Sweet Fire Chicken

I don’t go to Panda Express very often, even though I LOVE it, so when I do splurge & get Chinese, I always get their sweet fire chicken. It is my favorite as well as the beijing beef. For some reason I like the spicy dishes there, even though I don’t “handle the heat” very well. 

Sweet Fire Chicken

Anyway, I found this copy cat recipe & it is darn near an exact replica of the real deal. I don’t think I will ever need to go to Panda Express to get this chicken ever again. Delicious!

Sweet Fire Chicken
Sweet Fire Chicken

Sweet Fire Chicken



  • 2 small chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2-3 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • canola oil, for frying


  • 1 red jalapeno, seeded (keep seeds for more heat) & chopped fine
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, OPTIONAL - In addition to jalapeno if you need more heat
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp COLD water


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 white onion, julienned
  • 1 (20oz) can pineapple chunks, drained


  1. For the chicken: Season cut up chicken with salt & pepper. Set up your breading station: zip-top bag with flour, plate with beaten eggs, & zip-top bag with cornstarch. Dredge chicken in flour, then coat with egg, then shake in cornstarch. Repeat until all chicken is finished.
  2. Start your sauce: combine red jalapeno, garlic, sugar, water, vinegar & salt in a small saucepan. Heat until boiling. Make a slurry with your cornstarch & water & whisk into boiling sauce until thickened. Taste & adjust heat with crushed red pepper flakes if needed. Hold sauce on low temperature.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Carefully lay chicken strips into the oil. Do half the mixture at a time, so you don't overcrowd your chicken. Cook until golden brown & no longer pink in the middle. Let rest on a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Repeat with other half of chicken. Keep warm. Wash pan.
  4. In the large skillet, that is now clean, add 1 Tbsp canola oil. Saute red bell pepper & onions for 3 minutes. Add pineapples, & the reserved sauce & chicken. Toss everything together until well-coated & heated through. Serve on top of your choice of rice.
Recipe altered from Food.com