Sweet and sour chicken with egg-fried rice.
Probably not very authentic but definitely something that is not too difficult to make at home.
1 and ½ cups Basmati Rice
2 eggs, beaten
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 large tablespoons tomato puree
1g tin pineapple chunks in syrup
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pint/500ml water
1 tablespoon cornflour
3 chicken breast fillets, off-the-bone, skinned and diced
½ red pepper, roughly chopped
½ green pepper, roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
Cook the rice and place in a sieve under running cold water to cool.
Meanwhile, place all the sauce ingredients except the cornflour in a pan and bring to a simmer.
Mix the cornflour with a little cold water and add to the sauce – continue to gently simmer to cook off the cornflour and thicken.
Heat some oil in a wok and stir fry the chicken. Remove the chicken and keep warm.
Stir fry the peppers and onion for 5 minutes.
Return the chicken to the wok and add the sauce – simmering for 5 minutes.
In another wok or pan, add a little oil and pour in the beaten eggs to cook like an omelette.
Add the spring onions and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the rice and soy sauce.
Hot rice must be treated with respect. If you want to use later for this dish or perhaps a cold rice salad, it needs to be cooled very quickly to make it safe. Just leaving a pan full of cooling rice is too risky. If not cooling under cold water, spread as thinly as possible on a tray and place in the fridge immediately.
For the sauce, make it thicker than you think necessary – it will become thinner when the chicken and its juices are added.
Tasting is essential for this recipe: the balance of sweetness from the sugar needs to be balanced to your taste with the sharp sour vinegar. Keep adjusting until it is right, adding salt and pepper too.
This seemed like a lot of sugar to me – perhaps an alternative sweetener could make the whole dish rather more virtuous?
You could add some five spice powder to the egg-fried rice and slithers of fresh root ginger to the sauce.
The spring onion garnish was fairly simple: trim to cut off the roots and about half of the leaves. Slice the onion from about an inch from its base to the tops of the leaves once on each side (dividing this section in to four). Place in a bowl of water with ice and the onions will curl where they have been cut.