At my previous job in Sydney, I had the extreme good fortune of working in a multi-cultural store, and every day something new would come up about someone’s home—I guess standing around at the registers on a quiet day makes for good conversation! If you were really lucky, you’d walk into the tea room just in time to smell someone’s amazing homemade lunch, and if you were even more lucky, you’d be able to wrangle the recipe from them.
This recipe therefore comes to you courtesy of Dathipa (aka Pins), who was very gracious to write it down for me! Though perhaps she was just trying to make me stop drooling over her lunch. Heh heh heh. It happens, guys! Pins is Thai, so you can even call this an authentic Thai sweet & sour dish. Enjoy!
Dathipa’s Sweet and Sour Chicken
Makes: 8 servings
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 kg (2.5 lbs) chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tin pineapple pieces, drained (or 1 small fresh pineapple peeled and cut into bite-size pieces)
- 1 sliced red pepper (capsicum)
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled and seeded and sliced
- 1 tin baby corn spears, drained
- For the sauce:
- 3 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour) or rice flour
- 2/3 cup warm water or white wine
- 4 tbsp ketchup (tomato sauce)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp dry sherry
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- dash each of salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste
Prepare all of your vegetables and slice up meat in advance. If desired, you can marinate your chicken in a bit of soy sauce and lemon or orange juice. Prepare sauce by first mixing the cornstarch with the warm water (or wine) and mixing until no lumps are visible, add other sauce ingredients and mix well. A hint for the cucumbers: after peeling them whole, slice in half lengthways and use a spoon to gently scrape out all the seeds. You don’t have to be too exact.
Heat up a large pot or wok with a slightly generous amount of oil (2-3 tbsp). Saute garlic just until golden. Add raw chicken (drain it first of any marinade, if you used some) and cook until chicken is about half done, or you can no longer see any pink. Add onion and red pepper and cook until just slightly softened. Add cucumber, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add sauce, stir until slightly thickened. Lastly, add the pineapple pieces and baby corn spears, and cook for a few more minutes until flavours combine and the chicken is cooked through (try cutting through a piece of chicken, if there’s no pink inside then it’s good!). Be careful not to overcook at any stage, as this is quite a quick recipe and the vegetables don’t have to be completely soft.
And voila! Delicious sweet and sour chicken. Serve with white or brown rice, garnish with cashews if desired. Keeps well for 2-3 days.