This popular westernized Chinese fast food choice can easily be cooked in your kitchen. But does a sweet and sour chicken meal actually work? Let us find out and see.
What is sweet and sour chicken?
In the westernized world, sweet and sour chicken is a popular recipe which is served in Chinese restaurants and fast food chains.
The sweet and sour aspect comes from the sauce which is a combination of vinegar, brown sugar, tomato ketchup and soy sauce, which is topped up with pineapple chunks, green pepper, onion and sesame seeds.
This is combined with a deep-fried meat such as chicken, pork, prawns or shrimp, and is usually served with rice.
In other words, this is a true guilty pleasure.
However, these are the basic elements which you want to nail down in order to made a delicious sweet and sour recipe which you can easily replicate at home.
There are many variations, and even in the term “sweet and sour” in China it will be a lot different depending where you go, but this recipe tries its best to make a version which is popular in UK Chinese restaurants.
Sweet and Sour Chicken meal prep – Will it go soggy?
There is no doubt that sweet and sour chicken tastes best when it is made fresh as the chicken pieces are deep fried and crunchy.
If you are going to make this fakeaway recipe fresh, I suggest deep drying the chicken, however if you want a healthier alternative or plan to make this recipe for a make-ahead meal, I would suggest either shallow frying the chicken in several batches.
This may be an odd recipe to meal prep considering it is not exactly macro-friendly and that it involves deep frying which is why I have listed another variation below for a healthier version.
How to make this macro-friendly?
- Do not use a batter for the chicken and instead add it to your sweet and sour sauce.
- Serve with cauliflower or brown rice instead of basmati rice.
- Use low sodium tomato ketchup,
- It is hard to make this sugar-free but removing the brown sugar is fine due to the sweetness of the ketchup and pineapple chunks (if you do this, reduce by a spoon of vinegar).
It will not taste soggy if you eliminate the batter for the chicken, however this meal prep recipe has been shallowed fried which still tastes great for a make-ahead lunch or dinner.
When I made this recipe fresh it tasted just like a take out which was more cheaper, fresh and more satisfying.
I will be doing this again on the odd Friday night for sure.
I would follow the same recipe if you are accustomed to the westernized sweet and sour chicken dish where I have used malt vinegar and eliminated using soy sauce, while the pineapple chunks really does sweeten out this meal.
It is okay to bend the rules now and again even if you are following a weight loss diet, as long if your diet generally well balanced and in moderation.
I experimented using this meal prep recipe for a week to see the verdict and can confirm it still tastes great up to three to four days. However, the best solution is to make this fresh on a Friday or Saturday night and eat the leftovers the next day.Print
Sweet and Sour Chicken is a popular Chinese takeaway favourite.
But can you meal prep it?
I done all the hard work to find out.
- 300g Chicken Breasts (diced)
- 90g Plain Flour
- 30g Corn Starch / Corn Flour
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- 1 Large Onion (cut into chunks)
- 1x Red Bell Pepper
- 1x Green Bell Pepper
- Pineapple Chunks
- 3 tbsp Malt Vinegar
- 150ml Tomato Ketchup
- 5 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp Sesame Seeds
- Add vegetable oil to your wok which will be enough to deep fry. If you want to shallow fry instead, add less vegetable oil to your wok or large frying pan. Both of these methods will work but deep frying produces quicker results.
- To your prep bowl, add the plain flour, corn flour, baking powder and water. Stir to combine and add the paprika too.
- Cut the chicken breasts into diced chunks, season with salt and black pepper, and add to your prep bowl.
- Once your wok or large frying pan is heated (175°C for deep frying) , and the chicken chunks and fry until golden brown, for around 5 minutes.
- Remove and strain out the excess oil on kitchen roll. You now have battered chicken.
- Add the vegetable oil to your large frying pan on medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, until they are translucent.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste and continue to stir, followed by the peppers for another minute.
- Add in the remainder ingredients: tomato ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and pineapple chunks.
- Allow to simmer for a few minutes and reduce the heat.
- Once the sauce has thickened, add the battered chicken and stir to combine for 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
- Best served with rice
- For meal prep purposes, refrigerate up to four days.
- For best results, deep fry the chicken. However, for meal prep, shallow frying works really well.
- You can use either fresh pineapple chunks or tin pineapple chunks – the latter is a real time saver.
- Category: Fakeaway
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Serving Size: 1 Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Calories: 372
- Sugar: 31.2g
- Sodium: 1193.2mg
- Fat: 6.1g
- Saturated Fat: 0.9g
- Carbohydrates: 57.6g
- Fiber: 3.6g
- Protein: 21.5g
Keywords: Sweet and sour chicken