Skip to Content

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls

Sweet and sour chicken balls

This easy recipe shows you how to make some delicious Chinese chicken balls in batter, with a sweet and sour sauce.

This was always one of my favourite Chinese take-out meals in the days when we used to get takeaways. Now we just make our own favourite takeout meals at home. Quick and easy and at a fraction of the cost.

chicken balls in wok
Battered Chicken balls in the wok

Batter for sweet and sour chicken balls

A good batter and hot oil is the trick to getting some crunchy chicken balls.

This sweet and sour chicken batter recipe could not be easier. It only has a few ingredients and is ready in a couple of minutes, just using a whisk. The batter sticks well to the chicken and tastes great.

crispy chicken balls
Crispy Chicken Balls

But because we deep fry these balls, it is not a really healthy sweet and sour chicken, so you should not be cooking this meal every day, however good it may be!

But it is certainly a much tastier alternative to a McNugget. The kids will love them!

A special Friday evening treat, maybe?

How to cook the chicken balls

You can cook the chicken balls in a wok or a deep fryer.

But you do have to be a bit careful not to burn the batter before the chicken is properly cooked.

If you think the batter is cooking too quickly, and you need to cool the oil down, just reduce the heat, if you are cooking in a wok. If you use a deep fryer you can also just turn the temperature down until you have the oil at the right temperature.

chicken balls with dip sauce
Chicken balls with sweet and sour dipping sauce

I cooked these in a wok, as you can see in the photo above, and really it is an easy way to do it. But be careful – a pot of boiling oil is obviously a serious safety hazard, so take all necessary precautions, and keep kids away from the stove.

Carefully place the balls in the oil with some tongs and turn with a wooden spoon. When ready to remove, use a slotted spoon or ladle to remove them. Put them on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil before serving.

If you are cooking in batches, then keep them warm in the oven on a plate.

Sweet and Sour sauce

The sweet and sour sauce is even easier to make. You may decide to serve the chicken balls covered in the sauce, but we have some in our family that prefer the crunchy chicken balls on their own, so I serve it separately.

chicken balls with sweet & sour sauce
Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls

I used some pineapple juice from a tin of pineapple slices. We ate the slices, but you could also use them to make a mango pineapple smoothie, for example.

I find the sauce goes well with some nice plain boiled white rice or Chinese fried rice.

How to eat sweet and sour chicken balls

There are plenty of ways you can eat this dish. As mentioned, it is great with white rice or fried rice. But it also goes well with some sesame noodles for example.

chicken balls with chow mein
Sweet and sour chicken with chow mein

In these pictures, I served them with a simple chow mein made with a mix of udon and soba noodles. Pretty tasty. 

But they are also good as a simple snack, using the sauce as a sweet and sour dipping sauce. Perfect as a game-day snack.

chicken balls dipping sauce

I hope you enjoy making these sweet and sour chicken balls. If you do make them, please let me know how you get on in the comments section below.


Make your own sweet and sour chicken balls

Save time producing tasty food for your family with Gav’s Weekly Meal Plan!

Just 19 US $!!

weekly meal plans, gav's kitchen products, meal prep

sweet and sour chicken balls

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This recipe will show you how to make some delicious crispy Chinese sweet and sour chicken balls - much better than your local takeaway.


For the Chicken Balls

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 280ml cold water
  • 2 tsp baking powder (or baking soda)
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil (to fry with)

For the Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 150ml Pineapple juice (I took this from a tin of pineapple slices)
  • 50g Light brown sugar
  • 50ml Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp water


Chicken Balls

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or deep fryer, until it is shimmering.
  2. In the meantime cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, keeping them as symmetrical as possible.
  3. Whisk together the flour, water, baking powder and salt in a bowl to give a nice thick batter.
  4. Coat the chicken pieces in the batter, and carefully place them in the hot oil (careful not to splash boiling oil - I do this with some tongs). In a deep fryer, place them in the basket. You may need to do this in batches. Make sure they do not touch in the oil or they will stick together.
  5. Cook in the wok for about 5 minutes, turning once, until the batter is browned on all sides and the chicken is cooked. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen paper.
  6. Check one to make sure the chicken is properly cooked, to verify the cooking time (which will vary with oil temperature), before serving.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  1. Put the pineapple juice, sugar and rice vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer on a low heat until the sugar has melted.
  2. Then add the ketchup, soy sauce, and Worcester sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the cornflour with the water with a teaspoon. After the 5 minutes add this to the saucepan. Stir until the sauce has thickened and is ready to serve.


Serve up with some plain white rice, Chinese fried rice or some noodles. Serve the sauce separately, so people can choose how much they want.

These quantities make enough chicken balls and sweet and sour sauce for about 6-8 helpings.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1253mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 29g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Chinese Fried Rice Recipe
Takeout Style Sesame Noodles
Spicy Pad Thai Recipe
Marinated Chinese Pork Loin
Crispy Mongolian Beef
Spicy Cashew Chicken
Recipe for Banana Fritters (Pisang Goreng)
Stir Fry Duck Hoisin
Stir-Fried Pak Choi

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Saturday 16th of March 2024

These are delicious, totally authentic tasting chicken balls. You would believe they come from a take out! Sauce is nice, very tangy which may not be to all tastes but great for dipping.


Wednesday 20th of March 2024

Tracy, many thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed them!


Saturday 21st of October 2023

Hi there, I’d like some clarification on your recipe please. :)

So you can cook them either in a deep fryer or a wok? Or do you deep fry them first and then brown in a wok?



Saturday 28th of October 2023

The recipe says: 'Heat the oil in a wok or deep fryer' - so yes, either or. Not both.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe