This Easy Keto Sweet and Sour Chicken is better than takeout with no refined sugar, junky oils, MSG 🤮 or gross additives.
This recipe for Keto Sweet and Sour Chicken is sponsored by Biochem. Thank you for supporting the brands that make EPIC Cast Iron Keto recipes possible.
Who doesn’t love Chinese food? I know I do but even before going keto it was hard to come by quality Chinese restaurants that offered gluten-free dishes and made without additives like MSG. We’ve found a few spots around PDX that offer delicious Thai and Chinese food and even a few with low carb options, but none that offer my favorite: Sweet and Sour Chicken.
Alas, after playing around in the kitchen I think we’ve come up with a pretty stellar low carb sweet and sour chicken recipe that you’re going to love!
We’ve partnered with our friends over at Biochem to use their Whey Protein Isolate + Joint powder as the breading for the chicken. Whey protein as breading? YES, it’s so good! Whey protein is the perfect “flour” for breading chicken as it gets super crunchy and golden and allows you to cook it long enough that the chicken is cooked through without the breading burning. You can’t say that for almond flour or pork rinds.
With Biochem’s Whey Protein Isolate + Joint you’re not only getting a quality whey protein but you’re also getting a healthy dose of collagen – 3 types actually, which support joint comfort, flexibility and mobility. I just hit 30 and it seems like joints are pretty much downhill from here, kidding, but I do find myself at the chiropractor more often these days so I’ve been supplementing with collagen to keep my joints in shape. How fun that the collagen can now become fried chicken, I mean what could be better than that?
Let’s get to the most important parts of this recipe…
How to bread the chicken
To bread the chicken you’re going to use 3 simple ingredients:
- Biochem Whey Protein Isolate + Joint
That’s it, really! Yes, you can use plain whey protein isolate if you already have it on hand, but we love using this option from Biochem for all of the added joint benefits I mentioned.
To coat the chicken you’re going to dip the pieces in the beaten egg, dredge through the Whey Protein Isolate + Joint that’s mixed with the salt, then immediately place the chicken into the hot oil.
Don’t dredge all of the chicken, place on a plate, then place in the oil as the breading will stick to the plate. You’ll want to place the “breaded” chicken directly into the oil, make sense? Also, be sure to not overcrowd the skillet. You’ll need to cook the chicken in batches.
The oil should be about 350° F but don’t fret if you don’t have a thermometer. Just heat the oil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium heat while frying.
We choose to use avocado or algae oil for this recipe as they are the best oils for frying. Coconut oil will also work but I find that it leads to a greasy final dish. Don’t attempt to use olive oil as the smoke point is far too low for deep frying.
How to thicken the sweet and sour sauce
Ok, so I know that I’m going to get the question of the sauce being too runny. Here’s the thing – with no thickeners like xanthan gum you have to bring the sauce to a simmer for it to thicken. Be patient.
If you have xanthan gum on hand you can add a little sprinkle to the sauce to make it thicker faster, otherwise a few minutes of simmering the sauce and it will be thick.
How to stir fry the peppers and onions
For this recipe, we’re using both green peppers, red peppers, and onion. I went with a yellow onion but any will work. The key here is to only stir fry them until they’re slightly soft. You don’t want mushy peppers and onions in the final dish.
Remember that the sauce has to simmer with the peppers and onions and then the chicken as well so you’re only going to stir fry them for 5 minutes.
A note on the sweet and sour sauce
Yes, you can sub all of one style of erythritol but the combo of regular and brown leads to a balanced flavor here. You can also sub garlic powder for the garlic cloves if that’s what you have on hand. Soy sauce can be used in place of tamari if you’re not gluten-free. You can also use coconut aminos if you’re soy-free.
What to serve with this Low Carb Sweet and Sour Chicken
Obviously, cauliflower rice is a go-to but broccoli rice works well as does shirataki rice. It’s also great just as-is!
What is the nutritional information for this Keto Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe?
As always, you can find the full nutritional breakdown including the carb count (total carbs and net carbs) at the bottom of the recipe card. You can find the serving size/yield at the top of the recipe card. You should always double-check your specific ingredients as different brand’s ingredients may have different values.
Make some more of your favorite takeout classics keto-friendly:
- Keto Hibachi Chicken
- Hibachi Mushrooms
- Keto Fried “Rice” with Japanese Shrimp Sauce!
- Mongolian Beef
- Keto Bánh Mì Bowls
Keto Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1 ½ lbs chicken breast or thighs cut into 2” cubes
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond regular, or coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 ounces Biochem Whey Protein Isolate
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups algae oil or avocado oil for frying
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1” chunks
- 1 green bell pepper cut into 1” chunks
- 1/2 yellow onion cut into 1” chunks
- 1/2 cup granulated erythritol
- 1/4 cup brown erythritol
- 1/2 cup distilled vinegar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened ketchup
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- To Serve:
- 6 cups cauliflower rice
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- Beat the eggs with the milk in a small bowl. In another bowl combine the Whey Protein Isolate and the salt.
- Heat about 2 inches of oil in a 10” cast-iron skillet over medium heat. The oil should be 350° F.
- Once the skillet is hot, dip the chicken pieces one by one into the egg mixture then into the Whey mixture. Immediately drop into the oil and fry 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown – fry in batches making sure to not overcrowd the skillet. Once the chicken is fried transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil.
- Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pan and place back over medium heat. Add the bell peppers and onion to the skillet and fry 5 minutes.
- Pour in the sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. The sauce should begin to thicken, once it is thick add the chicken pieces back to the skillet to heat through, about 2 minutes.
- Serve with cauliflower rice and top with green onions.