Sweet & sour chicken

When I was a child, one of my favourite midweek meals when I was a child was sweet & sour chicken. It was an easy and quick meal to prepare for my mother once we piled in from school and had only an hour to spare before disappearing to our playdates and after school activities: simply fry up some chicken while the rice is boiling and open a glass of Dr Oetker’s sweet and sour sauce. Did your skin just crawl a little? Yup, I referenced a ready-made sauce. Shudder.

Knowing what I know now about my body and its intricacies, the onion and sugar in the – frankly, delicious – ready-made sauce didn’t do me any favours. But I didn’t.

It was only recently that a fellow Instagrammer @fodmaprecipes posted a super simple recipe to recreate the sweet-and-sour deliciousness of this faux Asian dish. I made some adjustments and beefed it up with a whole lot of veg. Speaking of beef, other animal protein, like pork and duck, is also delicious with this sauce. Tofu could probably work as well, but my tummy does not agree with soy-based products, so what do I know?


  • 400g chicken breast (pork or duck are delicious too)
  • green parts of 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 sliced carrots, handful of mangetout, broccoli and mini corn
  • 1-2 tins of pineapple chunks in juice (not syrup)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • Cornstarch to thicken


  1. Fry the protein, onions and chilli in a large pan. Season with salt and pepper
  2. Add vegetables and half a tin of pineapple chunks.
  3. In a second pan, simmer 300ml pineapple juice (from the tin), soy sauce, red wine vinegar,  rice malt syrup, salt and pepper, and add the other half of pineapple chunks. Add cornstarch to thicken if needed or let reduce by itself over a medium heat.
  4. Add to the chicken and veg. Stir for a few minutes.
  5. Serve with rice

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