We often crave boneless, chunky chicken pieces with savory, sweet-and-sour glaze from Chinese restaurants in the United States.We came up with this recipe as we couldn't find anything like it in Shanghai and we're not always fans of skinny chicken with bone-in, skin on and tiny bite portions.
Large boneless and skinless chicken breasts are available at Pine's the Market Place at 322 Anfu Road.
2 large chicken breasts 4 red chillies, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, finely minced (we put more!) 1 scallion, finely minced 2 egg whites
2 tablespoons of rice wine 4 tablespoons of soy sauce 2 teaspoons of tomato paste or ketchup 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar 2 teaspoons of chili sauce
1 teaspoon of toasted black sesame oil Half tablespoon of chicken powder 2 tablespoons of sugar 1/2 cup of water 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, plus 1 cup for dredging
Peanut oil for frying
Preparation: 1. Cut the chicken breasts into large chunks. Marinade with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine, 2 egg whites and a pinch of kosher salt for 15 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the rest of the 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine, 2 teaspoons of tomato paste, rice vinegar, chili sauce, sesame oil, sugar, water and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Set aside.
3. Dust the chicken pieces in cornstarch and shake off the excess. In batches, deep fry the chicken pieces in peanut oil until lightly golden brown and just cooked through. You don't want to overcrowd and overcook the chicken breast. Take the chicken pieces out and drain on paper towel.
4. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil on high heat, throw in the garlic, scallions and chili peppers (you want to hear the sizzle!) and sauté until fragrant.
5. Stir the small bowl of sauce you set aside earlier to incorporate the cornstarch and liquid together. Pour the sauce into the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Cook and stir constantly until the sauce forms a glaze, about two minutes.
6. Throw in the chicken pieces, toss vigorously to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and sesame seeds if you'd like.
7. Serve immediately with steamy rice.