Sweet and Sour Chicken - a classic Chinese recipe you can make in your own home, with tender pieces of chicken thigh, fresh vegetables and pineapple in a delicious sauce.
Stove Top Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
There are usually two types of sweet and sour chicken most of us our used to and that is Sweet and Sour Balls which tenders to be just chunks of meat in a thick batter served with a very red vibrant sweet and sour sauce and then there is the unbattered version that often comes with vegetables and pineapple.
Both are popular choices, but when healthy eating the thick battered kind is probably one we want to keep for special occasions. Here in North America they even do a cross between the too, which is meat in a really crispy battered coating and tossed in a sweet and sour sauce with vegetables.
This recipe is of course the unbattered version and you will be surprised with just how delicious the sauce on this lightened up version. Infact my family can't tell the difference.
Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
If you was to go looking for a sweet and sour sauce recipe right now, you would find so many variations. Some with ketchup, some without, some with soy sauce some without, some using pineapple some with just vegetables.
This recipe is the sweet and sour sauce I am used to from a Chinese and always always with pineapple. I know for some that sweet and savoury is just a no. But this recipe is called Sweet and Sour for a reason.
To lighten up the sauce and reduce some calories that come from lots of sugar, I instead use crushed tomatoes and a brown sugar replacement (swerve or sukrin are my favourite brands) in place of any sugar. Usually you need real sugar to get a glossy thickened sauce. But instead of the sugar I go for some cornstarch (cornflour). It works perfectly.
Best Chicken for Sweet and Sour Chicken
I use chicken thighs, I just prefer them in dishes like this where they stay nice and tender and don't over cook too quickly. I also find they absorb so much more flavour. I buy boneless skinless chicken thighs and remove any extra visible fat to keep them as lean as possible.
If you prefer to use chicken breast, then you can make the swap, but be careful of not overcooking it, which is very easy to do in dishes like this.
Can I use other Proteins?
Of course, I love large king prawns in this sauce with vegetables. You don't even need to cook them first. I just drop them raw into the sauce and let them cook in the sauce.
Pork is another good substitute, I would definitely lightly brown it first and again if using a really lean cut but careful of not overcooking.
Can I use a different sweetener?
I use either Sukrin Brown Sugar replacement or Swerve Brown Sugar Replacement in this recipe. Both are Erythritol based sweeteners and really are the closest in taste to real sugar I have found without the added calories.
If you are using a different sweetener, just be aware that the taste may differ, some sweeteners do have a not very pleasant strong aftertaste.
Also check the measurements of the sweetener you are using as not all are equal in the ratio you use. Some are much sweeter in taste and only require a much smaller amount to be used. Sukrin and Swerve can generally be used like for like in measurement to real sugar.
Sides for Sweet and Sour Chicken
Wondering what sides to serve with this sweet and sour chicken?
I usually just go for some plain cooked rice, keeping it nice and simple.
But it is also delicious with this Egg Fried Rice Recipe or if I want a low carb option then I serve with this Roasted Cauliflower Rice. There are plenty of vegetables in the dish, so I don't both with extra vegetables, but any stir fried vegetables would be a great addition. Cabbage, broccoli, beansprouts etc.
More Chinese Fakeaway Recipes
Looking for some other Chinese Fakeaway recipes? Check out these:
- Beef Chow Mein
- Spring Roll in a Bowl
- Black Pepper Beef
- Cashew Chicken
- Mongolian Beef
- Chicken Chop Suey
- Salt and Pepper Chicken
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