Sweetfire Chicken Breast is a popular Panda Express dish that was recently discontinued in certain areas (including mine) – so I had to replicate this recipe to make at home! The crispy chicken is so deliciously sweet and spicy – if you haven’t tried this before, you’re going to love it!
Make sure to cut your chicken breast into thin 1″ pieces – do not cube them!
If you cannot or do not want to use wine, you can sub with sherry, mirin, or chicken stock!
I used fresh pineapple because I had some in my refrigerator, but you can also used canned pineapple!
SWEET THAI CHILI SAUCE
I used store bought to keep things simple! 🙂
My favorite neutral oil is avocado oil, but you can also use canola or vegetable oil! I don’t use olive oil when cooking Chinese food for two reasons: 1. It has a low burning point and 2. I find that the flavor profile does not usually go with the dish.
As always, this is optional 🙂
COOKING IN THE OIL
- Do not let your frying oil drop below 325-350F when frying! I highly recommend you use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. If you see it dropping below 325F, fry your chicken in batches. Frying at a low temperature will result in too much moisture (AKA SOGGY!)
- After frying the first time, remove the chicken pieces. If excess batter pieces are floating in the oil, strain them out with a strainer to prevent them from burning during the 2nd fry.
- Let the oil come back to 350F before placing the chicken back in the oil.
Sweetfire Chicken Breast
- 1 lb chicken breast cut thinly into 1" pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
Vegetables & Aromatics
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1/2 yellow onion cut into 1/2" pieces
- 6 oz pineapple chunks cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp msg
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- Slice chicken breast thinly into 1" pieces. Marinate in a bowl with salt, white pepper, shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, grated garlic and grated ginger.
- Mince 4 cloves of garlic and 1 tbsp of ginger, and cut red bell pepper and yellow onion into 1/2" pieces. Cut pineapple into similar size chunks and set aside.
- Premix sauce in a small bowl by combining sweet thai chili sauce, chicken stock, white pepper, salt, msg, and cornstarch.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, salt, white pepper, and baking powder. Stir until combined, then dredge chicken in the flour/cornstarch mixture until well coated, shaking off any excess.
- Fry chicken at 350F in neutral oil for 3-4 minutes. Remove to let oil come back to 350F, then double fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove and immediately season with salt.
- In a pan or wok, heat 2 tbsp of neutral oil over high heat then fry garlic and ginger for 15 seconds. Add bell pepper and onions and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes to get color on the vegetables. Add pineapple and stir fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add premixed sauce and stir for a few seconds until thickened. Add back your chicken and stir until combined. Serve immediately with rice and enjoy!