Over the years, the focus of my blog has been on Indian food, both authentic and British Indian restaurant style. It still is but I have had a lot of people asking me if I cook other types of food too. Long before I ever cooked Indian food, my passion was in Chinese, Thai and Mexican cooking so I’ve decided to post a few of those recipes on the blog too. Why not?
Growing up near San Francisco, I learned a lot about Chinese food. If you like a good Chinese takeaway, you are going to want to try these recipes as they are even better.
What’s more, my Chinese sweet and sour chicken is very easy to make once you get the hang of it. You really can’t go wrong. The sauce is made from my easy Chinese chicken stock which you will find here. You could also use shop bought chicken stock but the result won’t be as good.
As the name implies, this is a sweet and sour dish. I think I have the flavours mixed quite well but you can easily adjust them to your own taste. For more sweetness, add more sugar, orange or pineapple juice. For a more sour flavour, extra lemon juice or vinegar will do the trick.
Most people in India don’t call their saucy dishes ‘curry’. The word is a British invention. The Chinese don’t call their saucy dishes curry either of course but in the end, these saucy dishes tick all the requirements for being a good curry. Chinese sweet and sour chicken curry! I like that.
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- For the marinade
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 ½ tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 700g (1 ½ lbs) chicken breast cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes
- Oil for deep frying
- 65g ( ½ cup) cornflour
- For the sauce
- 500ml (2 cups) Chinese Chicken Stock or shop bought chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Chinese hot sauce
- 55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 70ml (¼ cup) cider vinegar
- 70ml (¼ cup) pineapple juice
- Juice of two oranges
- Juice of two lemons
- 3 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- Salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
- 5 spring onions – roughly chopped
- 1 fat red chilli pepper – thinly sliced
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper) cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) squares
- 1 green capsicum (bell pepper) cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) squares
- 1 medium onion cut and divided into 2.5cm (1 inch) squares
- 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed well with about two tablespoon water or cold stock
- Start by whisking the egg white, cornflour, sherry and salt together until it is creamy smooth.
- Coat the chicken with this marinade and allow to marinate for 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat about 10cm (4 inches) of rapeseed oil in a large wok. The oil is ready when a piece of spring onion sizzles quickly when you toss it in the oil.
- Working in batches, remove as much of the marinade from the chicken pieces as you can and then roll them in the cornflour. Shake to discard any excess flour.
- Slowly lower each piece of chicken into the oil and fry for about two minutes. The chicken should be 80% to 90% cooked but still pink in the middle.
- Transfer the chicken pieces from the oil to paper kitchen towels to soak up the excess oil.
- Mix the sauce ingredients together.
- All of this and the vegetable preparation can be done a day in advance if you are pressed for time.
- Now heat the sesame oil over high heat in a wok and add the garlic, ginger, chillies and spring onions. Let these sizzle in the hot oil while stirring continuously.
- After about two minutes, add the capsicum and onion pieces and fry for a further couple of minutes.
- Pour in the sauce and bring to a rolling simmer and then add the par-cooked chicken pieces.
- Stir in the cornflour mixture and stir. This will bring a nice shine to the sauce.
- When the chicken is cooked through, check for seasoning, adding salt if necessary and serve. This goes so well with plain white rice.