and mix well. Remove from the heat. If too thick add some extra chicken stock but make sure it is not too liquidy! 



Batter preparation ( for recipe variation 3 and 4 as mentioned above):

Mix four with baking powder, salt, sugar and black pepper. Add beaten egg and water. Dip meatballs one by one in the batter so they are completely covered and fry it in the hot oil until golden. If you prepare large meatballs as recipe variation 4, serve it with the sauce without added onion, carrot or pineapple.



  • 2 Tbsp spring onions
  • 1/3 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tsp sesame oil


  • 12 Tbsp rice wine
  • 5 Tsp sugar
  • 6 Tbsp ketchup
  • 3-4 tsp soy sauce

Other ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 slices of pineapple ( fresh or tinned)
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • a few Tbsp of sunflower oil



  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1 egg



Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken - meatballs ingredients blended

Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken - chicken meatballs ready

Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken - chicken meatballs frying

Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken - fried chicken meatballs

Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken - sauce ingredients

Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken - served with egg fried rice