Go Back

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This favourite Filipino dish has the right balance of sweetness and tanginess that coats every single crispy chicken morsel perfectly. A must-try recipe!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Author: Pam from PinoyBites


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

Here's How:

  • 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.