Quick and Easy, Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken

This crispy sweet and sour chicken recipe adds an extra dimension to a takeaway classic.

Portrait image of Chicken with Honey and Soy with a shiny glaze being picked up by the diner with red chopsticks set against a white backdrop

Crispy Honey Soy Chicken.

Prepare yourselves for fakeaway heaven. This recipe is a classic western take on Chinese food, boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a crispy coating.

Then a silky salty, sweet and sour sauce, it is both easy and delicious.

It is a recipe that comes together really quickly, cooking from start to finish in less than 30 minutes and is a real crowd-pleaser.

The sauce on this is very similar in flavour to the one I use in my honey and soy glazed tuna steak.

Let’s face it sweet and sour pork balls and their chicken brethren are perennial takeaway favourites.

I use kefir as the base for my crispy crumb, you could use buttermilk for this if you want.

They have a similar flavour and texture and will essentially do exactly the same thing.

Portrait close up image of Chicken with Honey and Soy with a shiny glaze served in an Asian style bowl decorated with a red flower set against a white backdrop

What Chicken To Use.

I have no idea why, but I always gravitate towards chicken breast in my sweet and sour chicken recipes.

This sweet and sour chicken recipe is no different!

Sure it does not have as much flavour as chicken thighs but it is easier to get big substantial ‘cubes’ of chicken.

It is also easier to cut into a uniform size. I personally think this is important for a quickly cooked chicken recipe.

It means that the chicken cooks evenly and there are no rubber bullets or pink bits!

The quick-cooking and kefir or buttermilk also help stop it from drying out.

The honey soy flavours are also not too big, so they do not overwhelm the delicate chicken breasts.

Landscape image of Chicken with Honey and Soy with a shiny glaze served in an Asian style bowl decorated with a red flower set against a white backdrop

The Secret to Deep Frying.

Fried food is not inherently greasy or soggy, only poorly fried food is greasy of soggy.

The secret to frying food is getting the oil at the correct temperature. If the oil is not hot enough your food soaks up oil like a sponge.

If your temperature is correct then this will not happen and you will have a crisp coating for the chicken.

I personally prefer to use a fryer as it is ‘safer’, more accurate and they make the process easy. But if you take care this can be cooked in a wok or pan.

However, you must ensure that you do not fill the pan more than a third full with oil if you are doing that.

This dish is inspired by a fellow recipe writer Jennifer Meyering and her sticky honey chicken.

Portrait image of Chicken with Honey and Soy with a shiny glaze served in an Asian style bowl decorated with a red flower set against a white backdrop
Recipe for Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken

Recipe for Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This simple and quick fried crispy sweet and sour chicken is a take on classic takeaway recipes with a bit of a twist.


  • 350 g Chicken Breast
  • 150 ml Kefir
  • 1 Tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 Tbsp Cold Water
  • 100 g Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • 150 g Plain Flour
  • Cooking Oil for Frying
  • 2 Spring Onions


  1. Cut the chicken into 2cm cubes and season with salt.
  2. Drop into the kefir and mix to coat.
  3. Heat together the honey, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil in a pan until it comes to the boil.
  4. Now mix together the cornflour and water and add to the boiling sauce whisking all the time until it thickens.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan over a high-medium heat so that it is about 4cm deep.
  6. Dip the chicken first into the flour and then into the kefir then back into the flour.
  7. Fry in hot oil at 180ยฐC or 350ยฐF until golden brown and cooked through.
  8. The amount of time this will take will depend very much on the size of the chicken but around 4-6 minutes as a rough guide.
  9. You will need to do this in batches as you do not want to overcrowd the pan and reduce the temperature of the oil which will lead to soggy chicken.
  10. Set each batch aside on some kitchen roll, when all of the chicken is cooked add it to the glaze and mix to coat.
  11. Serve on a bed of white sticky rice with the chopped spring onions.


Serve with plain sticky rice.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 984Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 1374mgCarbohydrates: 104gFiber: 3gSugar: 45gProtein: 67g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

18 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. You are amazing with your fakeaway, another one of those I need to try. The chicken looks delicious and I am glad you find a substitute to buttermilk. I cannot find it either

    • I’m sure my regular readers think I had takeaway all the time in the UK… It was very much a rarity although eating out happened at least once a week, but hey the things you miss when you leave your homeland are a constant surprise.

  2. I love Chinese but it’s hard to find a good restaurant here in Italy, so I’m into making the occasional ‘fakeaway’ myself. This sounds great. Not sure if I can find buttermilk here. I’ve never used kefir but you had me reading up about it. Need to source some kefir to make kefir milk and then give it a try. It looks so good!

    • Good look with the hunt for kefir, like you a good Chinese restaurant is rarer than hens teeth here in Hungary… As a result I have many Chinese fakeaways here ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. My huge takeaway from this is using kefir as a sub for buttermilk!! I always have kefir, but I rarely have buttermilk! Now to try this yummy chicken.

    • Have fun, buttermilk is impossible to get here and whilst there are lots of hints to make it I find them a let down, kefir on the other hand works really well for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. What a cracking little recipe Bri and I would have gone with your tweaks too. Will have to add this into our midweek meal plan soon ๐Ÿ˜€


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