Fried Sweet & Sour Pineapple Chicken

Who doesn’t love having Chinese takeout for dinner?? I know it’s the furthest thing from authentic Chinese recipes and cuisine, but it’s still so good! I’ve tried to remake some of my favorite Chinese takeout recipes and this is one that I’ll always prefer homemade over restaurant style – a (sort of) sweet and sour chicken with pineapple! It’s crunchy, tangy, and filling but I think the batter used in this recipe is just better than what you get from most Americanized Chinese restaurants. Instead of a plain flour or cornstarch batter, soy sauce and sesame oil are mixed into the batter so the chicken has some flavor right from the start.

pineapple chicken 1.jpg

After frying the chicken to crunchy perfection, you mix it into a thick and tangy sauce with pineapple, more soy sauce, and brown sugar. Served over rice and with steamed veggies, it’s absolutely delicious. Not as quick and easy as takeout – but the effort definitely pays off.


For the chicken:

  • 2-2.5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts trimmed of fat
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • Black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • Oil for frying

For the sauce:

  • 1 can of pineapple chunks with juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • White or brown rice, steamed according to package directions

How To

  1. Cut your chicken up into small, bite-size pieces and pour into a medium bowl. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, egg, and pepper, then mix with a rubber spatula. Let chicken sit in batter for ~30 minutes (can sit for up to 4 hours). When ready to cook, add cornstarch and mix well.
  2. Heat about 1/2″ of oil in deep pot over medium heat until shining on top. Add chicken pieces one by one, trying to keep them from touching (it’s best to fry it in batches). Fry and turn occasionally until all sides are golden brown. Remove from oil and let pieces drain on a paper towel. Repeat until all chicken is fried.
  3. While chicken is frying, prepare the sauce (also a good timepineapple chicken 2 to start your rice if you aren’t using a microwavable bag variety – I always stay away from those). Pour pineapple juice and chunks into a medium or large saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until it comes to a low boil. Add brown sugar and soy sauce, stirring to combine. Let sauce simmer for a few minutes, then add cornstarch combined with water. Sauce will thicken quickly.
  4. Add fried chicken into finished sauce, and stir to coat each piece. Serve over rice and enjoy!



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