Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Going Chicken: Chicken Sweet & Sour

By Wai Chung Tang @ Dreamstime.com
Some of you know I’m a strange non-vegetarian. I can’t eat meat on the bone – except my mother’s crumb chops – and I’d rather eat the curry and potatoes than the actual meat in most dishes – to my dear mother-in-law’s dismay. However, I could not be a vegetarian – Lent is a good indicator each year of this. And I love my cold cuts and occasional sorpotel (with all the spare parts carefully picked out).
But now…. Now that I have a potentially worrying cholesterol reading, I need to cook more chicken in the house. Fish, ideally, but Prema, the fisherwoman, does not always come through (and doesn’t let us even look at the other fisherwomen, forget their fish). So, chicken it is. Then again, I hate chicken on the bone, so boneless chicken in (small) pieces… Last Saturday, it was Chicken Sweet &Sour from the taste.com.au site that Bianca recommended – rather awesome in its own right (you search for any recipe or ingredient and it will throw back results from 11 magazines!).

Chicken Sweet & Sour

(serves 4)

1 tablespoon cornflour
1/4 cup soya sauce
440g can pineapple pieces in natural juice, drained, reserving juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g chicken tenderloins, tendons removed
1/2 green capsicum, cut into thin strips
1/2 red capsicum, cut into thin strips
3cm piece ginger, peeled, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
steamed jasmine rice, to serve
  1. Combine the cornflour and soya sauce in a jug. Stir until mixture is smooth. Add the reserved pineapple juice, vinegar and sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
  2.  Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 3 minutes each side or until light golden.
  3.  Add capsicum, ginger and garlic to pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender.
  4. Add the soya sauce mixture to pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Add pineapple pieces. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve with rice.
My changes:
* The pineapple was in syrup (not juice), and since I got a smaller tin, fewer pieces went into the dish.
* The soya sauce was dark.
* I used normal sugar (not brown).
* I used white vinegar (not white wine vinegar).
* I did not have a red pepper, so added cucumber (without the soft seed part).
The only discernible difference was that the dish looked dark from the dark soya sauce, rather than the fresh colours you see in restaurants.
Incidentally, this is not a version where you first deep-fry the chicken, so I’m thinking it would be a healthier option.


  1. I don't like pineapples... can I substitute it with honey and reduce the sugar :) I think I will try this recipe and let you know how it works with honey instead of pineapples.

  2. Hey Lalitha,
    Honey should be fine for the sweet element, but you do need the pieces for texture. Perhaps you could add cucumber dices (without the seed-y part). Do let us know how it works out!

  3. Difficult to comment on the dish merely from the recipe or from the picture (apparently taken professionally). I suggest you make and send the dish and then wait for my comments. In the meantime, can you post a picture of the other dish?... Prema the fisherwoman (and please take her pic while you're pretending to go to Sujata to see her squid).

  4. Flanian D'Souza,
    You are very welcome to come to Colaba and meet Prema; you are a visit overdue!
    PS -- No fishy comments on this blog!

  5. Prima...taste.com.au is great, but you can also try recipes from this website. This show airs every Friday night and they show some awesome quick and easy recipes - especially those by 'Fast Ed'. Enjoy! http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/better-homes-gardens/recipes/home/

  6. Hey Coral,
    Thanks for the lead. Will certainly look at the site and recipes, and Fast Ed! Now in the throes of closing and exams, but certainly need a fast man in my life!


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