24 November 2010
CHINESE STYLE SWEET
AND SOUR CHICKEN
Summer is on our doorstep and my paunch
and double chin is way out of line. Time to take the
diet and training seriously, and I have been doing
that for almost two-weeks now.
But because I have left it so late,
even though I am allowed to cheat at least once per
week, I feel guilty, fearing that I will still look
like a beachball on legs when summer really kicks
in and the beaches beckon.
So my mind turns to compromised options
for cheat days.
Chinese style sweet and sour chicken sounds like a
• 1kg skinned, de-boned chicken, cut into bite-sized
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• A little fresh ground black pepper, ground
ginger and garlic powder to season flour (not a lot)
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 eggs
• Vegetable oil
• 1 green bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut
into 1/2-inch square bits
• 1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut
into 1/2-inch square bits
• 1 large onion cut into 1/2-inch bits
• 2 medium carrots,sliced thinly on the diagonal
• 1 can pineapple chunks in juice (no added
and Sour Sauce:
• 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 4 - 6 drops red food colouring
• 2 heaped tablespoons corn starch, maizena
or flour mixed in enough cold water to make a thin
In small frying pan, add 1cm vegetable oil to cover
base. Heat to deep-frying temperature.
In a bowl mix eggs and milk. Beat until well combined.
Place flour and seasonings in a shallow bowl and
Dunk pieces of chicken in the egg and milk mixture.
Allow excess to drain.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour coating thoroughly.
Drop pieces into the hot oil and fry until deep
golden brown. Turn as necessary to cook evenly on
all sides. When golden brown, remove to paper towel
covered plate to drain.
Repeat until all chicken pieces are cooked. Set
aside until assembly.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Remove pineapple from juices and place pineapple
pieces and water in sauce pan. Heat over low flame.
Slowly add sugar while stirring.
When sugar has dissolved, slowly add the vinegar and
the lemon juice while stirring.
Add corn starch paste and stir while heating. Bring
to a boil.
Stir constantly until thickened. Add food colouring
(a couple drops at first and then adjust until you
have the red colour you like) and stir well to mix.
Continue to heat and stir until almost a syrup. Remove
from heat and set aside.
Note: You will be judging the thickness of the sauce
while it is hot. It will thicken considerably when
it is set aside and cools. Later, when added to the
vegetables, the moisture from the vegetables will
thin the sauce quite a bit.
Add a little vegetable oil to a large frying pan
or wok. Bring to frying temperature over medium
heat. Add vegetables (but not the pineapple) and
cook, stirring frequently, until onions start turning
Add sweet and sour sauce and continue cooking and
stirring until vegetable are bite tender and sauce
has re-thickened and clings to the vegetables.
Add pineapple and chicken bits and fold into the vegetables
and sauce. Simmer until heated through. Serve.
Most home-made sweet and sour sauces are made with
brown sugar and the sauce has the distinctive coffee
colour of the molasses in the brown sugar. This recipe
produces a red sweet and sour sauce that looks just
like the Chinese restaurant take-out food but I think
that it tastes a lot better.
Serve with white rice.