Recreating your favourite takeaway dishes at home might not be as difficult as you think. This sweet and sour orange chicken from Dirty Food combines two delicious dishes that are just too hard to choose between in a Chinese restaurant!
For the Sweet & Sour Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
3 1⁄2 tablespoons sugar
3 1⁄2 tablespoons white vinegar
zest of 1 waxed orange
For the Chicken
675 g/11⁄2 lbs boneless skinless chicken,
chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon salt
ground white pepper to taste
1 litre/quart peanut oil, for frying
40 g/1⁄3 cup cornflour/cornstarch,
plus 1 tablespoon for thickening
35 g/1⁄4 cup plain/all-purpose fl our
4 rings fresh (or canned) pineapple, drained (juice reserved)
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 green (bell) peppers, in small pieces
1⁄2 tablespoon chilli/hot red pepper flakes
1⁄4 cup chopped spring onion/scallion
1 tablespoon rice wine
Sweet & Sour Sauce (above), to serve
60 ml/1⁄4 cup water
For the Pineapple Fried Rice
8 rings fresh (or canned) pineapple, drained
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1⁄2 yellow onion, chopped
1 red (bell) pepper, chopped
1⁄2 carrot, grated
240 g/2 cups cooked rice
1–2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder sugar, to taste
1 spring onion/scallion, chopped
For the sweet and sour sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Pour the sauce into a small bowl and set aside.
For the orange chicken, place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Be sure to handle raw chicken with care.
In another large bowl, stir together the eggs, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil. Mix well.
In a small bowl, whisk 40 g/1⁄3 cup cornflour/cornstarch and fl our together. Mix the fl our mixture into egg mixture. Add the chicken pieces, tossing to coat.
Heat the rest of the peanut oil in a large frying pan/skillet, wok or deep-fryer to 190°C (375°F) or until the oil is bubbling steadily. Add the chicken pieces, a few at a time. Fry for 3–4 minutes or until golden crisp.
Remove the chicken from the oil with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels then set aside. Clean the wok or frying pan/ skillet and heat for 15 seconds over a high heat. Add a little oil and then add the ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for 10 seconds or until fragrant. Add the peppers, chilli/hot red pepper flakes, spring onions/scallions and rice wine. Stir for a few seconds. Add the sweet and sour sauce and bring to the boil. Add the cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed.
Stir water into the remaining 1 tablespoon cornflour/cornstarch until smooth and add to the chicken. Heat until the sauce has thickened and then turn off the gas.
To make the pineapple fried rice, cut the pineapple rings into small wedges. Heat a wok or frying pan/skillet over a medium to medium-high heat. Add the oil, rotating the pan so that it coats the bottom and sides.
When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the onion. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the red (bell) pepper, grated carrot and pineapple. Mix everything together and then add the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Stir the mixture and toss in the pan until it looks shiny. Add the soy sauce and stir in. Stir in the curry powder and sugar. Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired. Stir in the spring onion/scallion or use as a garnish.