Chinese Chicken Balls Recipe & Homemade Sweet And Sour Sauce
Chinese chicken balls served with a homemade sweet and sour sauce; the perfect fakeaway recipe that is so easy to make at home. Perfect for gatherings, as a side dish and to impress family and friends. Find out how to make these tender and juicy battered chicken balls below.
I have to admit, I am late to the party! It was only a few years ago when I first ordered chicken balls at a Chinese takeaway and I’ve been hooked ever since. And as always, I had a go at my making my own and here I am sharing this delicious recipe with you. Tender chicken pieces coated in a thick batter, deep fried until golden and crispy. And let’s not forget the sweet and sour dipping sauce that compliments the chicken balls so well. It’s a dish everyone gets excited about in my house, it makes a tasty dinner and a mouth-watering addition to parties and gatherings.
The thought of making sweet and sour chicken balls from scratch can be quite intimidating but trust me this recipe is easy and very simple. This step-by-step recipe and video will take you through everything you need to know! Cut the takeaway bill by making your own fakeaway recipes at home, you can even make sweet and sour prawn balls, pork balls, king prawn chow mein and Singapore fried rice to go alongside this dish.
Watch How To Make It
What are sweet and sour chicken balls made of? Sweet and sour chicken balls are made by dunking diced chicken breast in a batter of self-raising flour, salt and water. The coated chicken is deep fried until golden and crispy. The chicken balls are served alongside a homemade sweet and sour sauce. You can see how to make both in the video below.
- Chicken Breast: I used two pieces of chicken breast that I diced into chunks, roughly 8 pieces per chicken breast. You can cut your chicken breast into strips for longer chicken balls.
- Seasonings: The chicken is seasoned with salt and white pepper before being coated with flour and dunked into the chicken ball batter.
- Self-Raising Flour: Self-raising flour is mixed with water and salt for flavouring to create the batter, I also like to add a teaspoon of vegetable oil for a shiny batter. But the addition of oil is not necessary.
How do you make sweet and sour sauce from scratch? To make sweet and sour sauce you simply need to reduce a mixture of water, sugar, ketchup, vinegar, pineapple juice and cornflour over a medium to high heat until the sauce has thickened.
I like to serve sweet and sour sauce with chicken balls, just like my Chinese takeaway here in the UK. I always dip the chicken balls into the sauce but you can drizzle it all over the chicken balls if you prefer.
What Is Chinese Batter Made Of?
Alongside making chicken and prawn balls, there are so many Chinese takeaway recipes that use a delicious batter. Making this batter couldn’t be any easier and only requires self-raising flour, salt and water! If you want a shiny batter, then you can add a drop of oil into the batter mixture.
How To Make Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make sweet and sour chicken balls, full instructions are on the recipe card at the bottom.
Dice your chicken breast into chunks or strips and place in a mixing bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt and white pepper to the mixing bowl and mix together until evenly combined. Add 2 tablespoons of self-raising flour to the mixing bowl and coat the chicken with the flour.
In a large mixing bowl add self-raising flour and salt, mix till evenly distributed. Pour water into the bowl and mix together. Leave the batter to rest for 5 minutes (this helps to remove lumps). After 5 minutes, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and mix together.
Heat oil in a wok or pan over a medium heat. Coat 4 to 5 chicken pieces at a time in the batter (depending on your mixing bowl size).
Add pieces of battered chicken into the oil and fry for 4 minutes or until the batter is golden. Cooked chicken balls should float to the top, if they’re not floating cook for an extra minute or two.
To make the sweet and sour sauce, place water, sugar, ketchup, pineapple juice and vinegar into a wok or frying pan and heat over a medium to high heat.
After 2 minutes, mix a small tablespoon of cornflour and a tablespoon of water in a mixing bowl and mix together. Add the cornflour mixture into the sauce and mix together. Leave the sauce to simmer for a further 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
What To Serve With Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls
There are so many ways you can eat chicken balls! You can eat them by themselves, as an appetizer or as a simple snack. This recipe would be great accompanying chicken chow mein also check out a few more fakeaway recipes below:
- King Prawn Chow Mein: Delicious egg noodles stir fried with marinated king prawns and coated in a tasty homemade chow mein sauce.
- Salt And Pepper Chips: A Chinese takeaway favourite, ready to eat in a matter of minutes. Salt and pepper chips will be perfectly matched with crispy chicken balls.
- Chicken Vermicelli: Also called rice noodles, this recipe is simple to put together and is so tasty.
- Sweet And Sour Chicken: I also love to have them with sweet and sour chicken!
- Sesame Prawn Toast: Crispy and flavoursome prawn toast that tastes delicious.
My Top Tips
When frying chicken balls, if they’re browning too fast and becoming dark quite quickly, turn the heat down. You could also add more oil to the wok or frying pan to cool down the overall temperature. I generally prefer lowering the heat to prevent using more oil.
Place fried chicken balls on a plate lined with kitchen paper, the kitchen paper will absorb excess oil.
The key to chicken balls coated in a fluffy, crispy and tender batter is self-raising flour. This type of flour is what Chinese takeaway shops use and will give you the best copycat chicken balls.
When making the sweet and sour dipping sauce for the chicken balls, be free to make adjustments in order to suit your pallet. For example, if you want to make the sauce sharper add extra vinegar or more sugar if you would like the sauce sweeter. Make small adjustments using half a teaspoon at a go, this is to avoid overpowering the sauce with a particular flavour.
A great indication to know whether your chicken balls are cooked is if they’re floating to the top or not. Cooked chicken balls will float to the top, when the batter is crispy and golden in colour, then they’re ready to be taken out of the oil.
Equipment You Need
Skimmer: Used to remove the fried and very hot chicken balls from the oil. A skimmer is perfect for removing cooked food from hot oil or boiling water.
Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls Recipe
- 300 g Chicken Breast
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp White Pepper
- 2 tbsp Self-Raising Flour
Batter For Chicken
- 200 g Self-Raising Flour
- 200 ml Water
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vegetable Oil
Sweet And Sour Sauce
- 230 ml Water
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- 3 tbsp Ketchup
- 3 tbsp Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Pineapple Juice
- 1 tbsp Cornflour Mixed with 1 tbsp Water
- Dice your chicken breast into chunks or strips and place in a mixing bowl.
- Add a teaspoon of salt and white pepper to the mixing bowl and mix together until evenly combined.
- Add 2 tablespoons of self-raising flour to the mixing bowl and coat the chicken with the flour.
- In a large mixing bowl add self-raising flour and salt, mix till evenly distributed. Pour water into the bowl and mix together. Leave the batter to rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and mix together.
- Heat oil in a wok or pan over a medium heat. Coat 4 to 5 chicken pieces at a time in the batter (depending on your mixing bowl size).
- Add pieces of battered chicken into the oil and fry for 4 minutes or until the batter is golden. Cooked chicken balls should float to the top, if they’re not floating cook for an extra minute or two.
- To make the sweet and sour sauce, place water, sugar, ketchup, pineapple juice and vinegar into a wok or frying pan and heat over a medium to high heat.
- After 2 minutes, mix a small tablespoon of cornflour and a tablespoon of water in a mixing bowl and mix together. Add the cornflour mixture into the sauce and mix together. Leave the sauce to simmer for a further 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
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