Sweet and sour chicken was one of my favourite dinners growing up, but I remember it coming from a jar so I hadn’t a clue where to start making my own. Many years later, I came across a recipe on a website and was determined to get my family hooked on the fabulous flavour that is sweet and sour. I tweaked the recipe, hoping to satisfy a range of taste buds and found something that worked for us. I’m the only one who likes it with pineapple so I’ve lost that part of the battle but, I admit it tastes good without it too!
The best thing about this dinner is that once you’ve made it a couple of times it becomes such a quick meal to get on the table. Plus it conceals a reasonable amount of veggies in a tasty sauce making it a hit all round!
Serves 2 adults, 2 children
3-4 chicken fillets
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cm piece of ginger,finely chopped
2 peppers, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly ribboned
Tin of pineapple in own juice (optional)
200ml apple/pineapple juice
2tbsp tomato ketchup
2tbsp soy sauce
2tbsp white vinegar
For the sauce – in a bowl mix the cornflour into a small amount of the juice, once thoroughly combined add the rest of the juice and the remaining ingredients. Mix well. If you use a tin of pineapple in its own juice you can just use this juice for the sauce.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 2 minutes, before adding the chicken.
Once the chicken is browned, add the peppers and carrot ribbons. Cook uncovered on a medium heat for a further 5-10 minutes.
Add the sauce, cover and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pineapple (if using), heat through and serve with plain boiled rice. You may like to adjust the flavouring before serving, I find another splash of soy sauce works well. You could also try substituting different vegetables or using different proportions of sweet and sour flavours in the sauce.
Catherine Clarke is an Irish revert living in Scotland. She is a History graduate, with an interest in all things health, fitness and family related. She is currently training to become a copy-editor.