Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken

If take-out is what you’re craving this Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken is the perfect, quick and easy, budget-friendly meal to curb fill that need! Homemade, delicious and tasty.

Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken

We are the biggest lovers of Chinese takeout ever (that may be a overstatment but I can’t help it). Our favorite takeout place was under construction for like 3 months and we were lost! Craving after craving, different takeout that didn’t hit the spot and then finally angst. We decided in that time to get creative and start recreating our dishes. Thank heavens we did! We came up with a bunch of recipes that tasted close to what they serve, but nothing compares to this Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken.

Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken

Now I don’t know if most Chinese buffet places have this type of chicken, but ours does and it is one of our favorite things. Its basic, and completely kid friendly. This is pretty much the Chinese version of a chicken nugget and what person doesn’t like chicken nuggets?!?! You’d have to be crazy not to!

Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken

This is our go-to chicken recipe for when we do copycat take-out! This weekend we had some friends over and we did our own Chinese Buffet! We had fried rice, pork steamed buns, potstickers, chow fun and chinese donuts! These went so quickly that you had to fight off other people just to get a serving! So making extra of these are highly recommended. Not to mention the sweet and sour sauce that is homemade and served with this is seriously delicious. 

Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken

This is an easy recipe and comes together quickly. Not to mention that this will save you a ton of money if you decide that you don’t want to pay to go get takeout and make it right in the comforts of your own home!  I mean I’m all for going out and getting food because sometimes I just don’t like to cook, but what I love even more is when. you can make your own copycat versions of your favorite dishes right from your own home!

4.45 from 20 votes
Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken
Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
18 mins
Course: Main Course
  • 2 Chicken breasts cut into 1-2" pieces
  • 1/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar we used rice, but can use white
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbs ketchup
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  1. Preheat your deep fryer to 375.
  2. In bowl combine all batter ingredients and whisk until smooth, batter will be thin but that is what you are looking for.
  3. Dip your chicken pieces one by one into the batter and then place into deep fryer.
  4. Fry for about 7-8 minutes or until golden.
  5. Turn out onto paper towel to drain, repeat will all chicken.
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
  1. In small sauce pan combine your sugar, vinegar and water and heat on medium until sugar is desolved.
  2. Meanwhile in small bowl stir together your ketchup and cornstarch.
  3. Once sugar is desolved stir in the ketchup and cornstart mixtures.
  4. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
  5. Once mixture is boiling and it rises up in pan remove from heat and cool.
If take-out is what you're craving this Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken is the perfect, quick and easy, budget-friendly meal to curb fill that need! Homemade, delicious and tasty.

46 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken

  1. This looks like a restaurant dish! I always wondered what the dough was made of and really it isn’t that difficult! Thanks for sharing with us at #overthemoon and see you next week.

  2. YUM Alli – Sweet and sour chicken is one of my favorites when we get take out. Pinning this for later, even my boys will eat this and that’s ALWAYS a plus 🙂 Thanks for sharing Alli!

  3. My family loves this kind of chicken and I’m sure this is a fraction of the cost of what it costs for take-out. I’m so glad you added this to the Thursday Favorite Things Linkup!


  4. Excellent! I’ve made it twice now and my son, back from college, thought it was “very good”! He’s my true test being traveled and an espiring cook himself. Thanks for posting!!

    1. Thanks so much Shane!! I’m so happy you and your son enjoyed this. I can’t wait to make it again and update the pics. I wish your son all the luck on his culinary journey!

  5. My family and I love this dish. It is really easy to make and taste really good. The only thing i did have to change is the amount of vinegar. From 1/2 cup to 1/4 and you could still kind of taste vinegar.

  6. This absolutely didn’t work. There was no breading on the chicken at all. So I ended up with fried plain chicken. The batter was way too thin

    1. I found your comment! It was not deleted. I’m sorry this did not work for you. This is the recipe we have always use and it turns out every time. If you’re concerned about the thickness of the batter, I suggest adding more equal parts of the cornstarch and flour to the mix until you get a consistency that sticks to your chicken for you. For us, we usually add pieces one by one so they don’t sink to bottom and get stuck, sort of swirling them around.

  7. Funny how I left an actual comment after making this, not just saying it looks delicious, and you delete the comment.

    1. Hi Scarlett, I did not delete your comment. If you can’t tell by the site today or yesterday I am having issues with load time and my dashboard and nothing is working properly. Im currently in the process of trying to get it fixed. I haven’t seen your last comment so I apologize for that. If there was an issue with the recipe I would love to try to remedy it for you.

  8. It’s unselfish people like you that take the time to share your efforts to better my abilities. I will give this a try along with the Coconut Cream Cheesecake…………..Calories. Thanks.

  9. I’ve made these before and the batter is perfect! Thanks for sharing and don’t let the haters get you down:) You can’t please everyone!!!

  10. I just want to say THIS RECIPE ROCKS! I just got done making it. My Mom is not the biggest Chinese takeout fan like me and my sister but THIS recipe she ate the chicken ALONE! I added pepper and onion powder for more flavor but the recipe is easy to follow and very accurate. My problem in the past is some online recipes aren’t as accurate and it winds up coming out a mess. so super happy with this THANKS A MILLION!

  11. Looks great! Was wondering if you can deep fry ahead oof time and if so, what would be the best way to reheat?

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I love how simple it is and it tastes exactly like the take out version. We are living outside of the US now and really miss the US version of sweet and sour chicken so this completely hit the spot!

    1. Victoria, I’m sorry this recipe wasn’t for you. People don’t have the same flavor profiles Unfortunately but I’ve had many great reviews. I’m sure you’ll find a recipe you enjoy, this one just isn’t it. But we still love it and will continue to enjoy.

  13. This was amazing. I did like most and put a liitle less vinegar. Other than that, seriously perfect. The whole family loved it. I get asked every night now… Chinese chicken for dinner ??!?!?! Thanks so much!!

    1. I do believe there are more than one way to make this recipe. In fact our local Chinese restaurant had it as a dipping sauce on the side as well as one we just went to on vacation. But thank you for your insight.

  14. Thank you for the recipe! I must have done something wrong because my chicken stuck to my deep frier basket. We did get it out and it still was so good! It was better than take-out and I will definitely be trying it again!!!

    1. It happens to us as well, mainly happens to anything we hand batter and deep fry in our deep frying, not just this recipe unfortunately. What you can do is either deep fry in a pan on the stove where it cant stick to the basket or what I do is grab each pieces after battered and drag it across the top of the oil a few times before fully dropping it in, it helps keep it from sinking.

  15. Question about frying the chicken – I followed the instructions for the batter, but all of my pieces of chicken were sticking together and sticking to the fry basket. Any suggestions? The end product was delicious, but I had to do a lot of scraping out of the fry basket. Thanks!

    1. This does tend to happen with us as well, you can also deep fry in a pan on the stove as well. What I like to do most is kinda grab the chicken and slowly drag it across the oil before dropping the pieces in.

  16. This is a hit at my house! I was so nervous about using ketchup for the sauce but it’s perfect! I do lightly season my chicken. Thanks a bunch for the recipe

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