"Buo-luo Ji" Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is a Cantonese takeout classic and is especially good if your fresh pineapple that's in season as opposed to the tinned variety.

Total Time:
35 min
25 min
10 min

2 to 4 servings

  • Sweet and Sour Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Shaohsing rice wine
  • Chicken:
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, deboned, de-skinned, sliced into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper
  • 2 1/8 cups peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced into rounds, for garnish, optional
  • Serving suggestion: jasmine rice
  • For the sweet and sour sauce: Mix together the pineapple juice, cornstarch, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and rice wine in a sauce jug.

  • For the chicken: Mix together the cornstarch and egg whites in a bowl to make a "batter", adding a tablespoon of cold water to thin out if necessary. Toss the chicken pieces into the batter and sprinkle with the salt and white pepper. Mix well and set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a wok to 350 degrees F. Add the chicken pieces and cook until golden brown (this helps to seal in the chicken juices) and cooked through, 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and be extra careful - pour the chicken and hot oil into a stainless-steel colander set over a heatproof bowl to collect the excess oil. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the oil, and discard the rest. Drain the chicken well and set aside.

  • Reheat the wok until smoking and add the reserved oil. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a few seconds. Add the peppers and cook for less than 1 minute, and then add the pineapple. Pour in the sweet and sour sauce and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is reduced and sticky, 1 to 2 minutes, and then toss in the cooked chicken pieces and stir well for 1 minute. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with scallions. Serve with rice.

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