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Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

This pineapple chicken stir fry has a Chinese sweet and sour feel to it, but with a more complex flavour profile but with no extra work!

Portrait close up image of a Chinese influenced sweet and sour pineapple chicken dish served with white rice

Sticky Spicy Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Sweet and sour is so often the bedrock flavour profile of many of my recipes.

Whether it be obvious like my sweet and sour pork chops or my chicken pathia sweet and sour curry, or a little more obscure as in my baked feta cheese with tomatoes and peppers it is my favourite flavour mojo.

This Chinese takeaway inspired, slight spicy pineapple chicken stir fry recipe aims for a rounder flavour than a typical sauce.

If you favour a more traditional sauce then you could use the one that I make in my crispy battered sweet and sour chicken balls recipe.

The sweet elements in this chicken stir fry are pineapple, pineapple juice, ketchup and peppers and just a little sugar!

Our sour elements come from both rice wine and dark and rich Chinkiang vinegar.

Throw in some soy sauce for seasoning and we are good to rock and roll.

Portrait overhead image of a Chinese influenced sweet and sour pineapple chicken dish served with white rice

Ingredient Guide.

There a couple of ingredients here that you may not have come across before.

The first is Chinkiang vinegar, I use it ALL OF THE TIME, in everything from my Chinese Spare ribs through to my kung pao chicken.

It is a rice vinegar from Southern China but it is dark and has a gloriously round flavour whilst retaining a sharpness. It adds a rich complexity to the flavour of the sweet and sour sauce for this pineapple chicken.

You can use any rice vinegar in this recipe but it will change the flavour significantly.

Next up is rice wine, I usually use Shaoxing wine, it adds a different type of sharpness to the recipe.

Again it is an ingredient I use all of the time, so don’t worry about it not getting used. I have plenty of recipes for you to use it up in!

A couple of other notes on this pineapple chicken recipe:

  1. Avoid using canned pineapple in syrup, it adds way too much sweetness to this recipe.
  2. Fresh pineapple is perfectly ok to use.
  3. Feel free to either omit or increase the chilli flakes.
Portrait image of a Chinese influenced sweet and sour pineapple chicken dish served with white rice

Serving Suggestions.

This simple sweet and sour pineapple chicken recipe is most often served with plain boiled rice in my house.

Although on occasions I do serve it with my fried potatoes. I’m British and “chips” work with everything especially if it has a sweet and sour sauce!

It is also great served alongside my stir fried broccoli or asparagus stir fry.

If you are a noodle fiend then these soy and peanut noodles would also work really well!

Square image of a Chinese influenced sweet and sour pineapple chicken dish served with white rice
Yield: 2 Servings

Easy Stir Fried Pineapple Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Sweet and sour chicken can be a polarising dish, this pineapple chicken stir fry recipe has a rich and round flavour and it tastes fantastic!


For the Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Wine
  • 2 Tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp Pineapple Juice (From the can is fine so long as it is not syrup)
  • 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 50 ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Water
  • 1 Tbsp Cornflour

For the Chicken

  • 350 g (12 oz) Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 75 g (1/2 Cup) Onion
  • 1/2 Tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1 Small Red Pepper
  • 1 Small Green Pepper
  • 100 g (1/2 Cup) Pineapple Chunks
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds


For the Sauce

  1. Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce with the exception of the cornflour in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
  3. Mix the cornflour for the sauce with one extra tablespoon of water and whisk it into the sauce.
  4. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken and set aside.

For the Chicken

  1. Peel, top and tail the onion and cut it into 8 wedges.
  2. Cut the peppers into bite-sized 2cm (3/4") chunks.
  3. Cut the chicken thighs into 2-2.5 cm (3/4-1") pieces.
  4. Slice the garlic and finely as you can.
  5. Heat a wok over high heat and toast the sesame seeds for 1-2 minutes before removing and setting aside.
  6. Return the wok to the heat and add the oil.
  7. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 15-30 seconds.
  8. Add the onion wedges and chilli flakes then stir fry for 2 minutes.
  9. Throw in the chicken and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Add the diced sweet pepper and fry for 2 minutes.
  11. Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the sauce and add the pineapple.
  12. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, this should take no more than 5 minutes.
  13. Serve sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 608Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 224mgSodium: 1448mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 3gSugar: 43gProtein: 45g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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Julie @ Running in a Skirt

Monday 19th of March 2018

This looks soooo good! I love Asian food lately so I need to give this a try. Such pretty photos too!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

Thanks Julie.

Jacqueline Debono

Monday 19th of March 2018

Like many Brits I love the sweet and sour pork or chicken you get in UK Chinese restaurants, even if it isn't authentic Chinese! I've never made it myself but this sounds tempting. Can I use different vinegar? What kind of vinegar is Chiangking? I don't think I can find that here in Italy!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

You can use any vinegar you like, Chinkiang vinegar is a black rice vinegar and typically common in Asian stores, although I do have to travel 320km to get mine :o I have heard of many people using balsamic as a sub and I have tested it out, it obviously is not the same as Balsamic is a much more complex flavour. However having said that it is really tasty, you can push towards cider vinegar or wine vinegar but they are much harsher.

Corina Blum

Monday 19th of March 2018

This sounds delicious! I thought for years that I didn't like sweet and sour chicken as the ones I'd had as takeaways had always been too sweet but then I made it at home and discovered that with a little less sweetness it is a fantastic meal.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

Thanks Corina, I agree sometimes the sweet element can take over and all to often the sour element is too harsh to try and combat that. But done well it is a wonderful dish!


Tuesday 17th of November 2015

This recipe looks great, but I REALLY love these bowls, Brian!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

Thanks Hillary :)


Tuesday 17th of November 2015

This looks so much better than any takeout I've ever had!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

Why thank you very much, it tastes great and is really simple :)