This sweet and sour chicken is a weird combination of food, but it wasn’t always so. These damn Western spies took the traditional Chinese sweet and sour sauce, which is a mixture of vinegar and honey, and forged something so ridiculous but tasty. As the name suggests in the Western influenced recipe, we add a sweet component (the pineapple) and a sour component (cooking wine or soya sauce) to the chicken and peppers. You may be tempted to swipe that pineapple from your neighbor’s retirement fruit basket for this recipe but don’t! The best results come from the canned variety since it already comes with pineapple juice. A lot of people use ketchup to get the strong red color of this food, but I really advise using sirachi or any chili garlic sauce since it will taste a hundred times better. Lets begin!
500 grams skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
0.5 tsp five spice
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (not vinegar)
3 tbsp flour plus 1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped and de-seeded
4 cloves garlic, chopped
500 gram pineapple chunks
1 cup pineapple juice (from the can)
3 tbsp siracha sauce
Oil for frying
Chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
Roasted Thai chili paste for garnish (optional)
Season the chicken cubes with salt, pepper, five spice, baking soda, soya sauce, and cooking wine and tell it marinate for three to five hours in a zip-loc bag in the refrigerator. As you already know, I’m not going to waste a perfectly good zip-loc bag so I just left it in a bowl. It is very important to not use Chinese cooking wine vinegar on this because it will bubble up with the baking soda and you’re going to have a mess to clean up.
After the spices have penetrated the chicken, dust it with 3 tbsp flour, discard the extra, and deep fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
In a non-stick stock pot, heat up 1 tbsp of oil on high heat and add the green pepper and chopped garlic. Stir fry for about 3 minute until the garlic browns and you can smell the aroma of the peppers.
Add the pineapple chunks, juice, and siracha and give it a quick mix.
Now sprinkle in 1 tbsp flour slowly and mix until the sauce thickens. You may need to use less flour depending on how wet your sauce is. Now add the chicken, mix the final dish, and close the heat. Let the chicken rest for five minutes covered for it to soak up all the sweet sauce.
Put the chicken in a nice dish and garnish it with green onions. Serve this dish with steamed white rice and roasted chili paste for those who like a little spice in their lives. This sweet chicken pairs well with a bold sweet white like a Sherry or even a rose.