Sweet and Sour Chicken – Chinese takeaway-style

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Greetings Gastronauts! This is KeefCooks, I'm Keef and today I'm going to show you how to do something a little bit exotic – we're going to do Chinese takeaway style sweet and sour chicken balls [ MUSIC ] So I'm doing this for Dan Bob who says heloves me and wants to have my babies Sorry mate I'm taken.

Now, I don't know about you, but whenever I get this from a Chinese takeaway it's always horrible, because by the time you get to eat it, the batter has gone soggy, the sauce is fluorescent orange or even pink.

And it's just bleurghhh – I mean, this has no relation to actual Chinese food as you might find in your actual China – it's adapted to the tastes of the local market [ LAUGHS ] which says a lot about those, doesn't it Anyway, it is actually quite nice if you make it properly like I do.

So quite easy, let's do it OK, ingredients for the batter I've got 70grams of self-raising flour, 70 grams of corn flour – cornstarch – 120 mils of cold water, a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, teaspoon of salt anda half teaspoon of garlic powder and all you do is mixify those all together.

Chuck the water in and it should be quite a thick batter but not thick as thatso I'm going to add a spot more water and another spot.

Now that goes in the fridgeto rest for at least half an hour Ok I've got two boneless skinlesschicken breasts which I'm going to cut into cubes.

I've got some passata or you could use tomato ketchup asyour sauce base – some white wine vinegar, some soy sauce, some sugar andoptional extras – red and green peppers and good oldpineapple rings which I've not had for centuries really.

So I'm not giving youquantities for this, I'm just going to wing it and you just mess about with thesweetness and sourness to get balance that you like so about some oil heatingin a medium frying pan and I'm just going to chop these bits of pepper quite smallish so this is like a half of each one andwhat we're going to do is just let them cook for a few minutes to soften andwe'll just pop the other goodies in and start off with the tomato – or tomatoketchup if that's what you're using Some suga,r 2 teaspoons there, some white winevinegar and a good old glug of soy sauce Stir it together and then have ataste.

Well that's certainly ok on the acidity front and put the pineapple chunks in.

Ican't believe I'm doing this – I normally hate fruit in savoury dishes but tryingto be authentic British Chinese takeaway so gotta do this.

So I'm going to letthat bubble away for a while and hopefully it will reduce somewhat andthicken up and you know what I just figured out what's missing from this – apinch of salt How could I forget that? Right I've got thedeep fat fryer heated up 290 degrees Celcius If you don't have a deep fat fryer you canuse a large saucepan not more than half full of oil.

Now I'm just going to dipeach piece of chicken into the batter and place it in the fryer.

Basically you'llprobably going to need to do these in batches because you don't want to crowdthe fryer You don't want them sticking together so I've got the oven on low to keep them warm as I produce them and when they've had likefive minutes just fish 'em out, drain them off and keep them warm Actually it's a good idea to just tryone or two just to make sure you've got your cooking temperature and time right.

So I've just had one of these and it's not exactly, not entirely cooked in the middle.

It's okay but a bit pink.

So here it is, our wonderful sweet and sour chicken balls and I'mjust using the chopsticks as props because I'm not using them as eating irons because I'm rubbish with them.

So I just have a dip of the sweet and sour sauce Mmm.

Crunchy batter.

Yep, that's all good and easily better than your local Chinese takeaway's version, I think.

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