Skip the take out and make this infinitely better – and far healthier – homemade Far East favorite. This recipe serves four people so be sure to store the extras for lunch or dinner the next day.
I have a confession…this Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry was supposed to be made with tofu. Truth is, Mr. EN just wasn’t feelin’ the tofu…at all. When I left for work on Tuesday morning I announced, “Tofu Stir Fry for dinner tonight,” at which he replied, “great”. (Not big G “GREAT!” like he does for pulled pork, but little g “great,” with a hint of disappointment and a hefty dose of sarcasm.)
So… I decided to change course. That’s what’s great about this dish. It’s super versatile.
You can make this recipe work with chicken, tofu, shrimp, boneless pork… you can even make it vegetarian. The sweet and sour sauce pairs nicely with all of the aforementioned proteins plus, the brightly colored peppers, onions, and pineapple make this dish extra pretty on the plate. Couple that with the fact that it’s quick to prepare and great-tasting, and you’ve got yourself a weeknight keeper!
Lifesaver = already cut-up chicken – I bought boneless, skinless chicken breast which was already cut into bite size pieces and ready to stir fry. At $3.50 a pound, it was a bargain and a huge time saver.
Is rice vinegar a deal breaker? No, but it is nice. Rice vinegar is sweeter than apple cider vinegar because it contains a little sugar. You can use either kind in this recipe, both will work.
Introducing – No salt added ketchup. Yup, that’s right. Have you seen it? It’s what Mr. EN used for the sauce and it worked wonderfully. If you’re watching your sodium intake – and we all should be these days – this ketchup is for you. Thank you Hunts!
Optional add ins – if you like sweet and sour sauce with a bit of a kick, try adding any of these to the pan while the chicken, sauce and veggies are cooking: a pinch or two of red pepper flakes, a few teaspoons of fresh grated ginger, a dollop of chili garlic sauce, or a squirt or two of Sriracha. (I added fresh ginger and Sriracha to mine.)
What to eat with it: We put one cup of brown rice in the rice cooker and when the chicken was done so was the rice. One cup of uncooked brown rice yields about four, ¾ cup servings so you’ll have plenty left over for lunch or dinner the next day.
Are you ready to ditch the take out and try this dish for yourself? You won’t be disappointed.
Peace, love, and good eats, from our Empty Nest to yours.
Trending this week in the ENE kitchen: Nakano All Natural Citrus Seasoned Rice Vinegar. You can buy it at Walmart for $1.96.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry
Yield 4 Servings
The Sauce - Makes one cup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2/3 cup pineapple juice (use the juice from the canned pineapple, below)
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons no-salt-added ketchup
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium regular or gluten-free soy sauce
- Pinch red pepper flakes (or more if you like)
The Stir Fry - Serves 4
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oil - vegetable or olive oil
- 1 large poblano pepper or 1 medium green pepper, sliced
- 1 medium red pepper, sliced
- 1 medium orange pepper, sliced
- I purple onion, sliced
- 1 cup pineapple chunks, packed in their own juice, drained
- 3 tablespoons water or no-salt chicken broth
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, no-salt ketchup, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in cornstarch slurry (from step 1) and cook until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- Make the chicken and veggies: In a medium bowl, whisk together corn starch, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and ground ginger.
- Lightly toss the chicken pieces in the cornstarch/spice mixture until lightly coated.
- Place 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick skillet and heat until hot.
- Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and cook about 4 minutes, over medium high heat until slightly brown. (The chicken will still be pink inside.)
- Remove the chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon.
- Add the sliced poblano pepper, red pepper, orange pepper, and onion to the pan. Cook 4-5 minutes, over medium heat, until slightly tender.
- Return the chicken to the pan and add water or chicken broth, and ½ cup of the sweet and sour sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook 3-4 minutes until chicken is no longer pink inside.
- Add the pineapple and simmer 1-2 minutes more.
- Optional - Sprinkle with green onion just before serving.
Note: The sauce makes one cup. You use ½ cup of sauce in this recipe, which serves four. If you reduce the recipe to make only two portions, you will need ¼ cup of sauce.
Serving Size 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 109 mg
Sodium 501 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 31 g
Protein 36 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.