Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sweet & Sour Chicken

I love my deep fat fryer and the variety it can offer to cooking. Okay. I know that it's not the most healthy way of cooking a meal but in terms of taste, it can add a lot to the experience. Having said that, I do find cleaning it a pain in the rear and the fact that it uses about 7 gallons of oil means it can get expensive to use so I only use it a couple of times a year. 

The house has been upside down due to building works and for the past year the fryer has been stored away but now my utility room is finished I have somewhere to keep and use it (I don't like the smell in the kitchen). It's now full of oil and after making this dish last night, they'll be a few more uses this week whilst it's out.

This is a BBC Good Food recipe that I spied a while back. I love sweet and sour from the Chinese but unfortunately it doesn't love me, and I suffer from MSG-tummy. Obviously, this doesn't stop me from indulging but this dish is a good substitute, and it's really tasty to boot!

I'll definitely make this again as it was so easy and relatively quick to put together. The chicken was really tasty and the sauce came out well. On this occasion I used a packet of tempura batter but it's very simple to make your own, and I'll include the recipe below.

The recipe said it served 4 people but the recipe lies. It served 2. I'm saying nothing.

Sweet and Sour Chicken


2-3 large skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
sunflower oil for deep frying (plus extra for stir-frying)
tempura batter
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 carrot, sliced thinly
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp finely chopped (or grated) fresh root ginger

For the sauce;
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
1 tsp cornflour


Chop the chicken into small chunks and mix in a bowl with the soy sauce and sesame oil.  In a separate bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients, along with 100ml cold water.

Heat the oil in the deep-fat fryer to 180c.  Dip a few pieces of chicken at a time into the tempura batter, then place in the hot oil using tongs.  Fry until crisp and golden, this should take a couple of minutes. You will need to do this in batches, so reheat the oil if necessary. As the chicken pieces are cooked, lift out with a slotted spoon and pop onto a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil.

Heat a large wok and add 3 tbsp oil. Stir-fry the chopped pepper and carrot along with the garlic and ginger for around 3 minutes.  Give the sauce a quick stir in the bowl and pour into the wok. Stir and bubble for 1 minute then spoon over the chicken and serve immediately.

If you want to make your own tempura batter, it's pretty easy.   You don't want to leave the batter sitting around, so make it only when you are ready to cook. All you have to do is sift 85g plain flour and 1 tbsp cornflour with 1/2 tsp fine sea salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk in 200ml of ice cold sparkling mineral water.  Don't over beat, the batter is meant to have a few lumps. I also pop some ice cubes in the batter as it's important it's cold.

A top tip when deep-frying is not to overcrowd the basket, if you put to much in there it won't take on that lovely golden brown colour.

Watch this space for more deep-frying action very soon!

love & kisses
Mrs M x


  1. I love BBC Good Food magazine - it's a bit pricey here in the USA but it's my monthly splurge! I started out just buying the Christmas edition every year but the cover photo always looks so delicious, I just can't resist.


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