My favourite dish at any Chinese restaurant is almost always the sweet and sour… well sweet and sour anything! Vegetables, chicken, pork, prawns… if it is covered in that sweet yet tangy sauce then I am all over it. But I am unable to cook it at home for a family meal as only I like it…. bummer, right?
So I devised this recipe to give me some of the flavours (and the all important orangey coloured sauce) of sweet and sour but also flavours that my family would like to eat. Every time I make this dish, it goes down a storm and it is eaten with gusto, so I get to munch on something I like and curb my cravings and they get to eat something that they really enjoy too.
For the crispy chicken
- 600g chicken breast (cut into medium to small chunks or diced)
- 1/2 mug of cornflour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic granules
- 1 mug of ground nut oil (or sunflower oil works just fine too)
For the honey, orange and ginger sauce
- 425g clear honey
- 2 large oranges
- 30g ginger (use more or less depending on how much you like ginger, we LOVE ginger in this house!)
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 300g carrots
Cut the carrots into batons (sticks) and boil or steam until just tender (don’t over cook as they will get heated again in a moment!) then drain and leave to one side.
Chop the ginger into matchsticks, squeeze the juice (and any fleshy bits that fall out of the orange too!) out of the oranges and then add the ginger, the orange juice and all the other sauce ingredients into a sauce pan.
Then put the sauce pan on a high heat and start to boil until it froths up and boils hard and fast.
Allow the sauce to rapid boil for 2 minutes then turn down to a low heat, add the carrots and simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. The sauce will seem quite watery, but it will thicken later. Turn off the heat whilst you tackle the chicken.
Now for the chicken. In a bowl, mix the cornflour, five spice powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder (or granules) and chilli powder.
Add the chicken to the bowl and coat all the chicken in the cornflour mix.
Add the oil to a large work or deep pan and place on a moderately high heat. Allow the oil to get really hot and then very carefully (and I mean VERY carefully) place a third of the chicken into the pan. Keep moving the chicken around using gently until it is fully golden brown.
Once the chicken is golden brown, remove the chicken from the oil and place in a bowl covered in kitchen roll or tissue paper to absorb any remaining oil and then fry the next third of the chicken. Repeat until all chicken is cooked and out of the wok. Remove the wok from the heat and then empty the wok to remove the oil and place the chicken back in, along with the cashew nuts and the sauce. Turn the heat back on and toss and fry for about a minute on a high heat but keep everything moving in the wok so it doesn’t stick. After a minute place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve. Serve with rice or noodles. Enjoy!