Chinese Sweet & Sour Chicken Balls

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I am a sweet and sour chicken balls fanatic. I love this classic takeout dish and have always wanted to make it at home.

But whenever I try a new recipe, it never goes well. Why is it so difficult to find a recipe that can compete with my local takeout shops’? Albeit not a difficult dish to make, all the failed attempts have made it an intimidating one.

Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls

For many, many years now I have tried and tested many different sweet and sour chicken recipes. The biggest problem I run into is the sauce.

Now it might seem strange to focus so much on the sauce, but sweet and sour chicken is very similar to macarons. The shell (aka the chicken) is merely a vessel for the filling (the sweet and sour sauce).

Perfecting a sauce that plays with two different flavor profiles is not easy. However, this recipe hands-down has the ultimate sweet and sour sauce.

This sauce has the perfect consistency and a very well balanced flavor profile. You will see that the color isn’t as red as you get it in the takeout boxes and that is because they often use food coloring to get it to that shade.

Besides the sauce being absolute perfection, the chicken is also crispy and not dry at all!

From now onwards you don’t ever have to be intimidated by this dish again – you have found the perfect recipe!

How To Make Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls

Heat the vegetable oil until it reaches 320 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make the batter, combine the self-raising flour and salt in a bowl. Add the water while whisking continuously to create a batter. Allow the mixture to stand for 5-10 minutes. Add the oil to make the batter shiny.

Next, prepare the chicken breasts by cutting them into 1-2 inch blocks. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Toss the chicken blocks in the flour and set aside.

When your batter has rested, dip each chicken piece into the batter, then the hot oil. Fry the balls for about 4 minutes or until they are fully cooked and golden brown.

Repeat the process until all the chicken balls have been fried. Drain them on a wire rack to remove any excess oil.

To make the sweet and sour sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small pot and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Serve the warm chinese chicken balls with the sweet and sour sauce with your favorite accompaniment. Follow the directions below to learn how to make chicken balls round.

Chinese Sweet & Sour Chicken Balls

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: AppetizersCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Medium
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 
Calories

350

kcal

This is the sweet and sour chicken recipe you have been looking for! It is a delicious and easy recipe to make with great textures and well-balanced flavors.

Ingredients

  • For the Batter
  • 4/5 cup (190ml) self-raising flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 4/5 cup (190ml) cold water

  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil

  • For the Chicken
  • 1 chicken breasts

  • 1 tablespoon self-raising flour

  • Fine salt, to taste

  • White pepper, to taste

  • For the Sweet and Sour
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar

  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

  • ½ teaspoon tomato paste or puree

  • 2 teaspoons Worcester sauce

Directions

  • Place the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a large pot. Heat the oil until it reaches 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • First, start by making the batter. Combine the self-raising flour and salt in a bowl. Slowly add the water while whisking continuously to create a batter. Allow the mixture to stand for 5-10 minutes. Add the oil to make the batter shiny.
  • While the batter is resting, prepare the chicken breasts. Cut the breast into 1-2 inch blocks. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Toss the chicken blocks in the seasoned flour and set aside until needed.
  • When your batter is ready to be used, move the flour-coated chicken pieces and batter closer to the heated oil.
  • Work in batches if you have a small pot of oil. Add a piece of chicken into the batter and then directly into the oil. Fry the balls for about 4 minutes or until they are fully cooked and golden brown.
  • Repeat the process until all the chicken has been fried. Drain the balls on a wire rack to prevent them from becoming soggy on a paper towel.
  • To make the sweet and sour sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small pot and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  • Serve the warm chicken balls with the sweet and sour sauce with some flavored rice or noodles.

Notes

  • The batter must be allowed to rest. Resting the batters makes it airy and removes all the lumps.
  • If your frying oil is too hot and the batter becomes too dark too quickly, lower the heat of the oil by adding additional cold oil or removing the pot from the heat.
  • Calories: 4 chicken balls = 294 calories

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Tips & Tricks

  • An easy way to tell if your chicken is cooked through is when the balls float on top of the oil, when the batter has become crispy, when the balls are golden brown and when they have cooked for the recommended amount of time.
  • If you prefer a thicker sweet and sour sauce, simply use some corn starch to thicken it up. Make sure the sauce boils to cook out the starchy flavor.
  • The sweet and sour sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Simply remove and heat slightly before serving it with a meal of your choice.

Conclusion

This recipe is proof that sweet and sour chicken isn’t difficult; it all depends on the ratios of ingredients to balance the flavors well.

This recipe does just that. It has very easy and straight forward steps that won’t take you hours to make. It cuts out all those unnecessary steps other recipes have.

The sweet and sour chicken batter should come out beautifully crisp and golden brown.

The sauce is extremely easy to make and balances the sweet and sour components perfectly.

All in all, you don’t ever have to feel intimidated by this chinese battered chicken dish again! The perfect homemade takeout recipe has been found.

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