30 April 2012

#3 Saturday Night...means...




...It's "Fake-Away" night...you know what I mean, a "take-away" made by you...or in this case, me...



So, what was on my menu last night?


1. Egg Fried Rice
2. Chicken Chow Mein
3. Sweet and Sour Chicken Hong Kong Style
4. Green Vegetables in Oyster Sauce...


and Number 3 on my menu was...Sweet and Sour Chicken Hong Kong Style...This was probably the most complicated (but most popular) of the dishes to make, but only in terms of getting the timings right...

To make enough for 4 as part of a larger meal you need:
For the chicken:
*500g chicken breast, diced
*2 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or sherry
*3 Tbsp Flour
*1 Egg, beaten
*Veg oil for frying
For the sauce:
*1/2 large green pepper, cubed
*1/2 large red pepper, cubed (only had red in the fridge, so just used 1 large red pepper!)
*1 large onion, cubed
*about 150g fresh (or tinned) pineapple, cubed
*5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
*3 Tbsp sugar
*1 Tbsp pineapple juice (from the pack or tin)
*4 Tbsp water
*1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
*2 Tbsp tomato puree
*1 Tbsp Cornflour - mixed with a little water to make a paste

To start off, you need to get the chicken chunks in the wine or sherry to marinade for a few hours...I popped mine in a bowl with the wine, gave it a stir to coat, put some cling film on top and in the fridge it went for about 3-4hrs...you want at least 3hrs worth of marinading time...
Then I made my sauce, this can be made in advance and just reheated when needed...fry off the peppers and onion at a high heat (use some veg oil for this, you don't want a strongly flavoured oil)...you ideally want to add a bit of colour...
Then while they are frying, make the "sauce" by mixing the tomato puree, wine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and water, give it a whisk and...
...add to the veggies in the pan...
Bring to the boil, stirring all the time, and add some of the cornflour and water paste...stir to thicken your sauce to your desired consistency...we like ours not too thick...
...finally add in the pineapple and juice, stir, heat (add more cornflour paste if needed) and either serve, or take off the heat until needed...when you just need to bring back to the boil very slowly, and stirring occasionally...I swapped mine into a saucepan after cooking everything off in a frying pan, and popped the lid on until reheating it...
To "make" the chicken part of this dish, you strain the wine or sherry away...add in the beaten egg and stir to coat...pour the chicken out onto a plate or flat dish...sprinkle with the flour and toss the chicken around a bit to coat it (it's a kind of cheats batter if you like, not too heavy)...
Then in a wok or large pan (I used a large frying pan with about 3/4 inch veg oil in it) fry the chicken chunks for about 4 minutes each side before draining on kitchen paper...
Last but not least, add sauce to chicken and serve...

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