Arguably one of the most popular chicken dish in Chinese cuisine is sweet and sour chicken and none of us can disagree with the taste (or can we?). The freshness of the chicken is evident in this dish with light coated crispy flavour from the outside and juicy chicken towards the centre crunch. The sweet and sour sauce completes the overall aroma of the dish which makes it distinct. It's probably the most well known sweet and sour dish. I can imagine this inspired putting pineapple on a pizza.
Talking about the sweet and sour chickens origin, it was definitely from the parts of china around the 18th century. The recipe was then used and perfected for over two hundred years after it finally reached the United States in the 20th century through Chinese migrants. The dish has also evolved to another name, Ku Lo Yuk which is traditionally a dish based out of pork, but chicken is more widely accepted.
Bite sized chicken pieces are first marinated in corn flour and deep fried in a wok before adding the sweet and sour flavour. The chicken is made sure to have a crispier coating and juicy insides, so that the flavour of the sweet and sour sauce is absorbed properly. This sauce is made out of chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, lemon juice, sugar, plum sauce and a little salt. The plum sauce is sometimes replaced with vinegar for a stronger taste depending on the chef's choice and the location. Finally, the deep fried chicken along with the vegetables are stir fried on a wok for a side dish or sometimes just mixed well with the sweet and sour sauce to keep the crispy chicken intact.
Chicken Meal Bowl – The making of the sweet and sour chicken as a side dish is most favoured around the world and is often served in a meal bowl. This recipe is a depiction to make a meal bowl for you or the family. Here, the initial deep frying of the chicken with corn flour and making of the sweet and sour sauce are the same. However, the stir frying process includes adding up of a little water to create a gravy. Serve the same in a bowl of rice or noodles to complete the dish.
Sweet n Sour Chicken Starter – A lot of people from the West and in the United States became a fan of the sweet and sour chicken, because of this. This is a simple modification done to the traditional dish which changes the way you eat the preparation. The chicken is marinated with thick layers of corn flour before deep frying it. The sauce is prepared using the necessary ingredients and vinegar in place of plum sauce for a stronger taste. Here, only the sweet and sour sauce is stir fried on a pan so that the gravy becomes rich. Lastly, the same is poured on the fried chicken pieces and mixed well. This is served with garlic bread for the best taste. There are a lot of other styles of making sweet and sour chicken which you can try out at home.
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