Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Weekly Recipe: Sweet & Sour Chicken

I think I've said it before but I'll say it again, Chinese food is not easy to replicate at home.  I'm sure it's because of the gross quantity of sodium they use and I don't.  Or maybe the cat type of meat they use (which is why I stick to shrimp because it's hard to disguise that).  Either way, it hasn't stopped me from trying to find a great recipe. 

This recipe comes pretty darn close.  It's delicious and actually fairly nutritious as well.  The sauce definitely makes the dish.  Be sure to serve the remaining sauce on the side so your diners can add as much or as little as they like.  We used some of ours as dipping sauce for our eggrolls - yum! 

Sweet & Sour Chicken
adapted slightly from Evil Shenanigans

1 cup water
3/4 cup pineapple juice (I bought a whole pineapple and pureed 3/4 cup in the blender.)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (I used ground ginger because I was too lazy to get mine out of the freezer.)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 boneless-skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ strips (I cubed mine.)
1 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 cup onion, cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks
2 cups steamed white rice (I used brown rice - it's all about your health people!)
In a medium saucepan combine the water, pineapple juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, and ginger.   Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce to a simmer and allow to reduce by half.
While the sauce reduces heat half of the vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken chunks and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160F and the chicken is lightly browned.   Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
 Add the remaining oil and once it shimmers add the bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms.  Cook until they are just tender, about three minutes.  Add the pineapple and cook until the pineapple is hot and tender, another three minutes.  Add the chicken back to the pan and heat through.
Once the sauce has reduced mix the cornstarch and water to form a slurry.  Bring the sauce back to a boil an whisk in the slurry.  Cook for thirty seconds then turn off the heat.  Pour half the sauce over the chicken mixture and toss to coat.  Pass the remaining sauce. 


  1. My husband would love this - he's big on sweet sauces. I like things as spicy as I can get them. I'll have to make this for him next time I'm feeling extra nice. :)

    Even if I found out tomorrow all Chinese food was made from cat, I swear I'd keep eating it. Tastes delicious! haha I hope the people from PETA aren't reading this...

  2. Just printed this - love that I'm catching up on all your food related posts which makes my grocery shopping/menu planning this month a lot faster. Thanks!

  3. Can't wait to try this! I love chinese food, but have a hard time finding decent at-home recipes. Do you make your own eggrolls? If not, what brand do you like?

  4. Ugh i agree-cooking chinese is really hard unless you us a super sodium enriched sauce. Thanks for sharing a good recipe!

  5. I actually much prefer homemade chinese food to the kind you buy at most chinese restaurants. Excepting a few wonderful, authentic chinese restaurants in the Chinatowns of various big cities, most of it is just too greasy and heavy for me. This looks great!