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Homemade, gluten free, sweet and sour chicken with crunchy and salty vegetables is a delicious choice for a weekday dinner. It’s easy to make this dish and it will take you less than 30 minutes with a handful of pantry staple ingredients.

I love this dish and I am embarrassed to admit just how much money I used to spend buying it from takeaway restaurants. I’ve always wanted to recreate this recipe with that perfect sauce, which is sticky, salty, deliciously sweet with a punch of chilli – not too much to ask!? It took me quite some time, I tested countless recipes and played around with different ingredients and proportions. I am happy to report, however, that I’ve finally managed to create a perfect sweet and sour chicken recipe which is divine, and fully hits the jackpot.

Sweet and sour chicken for a busy weekday dinner

Weekday dinner tips

You could ask, why go through so much trouble to create something that already exists just around the corner and costs less than £10? Well, I love homemade meals and love to recreate fakeaways. I love to know what I am eating and what ingredients are in the meals. By making this dish at home instead of placing an order on UberEats you can make it as a healthier dinner option:

  1. No deep frying and less oil required – you just need a splash of oil. The diced chicken doesn’t need to swim in it. Also, after you fry the pieces, use some kitchen roll to soak-up any extra oil.
  2. Minimum sugar levels – Chinese takeaways are well known for the huge amount of sugar in their dishes. By making this recipe at home, you can control the sugar level and amend it to your liking.
  3. Add different types of vegetables – when making this dish at home, treat it as an opportunity to use up all the greens and veggies. Everything works – cabbage, pak choi, onions, broccoli. You name it!

To get the best results, always preheat your pan until it’s screaming hot. The moment you add the ingredients into the pan you need to hear the ‘tzzzzz’ sound. This is how you know that it is ready and good to go. By preheating your pan, you will achieve that lovely crispiness and chicken will be golden. Also, the ingredients will be less likely to soak in all the unnecessary oils.

Secondly, always taste the sauce, because it might be that you’ll need an extra splash of soya sauce or just a touch of honey. Also, if you don’t have gochujang paste, you can easily swap it for finely chopped chilli peppers or exclude it completely. As always, just be creative and brave and don’t feel the urge to buy the new products if you aren’t going to use them later. Find the ingredients which work best for you and already exist in your fridge or cupboard.

Easy weekday dinner recipe


2 diced chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of soya sauce
1 egg
2 tablespoons of cornflour
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
Chive and parsley

200ml water
100ml honey
1 tablespoon of Gochujang paste
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 tablespoons of soya sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
½ teaspoon of 5 spice mix

Fried vegetables:
1 carrot
1 pepper
100g edamame beans
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of soya sauce

1 cup of rice
20g butter
Pinch of salt

  1. Mix the diced chicken breast together with the beaten egg and soya sauce. Marinate for 20 minutes and then add the cornflour.
  2. Prepare the sauce: add all the ingredients for the sauce into a saucepan and heat it on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until it gets sticky and glossy. Stir the sauce from time to time.
  3. Preheat the pan with a splash of oil. Fry the chicken until it became golden and crispy. After it has cooked, add the pieces on a paper towel to absorb the oil.
  4. Put the chicken pieces in a bowl and pour the sauce over them.
  5. Prepare the vegetables: in the same pan in which you made the sauce, add sesame oil together with the chopped vegetables and fry them on high heat with a splash of soya sauce.
  6. Prepare rice: wash the rice and cook it for 10 minutes. After the rice is cooked, add a knob of butter and mix everything together.
  7. Assemble the dish: add the rice, vegetables and chicken in a bowl. Sprinkle some sesame seeds, chives and parsley.

More easy and quick dinner ideas:
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Aioli Sauce
Falafels with Almond Crust and Pomegranate Salad