Sweet and sour chicken encompasses many styles of sauce, cuisine and cooking methods. Sweet and sour originates from China, but is also popular all through Asia, Europe and North America. Sweet and sour chicken combines chicken with vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, and onion with a mixture of fruit like pineapple or pear. In the United States, sweet and sour chicken or pork has become a popular dish served by almost every local Chinese restaurant or national Asian food chain like Panda Express or Pei Wei. While these options are OK, everyone knows that quick order food is never as fresh or tasty as homemade food. So skip the takeout and make this Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe at home. This is an easy and delicious sweet and sour chicken recipe that the entire family will enjoy.
The ingredient list for this sweet and sour chicken recipe is very simple. Most of the ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store. Some stores without an Asian or International section might not carry soy sauce or oyster sauce, but again these are easily found at any grocery store with a decent sized Asian or International section. Lastly, it is important to use white pepper and not black pepper in this recipe. White pepper adds a different flavor, level of heat, and aroma than black pepper.White pepper is easily found in the grocery store, likely right next to the black pepper.
The first step is to remove the seeds from your cucumber. No one wants to have seeds in their sweet and sour chicken.
Before you begin cooking anything, you will want to make the sweet and sour sauce. That way it can be easily added during the cooking process. To make the sauce simple add and mix the following ingredients into a mixing bowl: vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, salt, sugar, and your tomato paste. Stir it all together in your bowl until it is ready.
Next you will add your cooking oil to your wok or pan, and let it get hot. Once hot, add your garlic, and let the garlic cook until it starts to turn golden. Once the garlic is ready, add your chicken to the wok and let it fully cook. When the chicken is fully cooked, you will remove the chicken and garlic into a clean bowl. We will add it back in later on.
Next you will want to start cooking your sweet and sour sauce. Put it into the wok and let it cook. This should not take long at all, just about 30 seconds.
Once the sauce is ready, add your onions, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, and pineapple. Stir it all together until your sauce and mixed vegetables are mixed together.
Once everything is mixed together, you will add your chicken and garlic back into the wok. Again, stir everything together until all of your ingredients are mixed and covered in your sweet and sour sauce.
Plate and eat. Sweet and sour is typically served with rice. I usually like to use jasmine rice, but I sometimes when i want to feel healthier, I use brown rice, or even half jasmine rice and half brown rice mixed.
Cooking Notes: As always, you can substitute ingredients as your taste or diet dictate. There is a great vegetarian version of this dish that replaces the chicken with tofu. I also, I have seen other vegetables than the ones listed here used. For example, I have seen some recipes call for carrots. Making this dish is quick and easy, and it taste great!