Thursday, 17 February 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken and Pineapple

I HATE the sweet and sour stuff you get at most Chinese restaurants - way too sweet AND sour, with a gloopy sauce.  Most recipes sound gross too, with pineapple juice, too much vinegar and huge quantities of sugar.  But, we had some lovely fresh pineapple in the house, so I thought, why not try to make it with a lot of these elements reined in?  And it worked - we ended up with a lovely dish of delicate, subtle falvours and textures, and I am quite converted to this now.  Here's what I did, for two people.  I made the sauce first by dissolving a dessertspoon of honey and a teaspoon of tomato puree in 1/4 of a pint of boiling water in a jug.  To this, I added 2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar (but any white vinegar would do), along with 2 teaspoons of sweet chilli sauce, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce (I use reduced sodium) and stir well.  Now add a clove of garlic, grated or finely chopped, and about an inch of fresh ginger, grated.  Top it up to 1/2 a pint with cold water, and then whisk in a heaped teaspoon of cornflour, and set aside.  Get on with your stir-fry - I used sliced chicken breasts, red onions and a red pepper, but you can use pork, mange touts, courgettes, anything that takes your fancy.  I also chopped about a quarter of a fresh pineapple into medium chunks - do use fresh, as I think tinned is too sweet and mushy.  Stir-fry everything in the usual way in a really hot wok, then at the end, add the sauce and let it bubble and glaze everything for a minute.  Sprinkle with a little crushed dried red chilli for even more 'poke' if liked.  Serve with rice.  Lovely, piquant meal and miles better than commercial sweet 'n' sours!


  1. I'm definitely goijg to try this at the weekend or next week in half term. It looks delicious and I, too, dislike the commercial sauces.

    J x

  2. do try it Joy, very fresh and delicious. Do taste the mix and adjust the sweetness or sourness to taste with either more honey or more vinegar. A little extra soy or some salt can balance the flavours too. Let me know how you get on!