Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and sour are flavors that are well-loved by Filipinos. The contrast somehow makes it very appealing and whether you would rather have it on the sweet or sour side, is just individual preference. Either way works. 🙂

My two big boys (hubby included) at home love this dish so I make it once in a while. They like dishes where the meat is enveloped with a thick glaze, just enough to coat each piece of meat. 

I don’t usually measure when I cook unless I’m baking. I was so used to just putting a little bit of this and that and eyeball the amount then let my taste buds do its thing. But this time, I measured every single ingredient until I got the taste that we all like at home. Don’t be alarmed by the list of ingredients and steps, I just grouped them so it’s easier to put this dish together. 

This recipe has the right amount of sauce that clings to every crispy chicken piece. I don’t think it’s necessary to have more sauce but if that’s what your family prefers, go ahead and double the sauce recipe.

Sweet and Sour Chicken 1

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Pam from PinoyBites
This favourite Filipino dish has the right balance of sweetness and tanginess that coats every single crispy chicken morsel perfectly. A must-try recipe!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Filipino


For the sweet and sour sauce: (Mixture A)

  • cup brown sugar firmly packed
  • cup ketchup
  • cup pineapple juice from the canned pineapple chunks* or water
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • A pinch of ground black pepper

For the chicken: (Mixture B)

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch cubes/squares
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Chicken breading mix: (Mixture C)

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For sautéing:

  • 1 red or green bell pepper cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1 medium onion cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1 carrot sliced into 1 cm disks
  • 1 cup canned pineapple chunks drained and liquid reserved for the sauce*
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 ½ tablespoons water to thicken sauce
  • Canola oil for frying


  • Mix all the ingredients for Mixture A in a medium bowl and set aside. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients in Mixture B. Mix well and set aside.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the breading mix (Mixture C) and blend well. You can either use a big bowl, a clean paper bag or a large ziploc bag.
  • Heat a large frying pan and add oil, about 1 to 1 ½ inches deep. Transfer the chicken pieces to the breading mix and coat each piece completely. Shake off excess flour and transfer to a large tray (like a cookie sheet). Fry the chicken pieces (in batches) until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Make sure the meat doesn’t touch each other to maintain the oil temperature and not make the chicken oily after frying. Place fried chicken pieces on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet or a colander to let the excess oil drip.
  • Heat another large pan or a wok (medium heat) and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the carrots, onion, bell peppers and stir fry for a minute. Next add the pineapple chunks, sweet and sour sauce (Mixture A) and the cornstarch mixture to thicken sauce. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • Add the fried chicken pieces and toss for a minute or two, using 2 wooden spoons until all the meat is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.


*Double the amount of sauce if you want a saucier dish
**Pineapple chunks are preferred but I only had tidbits at home. Fresh pineapple cut in chunks can also be used.
***Fry the chicken in batches and do not crowd the pan to have crispy chicken pieces. Drain the excess oil by placing it on a pan with a cooling rack on top.
****Remove cooked bits of batter accumulating in the oil (using a shallow strainer) in between frying.
*****Add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter sauce.

Feel free to share with your friends!

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Pit Boss Recipes
1 year ago

5 stars
Sweet and Sour tastes good, good appetizer

Emelyn Garcia
Emelyn Garcia
4 months ago

5 stars
Just finished cooking sweet and sour chicken for this cloudy wintry day in New York City. It was ALOT of work and many steps to follow. I replicated the recipe to the tee and viola! it was all worth it.

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