Let us stop for a minute and take a look at this photo for a minute.
What this photo contains – is one of the most powerful drivers of my existence.
Chinese has always been the only cuisine the family agreed on together. So these flavors are literally the ones I grown up on. Every celebratory meal or “lets go out for dinner – just because” meals have inevitable been Chinese, 8 times out of 10. Since day 1. I’ve even heard this story which goes back to when I was an 8 odd months old adorable baby. My parents, for reasons unknown, decided to take me along to a sudden trip to Ahmedabad from Mumbai on a 1 hour notice, by a bus. A non-air conditioned BUS. An overnight bus ride with a 8 month year old kid. The horror.
Anyway, so it seems before the bus flagged off – I was extremely cranky. Because well, hunger. I refused to ingest milk or the usual baby approved food. A quick decision led to me, the 8 month old child, ingesting roadside chinese noodles. And it worked like a charm. I kept slurping away these noodles to glory and sleep-land.
So you see how these combinations of sweet – sour – salty – spicy just make complete sense to me. I was literally almost born with it.
So today, I’ll be letting you into my favourite go-to recipe & the family favourite – Sweet & Sour Chicken
The ingredients in demand are –
This Chinese Seasoning is by Keya. If you’re the person who loves their stir-fries, this thing is God-sent. Just a teaspoon of this takes any stir fry or any oriental dish to a completely different level. Highly highly recommended!
Coming back, heat up the oil.
We’re going to be cooking most of this on high heat. So keep all elements ready so you don’t waste time looking for things once this things start moving.
Once the oil about to reach the smoking point – throw in the garlic, Chinese seasoning and chicken.
Stir it around for about 1-2 minutes on high heat till chicken is cooked through. Once this is done, drop in the diced onions & stir.
Once the onions have become translucent, throw in the rainbow like bell peppers. Give it a light stir.
Don’t forget we’re operating on high heat here. Time is key.
Pour in the chicken/vegetable stock/water. Decrease order of flavors, but even water works just fine on some days.
Once the stock is in, let it come back to the bubble. Once the bubbles arrive, add the ketchup.
Stir it in. The gravy should have a similar colour at this point.
Now, to add the sour & salty – we invite Soy Sauce & Vinegar.
Rice Vinegar is best. But even cider/white will do. I’ve used cider here since I’d ran out of the Rice Vinegar.
Mix the both up in a small bowl and add it in.
Now to counteract this with the sweet, in goes sugar.
Mix it in till the sugar has dissolved. Once there, drop in the pineapple slices for added texture and the old but familiar sweet – tangy battle.
The flavours are all there now. The only thing remaining is to thicken the gravy, so we take a little help of these guys.
Dissolve the cornflour in the water and stir it in the gravy. Put the heat back on medium and let it simmer for 2- 3 minutes till it thickens and becomes this.
Now all that remains to be done is to bust out the chopsticks and serve this on a bed of your favourite rice or noodles.
Garnish with basil leaves and a few sesame seeds.
Bite into the succulent, perfectly cooked juicy-sweet-tangy chicken.
Do be careful about inviting people over for this meal though.
Because boy, you’d really not want to share these leftovers (If any!)
What lovely drivers of existence I have.
(Feel like having another bowl of my powerful drivers of existence) (So should you!)
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 2 tsp Chinese Seasoning
- 3Tbsp Oil (Olive/Vegetable)
- 250 grams diced boneless Chicken
- 2 small Onions - diced
- 1/2 cup of diced Bell Peppers of each colour
- 150 ml Chicken stock
- 5-6 Tbsp Ketchup
- 2 tsp Soy Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Cider Vinegar
- 1-2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Cornflour + Water to mix
- Basil leaves to Garnish
- Sesame seeds to Garnish
- Heat the oil to add chopped garlic, Chinese seasoning and diced chicken.
- Stir for 2 minutes on high heat till chicken is cooked.
- Add diced onions, stir till translucent. Follow with bell peppers, stir in lightly.
- Pour in the chicken/vegetable stock. Bring to simmer.
- Add in ketchup to combine.
- Combine soy sauce and vinegar, add into gravy.
- Stir in sugar till dissolved.
- Combine cornflour and water, stir in to thicken gravy.
- Garnish with Basil leaves & Sesame seeds and serve.
- Keep all ingredients prepared before hand. Since most of cooking is done on high heat, time is important.