I don’t think I know anybody who doesn’t love Chinese Food! I remember growing up with Peking Restaurant being a phenomenal outing every weekend to indulge on all those Chinese dishes.
What I also discovered is that cooking Chinese food is as enjoyable as eating it. Easy & quick dishes that are packed with veggies YET very delicious. Perfect for our busy lifestyles.
Actually, sweet & sour chicken was never one of my personal favorites until I came up with this recipe. I was just never a big fan! But on the other hand, my husband LOVES it & he kept telling me “it’s a huge shame that your main passion is food & you aren’t cooking my favorite dishes”!!
Feeling challenged or threatened hahaha, I decided to work on the recipe!
First, the chicken! After doing my google & cookbooks research, I had two options; either go with pan sauteed pieces or create those crispy bites that absorb the sauce beautifully yet stay crunchy giving you the perfect bite! Of course, by now you know me … NO COMPROMISE ON TASTE!
Second came the sauce! My BIGGEST CHALLENGE! I wanted to develop something that satisfies my “taste buds” yet not deviate from the original recipe that my husband adores!
Not too sweet ✔️
No Tomato after taste ✔️
Perfectly balanced ✔️
I worked on many versions until I reached the right ingredients’ ratios! The sauce is very easy; prepared with very simple ingredients that most of us have at home yet the outcome is SPOT ON.
A restaurant style dish prepared in no time & enjoyed at the comfort of your own home!
SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN
For the Chicken:
- 450 gm chicken breasts cut into bite size cubes
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/2 cup cornflour
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- oil for deep frying
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup pineapple juice (from canned pineapple slices in juice)
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 tsp cornflour
For the Stir Fry:
- 1/2 large red pepper cut into medium size pieces
- 1/2 large yellow pepper cut into medium size pieces
- 1/2 large onion cut into medium size wedges
- 3 pineapple rings (canned not fresh) cut into medium size slices
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup green onion thinly sliced (the green part only)
- For the chicken: In a bowl, season the chicken with salt & pepper.
- Mix the chicken with the beaten egg then place in a wide sieve to drain excess egg.
- Place the drained chicken in a large zip lock bag (or plastic bag), add the 1/2 cup cornflour & close/seal; trapping as much air as possible to create a balloon*.
- Shake Shake Shake until all the chicken is coated with cornflour.
- Heat oil in a deep pot over high heat until hot, add the chicken (in batches if the pot isn’t large enough) & deep fry until the chicken is cooked through & has a golden crispy crust.
- For the sauce: Meanwhile, in another bowl, add all the sauce ingredients & mix well until the sugar & cornflour are dissolved without any lumps. Set aside.
- In a non stick pan, heat 2 tbsp oil on high heat & stir fry the veggies & pineapple slices for about 3 minutes.
- Add the sauce & bring to a boil. Let the sauce boil for about 1 minute or until it thickens & becomes syrupy. Turn off heat.
- Add the chicken & toss altogether until it is well coated with the sauce.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds & green onion. Serve immediately with white or fried rice.
- Unlike flour, coating the chicken with cornflour is a very sticky process, doing it by hand is very messy so the best way is the one stated in the recipe. Detailed Process: Place the chicken & cornflour in a bag, close the bag with your hand to create a balloon & have room to shake the chicken to get coated with the cornflour.
- You have to use canned pineapple juice & slices (not fresh).
- I realized that not all cornflour brands are the same so in case you need to thicken the sauce more, dissolve an extra tsp cornflour in 3 tsp & whisk into the sauce.
- In case you want a sweeter sauce, whisk 1 tsp brown sugar into the sauce before adding the chicken.
- This dish has to be served immediately otherwise the chicken crust won’t be as crispy as it should be.
- For a lighter version (no deep frying), season the chicken with salt & pepper & stir fry in 1 1/2 tbsp oil over high heat until the chicken gets a nice golden sear. Lower the heat & cover the pan until the chicken is cooked through.