Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sweet and sour stir-fry

I'd hurriedly got a chicken breast out of the freezer before I left for work this morning, but when it came to making tea tonight, I couldn't think what to do with it. Any of the as-yet-uncompleted recipes which use chicken breast also require ingredients I didn't have on hand.

Having eliminated all the possibilities offered by the chicken chapter, I turned to the sauces. There I decided a sweet and sour sauce (p187) would work ok with a simple chicken and vege stir-fry.

I was interested to see that this particular sweet and sour sauce didn't have any pineapple in it. I've always thought of pineapple as a vital ingredient in anything sweet and sour. Not so, apparently.

The first thing to do was chop onion and garlic and get them into a saucepan. While the onion was cooking, I combined tomato sauce with cornflour, then added it to the onions with some sugar. Then it was just a matter of gradually adding chicken stock, and allowing the sauce to thicken. When the sauce had reached a reasonable consistency, I removed it from the heat and added vinegar and seasoning.

When tasting the sauce to adjust the seasoning, I found that it was not really balanced between sweet and sour: sweetness predominated. I added more vinegar, and more again. By the time I had the sauce tasting the way I felt it should, I'd more than doubled the amount of vinegar given in the recipe.

While cooking the sauce, I'd also had some rice on and was stir-frying the chicken and vege. I served myself up a plateful and added a few spoonfuls of sweet and sour sauce.

I quite enjoyed my sweet and sour stir-fry. Not, perhaps, so much that I'd be jumping to make it again, but it tasted nice enough. As for the sauce itself, once I'd adjusted the flavour to my liking, it was a fairly familiar-tasting sweet and sour. Still, if I particularly wanted to make a sweet and sour sauce, I'd choose the one from the sweet and sour fish recipe over this one.


  1. Interesting. I went back and checked your sweet n sour fish entry and saw that you had used your homemade spiced vinegar that time. Did you use it again this time? If not, do you think it would have made a big difference or not?

  2. Good point! This recipe uses white vingar - probably the spiced vinegar (homemade or otherwise) gives the sweet and sour fish more flavour.


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