There are a lot of variations on this dish, sometimes the chicken is battered and sometimes it isn’t, the sauces can sometimes be dark and sometimes bright red, almost orange in colour. My Sweet and Sour Chicken is somewhere in the middle, the batter is very light and thin, and the sauce is just about in the middle of the colour range. There is a good sour taste to this sauce, sharp without being hash, Historically I like to use Corn Syrup when making sweet and Sour Sauce, but at the time of producing this dish the ship was off the coast of West Africa, Congo and corn syrup was not available, as a result I found the brown sugar alone whist adding good flavor was not sweet enough and needed the addition of some white sugar. The level of sweet and sour can be adjusted to taste, but this recipe seems to strike the right balance and is very positively received by the ships crew.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Make the batter first by mixing 5 tsp of salt with the egg whites and 100 grams of Cornstarch whisk until the cornstarch it evenly distributed.
Place the chicken strips in a suitable size container and toss the chicken in the dry coating mix so that all of the chicken is dry coated, then pour the egg white batter over and mix again to ensure the chicken is all well coated, cover the container and place in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
In a suitable size pot combine the Ketchup, White Vinegar, Pineapple Juice, brown and white sugar and Tobacco and place on the stove to heat gently to a slow simmer, while you fry the vegetables.
Using the brat pan, or a large frying pan add the vegetable oil to the hot pan and add all the vegetables and pineapple and ginger and fry keeping a little firmness to the peppers and onions, Lower the heat of the pan and add your sauce to the vegetables and stir to combine the vegetables and sauce
Mix the 2 tbsp of cornstarch in the ½ cup of water and add to the sauce and simmer for a minute, then remove the sauce from the heat and keep warm on the stove or in a bain-marie.
Set the Thermostat on the deep fat fryer to 180°C, when the oil is hot enough, carefully add pieces of chicken adding to the hot oil one piece as a time until you have a sufficient amount in your basket and fry until cooked, with a minimum core temperature of 75°C.
When the chicken is cooked and crispy drain on kitchen paper and then place in your serving tray or dish and coat with the sweet and sour sauce, garnish with spring onions or chopped parsley.