Sweet and Sour Chicken a sure winner at any table

Sweet and Sour Chicken – delicious and crispy chicken pieces in a most amazing homemade Chinese sauce.

The sweet and sour sauce can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator.

The key to a great sweet and sour chicken dish is not to leave the chicken pieces swimming in the sauce as most Chinese restaurants do.

The sauce should lightly coat the chicken cubes so they don’t turn soggy. Another secret is the use of baking powder in the frying batter, which does a great job in giving the battered chicken pieces an extra crunch.

Ingredients:

  • 230g boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into squares
  • 1 small tomato, cut into wedges, optional
  • 1 stalk scallion, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • oil, for deep frying

Batter:

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Sweet and sour sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Lingham brand hot sauce or other chilli sauce
  • 1 teaspoon plum sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 dashes white pepper powder

Method

  • Cut meat into bite-sized cubes and marinate with 1 tablespoon of wine for 10 minutes.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the batter in a bowl and add the chicken cubes in.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Heat up cooking oil in a wok and deep-fry chicken. (Shake off extra batter before frying).
  • Transfer chicken to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Transfer the cooking oil, leaving only 2 tablespoons in the wok.
  • Add garlic and saute until light brown. Now add in green bell peppers. Stir-fry until aroma rises.
  • Add the sweet and sour sauce into the wok and bring to a boil. Toss in the chicken, tomatoes and add the chopped scallions, do a few quick stirs, dish out and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Tips

If you don’t have Lingham hot sauce, you can use other chilli sauce brands or chilli garlic sauce. If you use Sriracha, which is very spicy, you probably should tone it down to about 1/2 tablespoon or adjust according to your taste.

This article first appeared in rasamalaysia.com

Low Bee Yinn is a food blogger and cookbook author.