Sweet and Sour Chicken


When Elise asked me to be a guest writer for Simply Recipes, we decided to take Chinese favorites and make them better, lighter and easier to cook at home. So, I grabbed a take-out menu from the local Chinese restaurant and I will be working my way around those recipes for you. The first dish that popped out was Sweet and Sour Chicken.

If there’s one thing that I detest, it’s greasy fried food covered in goopy Chinese take-out sauce. Okay, so sometimes I like that stuff, but it usually those cravings come at 3 o’clock a.m. during a certain time of the month.

But, I digress.

This recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken doesn’t deep fry, but instead uses a method for creating a delicate, smooth and succulent chicken that goes perfectly with a lighter sweet and sour sauce. The secret is in the chicken marinade, specifically using egg white and cornstarch, which creates a super-light coating all around the chicken. It won’t be a crunchy, deep fried coating, but I think it’s a nice alternative, both texture-wise and weight-wise!

Read the rest of the recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken over at Simply Recipes


My Spontaneous Los Angeles Trip

Last week, I took a spontaneous trip to LA to shoot a little video that was sent off to a television station. Got an email on Thursday and flew out Monday to see Diane and Todd of White on Rice Couple, two of the most generous and talented people I know. Big hugs to them as they are in Vietnam making a documentary at the moment. Diane is my date to a week in Ixtapa, Mexico to Club Med for their Food and Wine festival!!! Yes, our husbands are jealous.

It was one of my most memorable trips – dinner with Matt and his partner Adam of Matt Bites (who was on Martha Stewart yesterday — cooking with Martha herself! Did you see?) All the pics of that evening are on Diane’s camera…which is in the jungles of Vietnam at the moment…so we’ll have to wait til she gets back.

Also met up with my “sister-in-blog” RasaMalaysia and Sarah of The Delicious Life and Tastespotting. WHY DO WE NOT HAVE PHOTOS OF THIS AWESOME NIGHT??? All of us had cameras, but no pics? WTF!!!

And here’s my baby brother, Jay. He’s 32 years old, a doctor (cardiologist) and moving to Wichita, Kansas next year to take job at a clinic.


To apply, please send $25 $100 (brother sez i’m too cheap) in a self addressed stamped envelope…haha…just kidding! oknoimnot


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Comments 39

  1. daphne

    I can never understand what do they put in the sauce (for Chinese take away)-is that oyster sauce and oil? *shudders* Frm your description, looks like it’s the same on your side of the world!

    And woah! your brother DOES sound like a catch! =)

  2. Jen Yu

    Awww, your brother is a cutie! Hey chica, glad to see you’ve been keeping busy and off the streets πŸ˜‰ Diane had said you might blow through LA while we were visiting them back in August, but it didn’t work out. Bummah. I look forward to the day when we can meet up and you will make me snort beverage out my nose because you are so dang funny. xxoo

  3. Marysol

    Your brother has your smile. And isn’t that just like a baby brother, to always take what doesn’t belong to him?

    Jaden, I love Sweet & Sour Chicken. I’ll have to try the lighter version, not that I’ve bought into that cholesterol thing, but with results like that, I’d say, change is good.

  4. threemilechild

    My (very anglo) mom makes something similar with, of all things, kielbasa instead of chicken (no coating or marinade.) Also, sweet onions in it. It sounds odd (and disgusts and horrifies my boyfriend), but it is /really/ good: sweet, sour, salty, smoky. Yum.

  5. patsyk

    I have friends who live in Lawrence, Kansas (and am from Missouri originally)… not a bad place to end up in!

    Way cool about your quick trip! Can’t wait to see more lightened recipes from you so I can eat MORE of my favorite take-out food!

  6. veron

    Shame on you , Jaden…pimping your brother out…but I guess makes good money , eh? Looks like you had a lot of fun!!

  7. kittie

    Oh, I hate take out sweet and sour – but this recipe looks lovely!

    Is the technique you used on the chicken also known as velveting?!

  8. Wicked Good Dinner

    Jaden, this recipe sounds wonderful!! While we’re on the subject, I desparately miss Chinese take out and have two questions for you…
    1. Do you have any suggestions on a soy sauce substitute? (I’m allergic)
    2. Do you know of any Asian restaurants in the Orlando area (other than Epcot) that cater to people with food allergies?

    Hey there,

    I also use Tamari in place of soy sauce and in some dishes I also use fish sauce in place of soy (like fried rice, marinades, any southeast asian foods)

    I don’t know about Orlando restaurants, as most of the time when we are in town, we’re at Disney and then it’s not really about food when we go!


  9. brilynn

    Boo urns to Kansas… I’ve got a little town in Ontario that could use a handsome and single Dr…

    Oh yeah, food… yay, another use for egg whites that are everywhere from my ice cream making!

  10. keropokman

    looks like you don’t have to worry about eating unhealthy stuff that chokes the heart. you got a bro who can help! LOL…

    i was trying to remember if mum cooks sweet and sour stuff at home. i realise she doesn’t! we only eat sweet and sour pork/chicken/etc outside! Hmmm….

  11. chunky

    a series on light chinese cooking is a brilliant idea! keep it coming steamy! by the way, i don’t think your brother is going to have a hard time finding somebody- he’s sooo cute!

  12. Cakebrain

    I think I’m the only one who likes Sweet and Sour Pork around here. I don’t care. So call me yellow-trash. If it’s made well, it’s so good! A crispy coating (I like good a good batter!) that envelopes a tender chunk of pork…all lightly coated with a tangy, lightly sweetened sauce. Little bits of juicy pineapple, pickled papaya and veggies…what’s not to like? What’samatterwiththat? Mind you, I never do the takeout version. I just eat the awesome renditions of this totally Chinese-Canadian dish in a good Cantonese restaurant. Piping hot; freshly made. Never something that’s been deep-fried 12 hours ago or sitting over a warming rack where you can watch it slowly congeal behind the greasy glass sneeze-guard!

  13. Veronica

    I love your smiles. πŸ™‚

    I rarely order sweet and sour chicken.It’s just so disappointing.If I use a sweet and sour sauce, then I use my mom’s recipe.

  14. Jenn

    Oh man, I just made your shrimp fried rice… now sweet and sour chicken — it’s like my college days all over again. I would get delivery sweet and sour and combination fried rice and eat it for 3 or 4 days. Here in grad school I have a tighter budget and no decent Chinese restaurant in the delivery radius that I know about, so I can make it at home! Yay!

  15. RecipeGirl

    Sweet and sour is my fave. A healthier version is a great idea.

    Sounds like you have some exciting things going on. I’ve always wanted to meet that White on Rice Couple. Someday…

    Cute bro. He’ll be snatched up in no time!

  16. carmen

    your brother is super-cute! the recipe looks tasty too – i think i would actually prefer this to the deep-fried restaurant variety.

  17. Mike

    The recipe looks great (and something better than takeout is always welcome). Also, Mexico? Hope you have a great time–and get pics this time! πŸ˜‰

  18. kayenne

    Tell your brother my heart hurts. Let me go look for my red sparkly shoes, so that I can go for a walk down the yellow brick road. =D

  19. SteamyKitchen

    Of course! You can substitute tofu for the chicken. Just take some firm tofu, slice in 1″ thick slabs and grill each side 2 minutes. Remove then make the sweet and sour sauce. Pour sauce over tofu.


  20. tigerlille

    I just discovered your site, and am so excited to find the lightened sweet and sour chicken recipe. My daughter always insists on getting the frozen Kahiki sweet and sour chicken at Walmart, which I find unbearably sweet, although at least I don’t have to worry about what the breading over the chicken might be disguising (they use quality meat). Anyway, your recipe is just what I have needed to nudge me into preparing her sweet and sour chicken at home. Looking forward to delving into the rest of your recipes…

  21. Yu Ming Lui

    Your sweet and sour chicken recipe sounds delish! I feel like making some tonight…

  22. rita


    girl, you are too much!

    have a great time at the winefest and in mexico! make me proud, dahlink! πŸ˜‰

  23. amy

    hey. like ur site.. the food looks yummieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    and ur bro is so cute, can i hav his email?

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