Sweet and sour chicken stir fry
You really don’t need a packet sauce to make a deliciously tasty stir fry. This recipes is so scrumptious – part stir-fry, part chow-mein, part sweet & sour chicken – it’s fresh, tasty and simple to prepare using ingredients you probably have lying around in the pantry or fridge. If you love coriander (like I do), use a whole bunch. Chop the stems up finely and add to the stir fry with the veges, then use the leaves for garnish. If you prefer to serve the chicken on rice rather stir fry with noodles, it’s just as good. I would normally use brown rice as I think it tastes better and I love the texture.
Prep time – 15 minutes
Cooking time – 25 minutes
Oil, for frying (peanut, rice bran or grape seed)
500g-600g boneless chicken breasts or thighs
2 onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
3 cups chopped vegetables e.g. capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snow peas, green beans
1/3 of a fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into pieces
¾ cup roasted cashews or peanuts (you can chop some up finely for garnish, too – see below)
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, to serve (chives, coriander, parsley)
200g egg noodles
Sweet & sour sauce
½ cup pineapple juice
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or 1 ½ tbsp white or malt vinegar)
3 tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free if necessary)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with ¼ cup water or chicken stock
2 tsp lemon or lime juice
¾ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp ground white or black pepper
Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
If your noodles are dry, cook according to the packet directions, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. (If precooked, just get them out of the packet).
Add the sauce ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to use later.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and slice into chunks. Season all over with salt and pepper (I like to use a combination of black and white pepper for this dish).
Heat a frying pan or wok over a high heat. When it’s very hot, add 1 tbsp of the oil, swish it around and add half the chicken pieces. Fry, without stirring, until one side is golden brown and crispy (don’t stir too early). Give it a stir and brown the other sides. Set aside in a bowl and repeat with the remaining chicken.
Reduce the heat to medium, add another 1 tbsp oil the the same pan/wok, along with the onions. Stir-fry for a few minutes until golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry another minute. Increase the heat to high then add the vegetables, pineapple and cashews, and stir-fry for another minute (the veges should still be crunchy at this point).
Add the chicken and its juices back to the pan with the sauce and the noodles. Stir, and simmer for around 5 minutes – or until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Don’t overcook here, it or the veges will go mushy.
Serve in bowls garnished with extra herbs and a good smattering of the cashews or peanuts.
- To toast the nuts if they are raw, bake in the oven at 180c for 10 minutes.
- I also like chopping up some of the toasted nuts finely and using that as a garnish and well as some stirred through the dish at the end – so you get some whole ones and some chopped.