Sweet and Sour Chicken is a well-known dish associated with Chinese cooking, usually served over white rice or noodles, or even dished up alone with a vegetable or salad. The idea of sweet and sour sauce is appealing to many, because the combination of sugar and vinegar offers a unique flavour.
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There are several methods of making sweet and sour chicken. Adding a batter to the recipe creates a thick, crunchy coating for the chicken as well as something to absorb the sauce. Make the batter by combining 288 g (2 1/4 cups) of flour with two tablespoons of oil, cornstarch and one egg. Add 355 ml (1 1/2 cups) of water to create a liquid batter. Coat the chicken, being sure that each piece is coated consistently. Fry the chicken in hot vegetable oil until golden brown, and then remove from the oil and drain before combining with sweet and sour sauce.
Depending on the texture you like, you may choose between boneless, skinless chicken breast and thigh meat to make sweet and sour chicken. Breast meat is lean but may dry out if overcooked, while the thigh meat is tender and flavourful. Once you have chosen the type of chicken for the recipe, take four to five thighs or breasts and cut them into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes. Cutting the meat into 2.5 cm (1 inch) pieces will ensure that each piece is evenly cooked and coated with batter before adding sweet and sour sauce.
Sweet and sour sauce
The sweet and sour sauce defines the dish. It is important to create a harmonious blend between sugar and vinegar to avoid making the sauce too tart or sweet. A simple sauce is made by combining 1 teaspoon of soy sauce with 79 ml (1/3 cup) rice vinegar, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon ketchup. Thicken the sauce by adding a minimal amount of cornflour mixed with water until the desired thickness is obtained. Once the deep-fried chicken has finished releasing excess oil, toss the chicken with sauce to coat completely.
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