Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken

This Cantonese classic graced the table at every Jewish Christmas day supper I ever had as a child. It is a joy to eat to this day. Feeling nostalgic? Try some fresh pitted cherries. Want to add a bit of spice to the sauce? Add 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger. And don’t forget the toasted salted cashews for great crunch and more protein.


Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken


  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • ⅔ cup ketchup
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth, low-sodium preferred
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained, juice reserved


  • 3 cups steamed broccoli florets
  • 3 cups steamed jasmine rice
  • Additional Ingredients:
  • 1½ cups peanut or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon water


  1. In a large bowl, whisk the cornstarch, rice flour, salt, baking powder, and white pepper. Add the egg whites, mirin, and water. Whisk until no lumps remain and the consistency resembles thick pancake batter. Add the chicken and gently stir to coat. Cover and set aside while preparing the sauce.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine the ketchup, rice vinegar, brown sugar, broth, soy sauce, and reserved pineapple juice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer while frying the chicken.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until shimmering. Test the oil by adding a piece of chicken – it should bubble immediately. Carefully add the chicken, one piece at a time, without overcrowding the wok. (If it’s too crowded, the temperature of the oil will drop and the chicken will be soggy). Cook chicken until dark golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  4. Whisk the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to combine. Slowly add to the sauce, whisking constantly. Simmer the sauce for 1 minute, then fold in the pineapple chunks.
    Serve the hot crispy chicken with broccoli, jasmine rice, and sweet and sour sauce on the side.

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