Chicken/ Finger Food

Sweet & Sour Chicken Spring Rolls

January 12, 2020 by Chris Collins

Shredded Chicken drenched in a Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce, packed with Peppers, Pineapple and Rice – These truly are the BEST Chicken Spring Rolls!

closeup shot of sweet and sour chicken filling inside spring roll

The BEST Chicken Spring Rolls

I’m not even afraid to blow my own trumpet on this one, these truly are the most scrumptious chicken spring rolls you’ll ever make. They’re essentially a fusion between classic sweet and sour chicken and jumbo spring rolls. Think your favourite sweet and sour chicken, stuffed inside a deep fried spring roll. Yes, dreams really do come true.

I love these spring rolls for so many different reasons, here’s why I think you’ll love them:

  • Perfect for serving to guests – A funky fusion that people don’t expect when they bite into them!
  • Jumbo sized – I mean regular sized spring rolls are great, but jumbo sized are better 😁
  • Flavour – A gorgeous homemade sauce which is bursting with flavour!

dunking chicken spring roll into pot of sweet and sour sauce

Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce

Sweet and sour sauce actually couldn’t be quicker AND easier to make. You only need 5 ingredients. Plus, dare I say, it’s 100x better than anything you’ll ever get from take out. Here’s what you’ll need:

Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients

  • Pineapple Juice – Adds a punch of fruitiness and pairs nicely with the pineapple in the spring rolls.
  • Soy Sauce – Adds saltiness, and when mixed with cornflour will thicken the sauce.
  • Brown Sugar – Gives depth and sweetness to the sauce, caster sugar a little too sweet.
  • Ketchup – A game changer, sounds strange but really works.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – The ‘sour’ part, also adds a bit more ‘fruitiness’.
Soy Sauce – Ensure you use ‘light’ or ‘all purpose’ soy sauce. Dark soy sauce will be too overpowering.
Top Tip – As you’ve got pineapple in the spring rolls too, just buy canned pineapple and use the juice from that for the sauce.

overhead shot of labelled Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients

Making Sweet and Sour Sauce

The most important step is adding the cornflour/soy sauce slurry. This is what thickens the sauce, and we definitely want it thick otherwise it won’t coat the chicken properly, meaning it’ll be too wet inside the spring roll, meaning your spring rolls will be soggy, meaning the world might implode. You get the point. Just make sure the soy sauce is fully blended with the cornflour before mixing in the sauce or it’ll be lumpy.

How to make Sweet and Sour Sauce (quick summary)

  1. Add ketchup, vinegar, sugar and juice to a pan or pot and bring to simmer.
  2. Stir in cornflour + soy sauce and simmer until thickened.
Top Tip – Once thick enough, remove from heat and pour into bowl, otherwise the leftover heat will continue thickening the sauce.

How to make sweet and sour sauce - 2 step by step photos

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Right here’s where things get tasty. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:

Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients

  • Sweet and Sour Sauce – Homemade, as discussed.
  • Chicken – Shredded to fit neatly in the spring rolls.
  • Peppers – Red and green I find the most classic!
  • Carrot – Not such a classic ingredients, but really works nicely.
  • Pineapple – Canned is easiest!
  • White Pepper – Adds a bit of heat, can sub black pepper though.
  • Onion, Garlic & Ginger – Aromatics to boost the flavour.
You’ll only need half the sweet and sour sauce you make, otherwise the chicken will be too soggy. The other half will be for the dip!

overhead shot of labelled Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients

Making Sweet and Sour Chicken

The most important thing when frying the veg is to fry over high heat and preferably in a wok.

You essentially want to stir fry it. Get the peppers, pineapple and carrot nicely browned before adding in the rest. In such case, you’ll need an oil with a high smoking point, such as vegetable oil. Olive oil won’t take the heat so don’t use that.

How to make Sweet and Sour Chicken (quick summary)

  1. Heat up oil until smoking then add carrot, peppers and pineapple.
  2. Fry until brown then add onion, garlic, ginger and seasoning.
  3. Stir in chicken and fry for a min.
  4. Stir in sauce. Take off heat.
It’s essential to make sure the sweet and sour chicken has completely cooled being stuffing the spring rolls, otherwise they’ll steam from the inside and potentially burst in the oil.

How to make Sweet and Sour Chicken - 4 step by step photos

Homemade Chicken Spring Rolls

Again, something that may seem more difficult than it actually is.

The first really important thing to do is make sure the spring roll wrappers don’t dry out. To ensure this just rest a damp towel over the pile of wrappers in between rolling.

The second important thing is to make sure you seal the spring rolls shut properly. To do this I whip up a small cornflour slurry (cornflour + cold water), wet my finger and brush the edges to seal at the end.

Where to buy Spring Roll Wrappers?

You’ll find them in some supermarkets/grocery stores, but in all Asian stores, both often in the freezer section. To be defrost them just take them out the package and rest a damp towel over them. For this recipe you’ll need 10″x10″ (25cmx25cm) sized.

How to roll Spring Rolls (quick summary)

  1. Place wrapper in diamond shape and place rice between middle and bottom.
  2. Top with chicken.
  3. Pull over bottom and roll once.
  4. Fold in sides.
  5. Roll.
  6. Seal shut with cornflour slurry.

How to roll spring rolls - 6 step by step photos

Deep Fried Spring Rolls

The main thing with deep frying spring rolls is to make sure the oil gets to, and maintains, a good heat. I find 356f/180c the best for these sized spring rolls. Any lower and they start to absorb too much oil before they properly cook and any higher the outside will brown too quickly before the filling heats up.

It’s also important to not overcrowd the pan. 4 max for a large pot or wok (so 2 batches).

How to Deep Fry Spring Rolls (quick summary)

  1. Heat up oil and very carefully add spring rolls.
  2. Separate with tongs and deep fry until golden (flip once).
  3. Use tongs to remove and tilt spring roll side to side to drain out excess oil.
  4. Place on cooling rack with paper towels underneath.

How to deep fry spring rolls - 4 step by step photos

From there, you’ll simply serve up with your leftover sweet and sour sauce as a dip. 

Can I make this recipe WITHOUT spring rolls?

Sure! I recommend dicing and frying the chicken, removing from pan/wok and making the rest as instructed. I also recommend halving the sweet and sour as you won’t need excess for a dip.

Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?

Deep Fried Finger Food

Alrighty, let’s tuck into this chicken spring rolls recipe shall we?!

holding 3 open sweet and sour spring rolls open to camera

How to make Sweet & Sour Chicken Spring Rolls (Full Recipe & Video)

closeup shot of sweet and sour chicken filling inside spring roll

Sweet & Sour Chicken Stuffed Spring Rolls

Shredded Chicken drenched in a Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce, packed with Peppers, Pineapple and Rice - These truly are the BEST Chicken Spring Rolls!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer / Finger Food
Cuisine: Asian / Chinese
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 8 jumbo spring rolls
Calories: 272kcal
Cost per serving: £1.50 / $2

Equipment:

  • Wok or Large/Deep Pot (for deep frying)
  • Work or Large Fry Pan & Wooden Spoon (to make s&s chicken)
  • Small Pot or Pan (to make s&s sauce)
  • Small Ramekin (for cornstarch slurry)
  • Damp Tea Towel (to rest on spring roll wrappers)
  • Thermometer (for oil, not a necessity)
  • Cooling Rack
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Tongs

Ingredients (check list):

Spring Rolls

  • 8x (10"x10" / 25cm"25cm) Spring Roll Wrappers (see notes)
  • 2 cups Cooked Long Grain Rice (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch (mixed with 2 tbsp Cold Water)
  • Vegetable/Sunflower Oil, as needed

Sweet & Sour Sauce

  • 1 cup / 250ml Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup / 240g Light Brown Sugar, or to taste (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 cup / 120g Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce (or all purpose Soy Sauce, not Dark)
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch
  • Salt, to taste

Sweet & Sour Chicken

  • 1.5 packed cups / 7oz / 200g Cooked Shredded Chicken
  • 1 medium Red Pepper, finely sliced
  • 1 medium Green Pepper, finely sliced
  • 1 medium Carrot, finely sliced
  • 3 Canned Pineapple Rings, diced
  • 2 Green/Spring Onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • few pinches of White Pepper, to taste (can sub black pepper)
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions:

Sweet & Sour Sauce

  • In a small pot over medium heat, add 1cup/250ml apple cider vinegar, 1cup/240g light brown sugar, 1/2cup/120ml pineapple juice, 1/2cup/120g ketchup, stir and bring to a simmer.
  • In a small pot, mix together 2 tbsp soy sauce with 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch until fully blended (add a splash of cold water if lumpy at all, must be completely smooth).
  • Stir soy sauce mix into sauce and quickly stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to comfortably coat the back of a spoon (you want it nice and thick to coat the chicken). Take off heat and pour into a bowl to cool.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

  • In a large pan or wok over high heat add 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Once it begins to smoke, add your peppers, carrot and pineapple and begin to stir fry. When they start to brown/soften add your green onion, ginger, garlic and seasoning (to taste) and continue frying for another 2-3mins.
  • Turn heat down to medium and stir through your chicken. Pour in up to half of your sweet and sour sauce, or enough to lightly coat (you don't want the chicken too saucy or the spring rolls will be soggy). Most will be used as a dip. Stir to combine then take off heat. This is important - filling needs to be cool before making spring rolls or they'll steam open/burst.

Wrapping Spring Rolls

  • Lay out a wrapper on a flat surface with a corner at the top and bottom (diamond shape). Place 2 heaped tbsp rice between the centre and bottom of the square. Place 2 heaped tbsp sweet and sour chicken on top of that.
  • Take the bottom corner and tightly fold it over the filling and roll it over once.
  • Take the two corners either side and tightly fold them in. Roll the spring roll all the way up to the point where a triangle is left at the top. Use your finger to dunk into the cornflour slurry and rub the edges of the triangle. Finish the roll and place seam-side-down. Repeat.
  • Important you roll tightly (any gaps = big air bubbles when deep frying = burst spring roll) but also carefully so you don't rip the wrapper.

Deep Frying Spring Rolls

  • Heat up enough oil to comfortably cover your spring rolls in a wok (best option) or large pot. You want the oil to get to 356F/180C. A chopstick should bubble when placed in.
  • Very carefully place 3-4 spring rolls in the oil (depending on size) and deep fry for 5mins or until deep golden, turning once. The temp might drop slightly when the spring rolls hit the oil, so just try and keep it at a constant heat. If at anytime it gets too hot just turn down the heat and/or pour in a splash more oil. Timings will vary so just be vigilant.
  • Take out spring rolls one by one with tongs and tilt side to side to let excess oil pour out, then place on cooling rack with paper towels underneath. Serve with leftover sweet and sour sauce as a dip (add a splash of pineapple juice/water if too thick).

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Spring Roll Wrappers - You'll find them in the freezer section in some supermarkets and all Asian stores. You don't want them to dry up at any point so rest a damp towel over them when not using. If you bought them frozen, defrost with a damp towel on top.
b) Sugar/Sweetness - If you like a more 'sour' sweet & sour sauce start off with less sugar and adjust accordingly. Brown sugar much better for this sauce, gives a slightly deeper flavour. Caster sugar too sweet.
c) Veg/Spring Roll Filling - You essentially want 3.5oz / 100g pepper, carrot and pineapple. I recommend just getting canned pineapple because you can then use the juice from that in the sauce.
d) Fresh Chicken - If you haven't got rotisserie chicken on hand, 1.5 packed cups / 7oz / 200g is around 10.5oz/300g fresh chicken (2 small breasts). Just fry, cool & shred. I definitely recommend shredded in all instances (not slicing/dicing etc) so it fits neatly in the spring rolls.
e) Sweet and Sour Chicken WITHOUT Spring Rolls - You can absolutely just enjoy the chicken and rice as a meal without stuffing into spring rolls! I recommend only making half a batch of sauce, and frying diced bits of chicken (instead of shredding). Maybe double the rice too (one 1 cup cooked rice per person). Will feed 4.
f) Rice - 2 cups cooked rice is approx just over 1/2 cup uncooked rice. To cook rice I firstly rinse it in cold water a few times to remove the starch, then use a 1:2 / rice:water ratio. So, pour 1 cup water in with 1/2cup rice and place on low-medium heat without the lid and leave to simmer until cooked and fluffy, stirring a few times. Never fails me.
g) Calories - Only an estimate, difficult to calculate (how much oil soaked up etc). Per spring roll without the dip (so half the sauce) assuming 1 tsp oil is soaked up per spring roll. Using half batch of sauce.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Sweet & Sour Chicken Stuffed Spring Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 272 Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.73g12%
Saturated Fat 1.07g5%
Trans Fat 0.009g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.565g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.61g
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 505mg21%
Potassium 276mg8%
Carbohydrates 39.46g13%
Fiber 1.7g7%
Sugar 14.34g16%
Protein 10.31g21%
Vitamin A 2292IU46%
Vitamin C 42.3mg51%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 1.39mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Emily
    January 12, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    5 stars
    Omg, I’m seriously craving spring rolls right now they look incredible! Love all your tips and steps, will definitely give these a go!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      January 12, 2020 at 6:05 pm

      I think I’m always craving spring rolls Hope you love them!

  • Reply
    Emily Liao
    January 12, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    5 stars
    These spring rolls will make for the perfect appetizer! Can’t wait to try this.

  • Reply
    Amy
    January 12, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    5 stars
    Wow love the sound of these, that filling looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Sophia
    January 12, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    5 stars
    Yum, you make these look so easy! Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    Demeter
    January 12, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    5 stars
    These will be so perfect for game day! I know they’ll be a hit.

  • Leave a Reply

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