Sweet Sour Chicken
The pork version has always been my comfort food, but sweet and sour chicken is just as good. Make the sauce even tastier with the addition of grated garlic and ginger, and a little hoisin sauce.
To marinate the chicken
To cook the chicken
- cooking oil
- ¼ cup tapioca starch or potato or corn starch (please, not all-purpose flour!)
- 1 bell pepper deseeded and diced
- 1 stalk celery thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
Marinate the chicken
- Wipe the chicken thigh fillets dry and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Place the chicken in a bowl and mix in the salt, pepper and five-spice powder.
- Cover the bowl and leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
Fry the chicken
- In a frying pan or wok, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least two inches.
- Toss the chicken in starch.
- Fry the chicken, in batches if your pan is on the small side, until golden and crisp.
- Move the cooked chicken to a strainer or rack.
Stir fry the vegetables
- Pour off the oil leaving only a teaspoonful.
- Stir fry bell pepper and celery for 30 seconds (see notes after the recipe).
- Scoop out the vegetables and transfer to a plate.
Make the sauce
- In the same pan, heat the sugar, mirin, rice vinegar and salt until syrupy.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger and hoisin sauce.
- Continue cooking the sauce until thick.
Assemble the sweet sour chicken
- Add the chicken, vegetables and pineapple chunks to the sauce.
- Cook, tossing, until everything is heated through.
- Serve the sweet sour chicken with rice.
I don’t stir fry the pineapple chunks with the vegetables because the fruit expels juices when heated, and that would have made the vegetables soggy.