When recreating your takeout favorites, there will be plenty of food bloggers out there who will swear their recipe is the best. It won’t take you long to find a recipe to follow for the meal you want to recreate. Let me slow you down for a second. You’re here to read a recipe review for Sweet and Sour Chicken, right? Well, let me give you my most recent example of how something looked good online and ended up being a hot mess once I made it.
Today we will be checking out two different recipes for Sweet and Sour Chicken by two different food bloggers.
We’ll be starting off with the recipe by Kirbie’s Cravings. You can find the link right -> here!
What Went Wrong?
The recipe linked above looked really tasty when I first read the post. Some of the ingredients didn’t exactly convince me, so that is how I ended up adding this to my review list. The main reason this recipe did not work is because of the sauce, which just so happens to be the heart and soul of Sweet and Sour Chicken, right?
Before we get into details, I do want to point out that the method used to bake the chicken was excellent. I actually ended up using this same method in another sweet and sour chicken recipe that I tried. It’s just that good.
Now to discuss the sauce. I don’t often read the content above the actual recipe card, but for this one, I ended up doing so because the blogger mentioned how much her family LOVES the sauce so she makes extra. Cool. Extra? No problem. I’ll just double the recipe, right? The rule of doubling things is to make sure you double EVERY ingredient to maintain the flavor balance. I did just that and ended up with a VERY acidic sauce. It just wasn’t edible unless you wanted to burn your tongue.
The problem with this recipe was the amount of vinegar that was included. It was way too much. Plus, there was no pineapple included in the sauce, as well as no bell peppers. These two components are found to be very iconic for a typical sweet and sour chicken.
All in all, I would not recommend this recipe. The harshness of the vinegar does not cook out, and it isn’t very pleasant to eat.
What To Look Out For?
So what are some things to look out for when you’re choosing recipes by people online? Judging a recipe by the picture alone is not going to be enough.
For Sweet and Sour Chicken you may want to briefly look up which key ingredients are typically included. In this case, we’d see bell pepper, pineapple, soy sauce, vinegar, pineapple juice, some sort of sweetener (honey or even brown sugar), and maybe even ketchup. Understanding what to expect can often help you determine if a recipe is worth trying. It doesn’t require you to imagine what something would taste like by reading the ingredient list.
If you do determine what would be good just by reading the ingredient list, then kudos to you. It isn’t always easy, but it certainly is another way of cutting out the duds. 🙂
Another way that you can narrow down a good recipe is by the comments. Now, these can be tricky. In the case of the recipe above, many of the first comments on the main page did not reference actually trying the recipe, but only commenting on the fact that it sounded and looked good. Friends, that is not enough. If a recipe is older, you want to make sure that the comments you’re looking at are of those confirming they actually tried the recipe. Still–comments and reviews alone on the blog post may not be enough.
These three ways can help you narrow it down a little bit so you’re not encountering disappointing recipes. Plus, you can also check out review bloggers (like me!) who have no time to be sugar-coating their thoughts. I’ll tell you how it was and whether or not it’s worth trying. My job here is to help you make delicious food that doesn’t stress you out.
Redeeming The Sweet And Sour Chicken Recipe
I absolutely love working on this blog and testing out recipes. I love to cook and be able to have a warm, homecooked meal for me and my husband, especially after he comes home from work. Bless him for hanging in there even when we find some not-so-good recipes. He’s my trooper :). Because of that, I wanted to immediately find a recipe for sweet and sour chicken that would make up for the sad one we tried.
The next recipe I tried was by Bowl of Delicious. You can find the recipe right -> here!
This recipe made my heart and stomach smile! Why? Do take a look at it and compare it against the recipe by Kirbie’s Cravings. You’ll notice that the amount of vinegar in the sauce is significantly less than it is in this recipe by Bowl of Delicious. There is a great balance of sweetness from the honey, the brown sugar, the ketchup, as well as the pineapple juice. That was such a huge missing piece for me. Sweet and Sour Chicken without pineapple just doesn’t feel right, but I’m always willing to try.
So if you’re looking to try out a great recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken, then I would recommend Bowl of Delicious while using the baked chicken method demonstrated in Kirbie’s Cravings recipe. In the end, both worked out great to some extent, right? Yeah, I’ll say so.
Grey’s Final Thoughts
The most important thing to keep in mind when trying recipes online is to take the time to read through all the details on the recipe card. If something looks and sounds funky, then consider looking at another recipe or see if there are any legitimate reviews on the page. While that may not always help (some posts may not have comments), it’s still worth a try.
If you end up making something off a recipe you found online and it doesn’t turn out–don’t worry. You see I’m in the same boat, too. Keep going, keep searching, and keep cooking. The more you cook and read recipes, the more familiar you will be with what to look out for. I can guarantee it.
If you have some recipe recommendations, feel free to let me know! I’m always happy to try new recipes!
And as always….stay Grey-mazing!
Check Out My Reviews
- Gluten-Free Easy Steak Stir Fry
- Delicious Chicken Korma Curry
- My Favorite Chinese Dinner Recipes Made Gluten-Free
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