Chinese Chicken Balls Recipe & Homemade Sweet And Sour Sauce
Chinese chicken balls served with a homemade sweet and sour sauce; this is a quick recipe that’s also very easy to make at home. Find out how to make these tender, tasty and juicy battered chicken balls below!
Chinese chicken balls are a popular takeaway classic that you can effortlessly recreate at home in no time! The batter is beautifully golden, the chicken is ever so tender and let’s not forget the sweet and sour dipping sauce that compliments the chicken balls so well.
This is a dish everyone gets excited about (especially in my house), it’s a tasty side dish and a mouth-watering addition to parties, gatherings and buffet-style events. Making your own sweet and sour chicken balls from scratch can look quite intimidating, but trust me, this recipe is super easy and very simple to follow.
Why You’ll Like This Recipe
- It tastes just as if you’ve ordered it from a Chinese takeaway
- This recipe is easy to double or halve the number of servings
- The taste is exceptionally good!!
- You can use this sauce to make other Chinese takeaway dishes
What Are Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls Made Off?
Sweet and sour chicken balls are made by dunking diced chicken breast in a batter made from self-raising flour, salt, oil and water. Then, the coated chicken is deep fried until golden and crispy and served alongside a homemade sweet and sour sauce. You can see how to make both the homemade sweet and sour sauce and these Chinese chicken balls in this recipe video below.
Watch How To Make It
- Chicken Breast: I used two pieces of chicken breast that I diced into chunks, roughly 8 pieces per chicken breast.
- Seasonings: The chicken is seasoned with salt and white pepper before being coated with flour and dunked into the chicken ball batter. Feel free to add other seasonings like garlic powder or ginger powder to add even more flavour.
- Self-Raising Flour: Self-raising flour is mixed with water to make the batter and salt is added for extra flavour. I also like to add a teaspoon of vegetable oil for a shiny batter, though this addition is not absolutely necessary.
- Sweet And Sour Sauce: To make this you simply need to mix ketchup, vinegar, sugar and light soy sauce together – that’s it!
How Do You Make Sweet And Sour Sauce From Scratch?
To make Chinese sweet and sour sauce you only need to mix ketchup, vinegar, sugar and light soy sauce together then let it simmer for 30 seconds to thicken. Adding pineapple juice is an optional extra if you have more of a sweet tooth.
I like to serve sweet and sour sauce with chicken balls on the side, as many Chinese takeaway shops do. Some people like to drizzle the sauce all over the chicken balls, but I always dip it into the sauce. Either way, I’m sure it will taste delicious!
Before I used to reduce a mixture of water, sugar, ketchup, vinegar, pineapple juice and cornflour over a medium to high heat until the sauce had thickened. But actually, this way takes far too long, so I now make it how I explained above.
What Is Chinese Batter Made Off?
Alongside making chicken and prawn balls, there are so many Chinese takeaway recipes that use this exact batter. It only requires self-raising flour, salt and water! You can add a drop of oil into the batter mixture if you want the batter shiny (I always do this).
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 and place into a mixing bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt and white pepper 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 until 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.
In a mixing bowl mix together ketchup, sugar, vinegar and light soy sauce. Add the sweet and sour sauce to a clean wok or pan heated over a medium to high heat and mix for 30 seconds or until the sauce has thickened.
What To Serve With Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls
Cut the takeaway bill by making your own fakeaway recipes at home, as you can tell by the number of takeaway recipes on this site, I’m kind of obsessed with making them!
The beauty of chicken balls is that they’re so versatile. Whether you’re eating them alone or serving it with a meal, you’re guaranteed to enjoy it. It’s great accompanying chicken chow mein or these 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 and it’s ready to eat in a matter of minutes.
- 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 it with sweet and sour chicken!
- Sesame Prawn Toast: Crispy and flavoursome prawn toast that tastes delicious.
My Top Tips
If the chicken balls are browning too fast, 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 using self-raising flour. This type of flour is what Chinese takeaway shops use and will give you the best texture.
When making the sweet and sour dipping sauce for the chicken balls, adjust the flavours to suit your palate. For example, if you want to make the sauce sharper add extra vinegar or more sugar if you want 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.
How Do I Know When The Oil Is At The Right Temperature?
The oil temperature should be around 180°C for the chicken balls to cook throughout and the batter to develop a golden-brown colour. If the oil temperature is too low, then that batter will absorb excess oil and turn really oily. A great way to test if the oil is ready for frying is to add a bit of batter or place a chopstick into the oil. If it starts to bubble and sizzle instantly and continuously, then it’s ready.
Also, here’s a quick tip! Don’t throw the remaining oil away after cooking. I always drain the oil in filter paper to remove any burnt batter (you can also use a skimmer). I pour the cleaned oil into an airtight container and keep at room temperature and use it whenever I’m cooking.
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.
How To Store & Reheat
Store any leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave until piping hot throughout. You can also reheat in the oven, but the texture of the batter will harden.
To freeze, allow the chicken balls to cool down before transferring into a freezer-safe and airtight container. I would put parchment paper between each layer to prevent sticking. Freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, deep fry or air fry just before serving for 2 to 3 minutes or until piping hot throughout.
Any leftover sauce can be poured into an airtight container and kept in the fridge for the next day!
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
- 8 tbsp Sugar
- 8 tbsp Ketchup
- 8 tbsp Vinegar
- 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
- Dice your chicken breast into chunks and place into a mixing bowl.300 g Chicken Breast
- Add a teaspoon of salt and white pepper and mix together until evenly combined.1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp White Pepper
- Add 2 tablespoons of self-raising flour to the mixing bowl and coat the chicken with the flour.2 tbsp Self-Raising Flour
- In a large mixing bowl add self-raising flour and salt, mix until 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.200 g Self-Raising Flour, 200 ml Water, 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 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.
- In a mixing bowl mix together ketchup, sugar, vinegar and light soy sauce. Add the sweet and sour sauce to a clean wok or pan heated over a medium to high heat and mix for 30 seconds or until the sauce has thickened.8 tbsp Sugar, 8 tbsp Ketchup, 8 tbsp Vinegar, 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
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