General Tse’s Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Yield: 2 servings
- 6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 1/2teaspoon sugar
- 1tablespoon potato starch, plus extra for coating
- 3tablespoons water
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1/2 green or red pepper (or a mixture of each), cut into 1/2- inch dice
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1/3cup pineapple chunks
- 5tablespoons white sugar
- 5tablespoons ketchup
- 4tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 1/4cups cold water
- 2 lemon slices
- Put the chicken in a bowl. Add the salt, sugar, potato starch, and the water and combine well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a wok with approx. 2⁄3 cup oil and preheat over medium heat to 350F. Test the temperature with a bamboo chopstick. Dip an unpainted, natural bamboo chopstick into the oil. If it bubbles rapidly around the chopstick end in the oil, then the oil is hot enough for deep-frying. At this stage reduce the heat to low.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and dip each piece into potato starch to coat it on all sides. Deep-fry the chicken in the hot oil for 5–6 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Pour off the oil from the wok into a metal container; this can be reused for cooking.
- To make the sauce, return the wok to the heat, add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, and stir-fry the peppers, onion, and pineapple over high heat for 3 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Don’t overcook the sauce or it will caramelize and turn black. Add the cooked pieces of chicken to the bubbling sauce and toss well to coat. Serve with egg-fried rice.
Tip: Marinating the chicken with salt, sugar, and potato starch stops it becoming rubbery. You can poach the chicken first, before stir-frying, to ensure that it stays moist and doesn’t dry out.
Recipe from Sweet Mandarin Cookbook by Helen and Lisa Tse (Kyle books, 2015).