Friday Night Fakeaway: Classic Sweet & Sour Chicken recipe

Is it just me, or is anyone else dying for a Chinese takeaway? 

It’s Friday and there’s literally nothing else I’d love to do more than pick up the phone and put an order in with my local Chinese. However, tempting as it may be, I must resist; my bank account will thank me later.

That’s where this simple and delicious recipe comes in handy. Not only is this dish packed full of that sumptuous sweet and sour flavour that already has my mouth watering, but it’s also super easy to put together, even for a novice chef.

So, instead of popping into your local takeaway this week, why not give this recipe a whirl and give your taste buds a treat.

Serves: 4

Time: 60 minutes


300g basmati rice, to serve

Vegetable oil, for frying

100ml soda water, chilled

140g self-raising flour

25g corn flour

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks

Spring onions, finely shredded, to serve

For the sauce:

1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into chunks

3 red chillies, 1 cut into chunks, 2 halved and deseeded

425g tin pineapple chunks, drained and juice reserved

4 star anise

Juice of lime

100g caster sugar

100ml rice wine vinegar


Preheat the oven to 140°C / 275°F / Gas mark 1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and set aside.

In a pan, add the red pepper, chunks of chilli and pineapple juice and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.

Purée the sauce in a food processor. Return to the pan with the pineapple chunks, chilli halves, star anise, lime juice, sugar and vinegar.

Gently simmer for 20-30 minutes until reduced and sticky. Pour into a microwave safe bowl, cover with cling film and set aside.

Cook the rice according to the instructions, drain, fluff with a fork and set aside in a serving bowl.

Fill a large pan 1cm deep with vegetable oil and heat until it’s obviously quite hot.

Whisk the soda water and 100ml cold water into the self-raising flour with a little salt, this is your batter. Stir the batter well.

Tip the corn flour onto a plate. Dust the chicken with corn flour, then dip into the batter.

One at a time, lower into the hot oil (about 5-6 every batch). Turn up the heat to keep the chicken frying, if needed, and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning once.

When cooked, drain on the baking tray, and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Microwave the sauce to re-heat only, not piping hot. Stack the chicken onto a plate with the warm sauce on the side, and scatter with shredded spring onions.