Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sweet and sour chicken

While I was cooking Sweet and sour chicken for lunch today, I thought of the times when I tried the sweet and sour sauce in a jar for the very first time. Chinese food was almost unheard of in my hometown in Russia (then the Soviet Union), probably until mid-to-late 1980s. I must have been at Uni, and when a famous American brand started selling their sauces in jars locally, we were very excited. Sweet and sour sauce sounded so exotic and so different. I remember actually eating the sauce straight from the jar or spooned on a slice of bread. At that time my friends and I thought it was simply heavenly.
These days I am perfectly capable of making my own sweet and sour sauce from scratch, with sweet peppers and pineapples, but I also buy jars of sauce to keep on the kitchen shelves for a quick and easy meal. 
I have already told you that Wing Yip asked if I would be interested in trying some of their products and getting creative during the festivities. Wing Yip is widely recognised as the UK's leading Oriental grocer with four sites in Birmingham, Manchester, Croydon and Cricklewood. They also have an online store, thus "bringing traditional Oriental cuisine one step closer to UK homes".
We absolutely loved Chicken fried rice, which I cooked with Wing Yip rice fried sauce.

Today I used a jar of Wing Yip Sweet & Sour Stir Fry Sauce. This is a classic Cantonese sauce from South Eastern China made with a unique and delicate blend of contrasting fruit flavours. It is perfect with pork, chicken or fried fish. This sauce is best used in stir-fry.
It's suitable for vegetarians, contains no hydragenated fat or added monosodium glutamate.

Sweet and sour chicken
2 chicken breasts
80ml+ sparkling water
50g self-raising flour
35g cornflour
groundnut oil for stir-frying, about half a bottle
1 tin of pineapple slices in light syrup (227g tin, or 140g drained)
1 sweet pepper
1 medium onion, finely sliced
tender egg noodles, to serve with

First prepare the batter. And turn the oven on, it has to be warm.
Whisk together the flour, cornflour and sparkling water until you get a batter of smooth consistency. Slice the chicken breast, dip in the batter in batches. Pour half a bottle of oil in a wok. It has to be very hot when you put chicken pieces in it. Cook in two batches for about 7-8 minutes, turning pieces over while you cook. Once the batter is lightly golden, take the pieces carefully out with a slotted spoon and put on a paper kitchen towel to get rid of the excess oil.
While you are cooking the veg, keep the chicken (without paper) in the oven.
Finely slice the onion, and cut the sweet pepper in about 10 pieces. Fry in the wok with about 3tbsp of oil. Once the onion has nicely browned, add the pineapple chunks (or slices), pour the light syrup too. Take the chicken out of the oven and mix with the vegetables and noodles. Pour the sauce over, and stir fry for a minute. Serve hot.
It was a tasty Chinese meal. The sauce is smooth, so if you prefer yours chunky, add the pineapple like I did.

And if you're adventurous in cooking and like trying new ingredients, how about a Sweet and sour chicken with goji berries, as cooked by Cheryl from Madhouse Family Reviews? That's an inspired twist on a classic dish.

What are you planning to cook tomorrow to celebrate the Chinese New Year?


  1. That looks divine - thanks for the mention too :)

    1. Thank you Cheryl, it did look colourful, a bit like that orange-tanned TV presenter whatshisname, lol