Do you sometimes wish you could cook something restaurant-like but not mess up even on your first time trying it?
Chinese cuisine has many options for you, and a sweet and sour chicken dish could be what you’re looking for.
Many find it addictive and suitable as a lunch option or a dinner entrée, and you can always find the right side for it.
So what does sweet and sour chicken taste like, and are there ways to cook them with a personal twist? You can cook it in some exciting ways so let’s learn how.
What is Sweet and Sour Chicken?
A dish with a name that suggests its taste, sweet and sour chicken, is a Chinese dish featuring chicken cooked in a rich tangy sauce.
Sweet and sour chicken can use either white or dark meat and is prepared by cooking fried chicken in sweet and sour sauce.
The chicken is fried after coating it in a cornstarch batter.
And the sauce uses a ketchup base with sugar as the sweetener and vinegar or pineapple as the sour element.
Ingredients like brown sugar and soy sauce add a depth of color to the dish, resulting in a dark-brown shade.
Sweet and sour chicken is a winner of palates, and you’ll most likely see it served with plain white rice or fresh veggies.
This dish is effortless yet delicious, and it takes less than 30 minutes.
This is one of the best reasons to serve sweet and sour chicken as your next meal item.
What Does Sweet and Sour Chicken Taste Like?
Just as its name suggests, this chicken dish has elements of sweetness and sourness wrapped in the sauce.
You can imagine its taste as a fried chicken that is sweet and tangy.
The texture of the chicken is tender and juicy, and it can be crunchy depending on how you prepare it.
Meanwhile, the sauce is thick and sticky with a vibrant glaze-like appearance.
If you use chicken breasts, the meat will be tender and delicate to eat.
On the other hand, the thighs feel firmer and elastic yet tender and juicy.
Each bite of this chicken is introduced with a sweetness that gets more complex and ends with a tangy aftertaste.
Because of its bright red color, some like to assume the meat tastes spicy, but it is not so.
The dish focuses only on providing sweet, sour, and tangy elements.
Many may compare sweet and sour chicken to orange chicken, which is another Chinese chicken dish, but they’re quite different.
The latter uses only white meat, is more on the sweeter end, and has mild spicy elements, while the former is moderately sweet and sour.
But if you’re wondering how to make your sweet and sour chicken taste good every time you make it, always serve it hot right after it’s done.
There’s no better way to enjoy tender meat with a super crispy exterior coated in sauce.
So can you get takeout sweet and sour chicken? You can, but don’t try it; you’ll be disappointed with how different it tastes.
The dish will probably not be warm enough to offer its rich aroma, and the meat won’t have the satisfying crunch either.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken?
This tangy chicken dish is quite easy to prepare, but you can always make use of some helpful tips, so here are some:
- Don’t skip the marinating: If you want your meat full of flavor, you must marinate them for a minimum of 1 hour. Rub the seasonings well with the meat before letting it sit.
- Bread and deep-fry the chicken: The standard recipes will ask for a cornstarch batter, but you can try something different. Deep-frying the chicken with a breading before adding it to the sauce gives it an interesting crunch and texture.
- Add pineapples for some fiber: Pineapples give both sweet and tangy elements to the chicken. It also contributes much to the overall taste and adds some fiber to your system.
- Add cooking wine and sugar to the marinate: If you’re not a fan of the typical aroma of chicken, you can extinguish it using cooking wine. Meanwhile, the sugar will help the chicken retain its moisture throughout the cooking process.
- Add pepper flakes: If you don’t like the idea of having to munch on tangy flavors alone, adding some pepper flakes to the marinate will give you the spice you desire.
What Does Sweet and Sour Chicken Taste Good With?
Skip the rice and veggie standards and try these exciting sides instead, and your sweet and sour chicken will taste better than ever:
- Potato soup: Potato and chicken are a definite match. And you can always count on a hearty potato soup to provide the complementing flavors for any sweet or tangy dish. .
- Spicy noodle salad: Why settle for a simple vegetable salad when you can enjoy all the deliciousness with noodles? And since you have a Chinese chicken dish, a side dish with spicy noodles sounds like the perfect pair you could come up with.
- Steamed dumplings: There are many ways you can prepare dumplings. But since you have meat on the main dish, try a veg steamed dumpling as a side. It’ll add a mild and comforting flavor contrast and even fill you up.
- Cauliflower rice: If you’re a fan of having rice with chicken, you can take it a notch higher and choose a healthy alternative to white rice instead. Grainy with a mild flavor, cauliflower rice will add a lot of vitamins to your meal.
Chinese cuisine has many recipes you can make effortlessly.
You won’t need many ingredients or time, but you still have a delicious dish at the end of the process.
Once you’re familiar with the basics of making this dish and try it, you’ll find that it’s better off when eaten right after it’s done.
And you’ll even find takeout unnecessary.
So the next time you buy chicken, try making this dish and see if it suits your palate.
You might be amazed at how addicting the chicken tastes.