To all working-class people!
A spectre is haunting Europe - spectre of plastic, artificial food! Rotten Western countries has overpowered us with quick instant dishes, ready made sauces from the jars, even East very often betray us - I bet your local Chinese take away add some magic powder to their meals. Also they contain massive amounts of sugar and salt! We would be able to feed all members of proletarian movement with those amounts!
Those who have been reproached with the desire of loosing few inches in their waists in new year should stop buying take away dishes and start to cook their own classic Cantonese dishes at home.
Let the take away bars tremble! You have nothing to lose but your chains. They have great amount of taste to win.
Lovers of sweet and sour dishes of all countries, unite!
Happy New Year to all my readers!
Right, after this ridiculous introduction inspired by one of the most absurd things I have ever read* please let me invite you to my kitchen for an absolute Chinese classic dish, that most of you probably know and like, however I am not sure if you know hoe to cook it from a scratch at home. It is worth as much effort as it takes to cook it - it is tasty, and you know what you eat and it only takes less than 30 minutes to make.
The recipe for sweet and sour sauce comes from "Foolproof Chinese Cookery" ** by Ken Hom, that contains easy to make, step by step everyone's favourite Chinese recipes. It goes nicely with chicken, prawns or pork. It is also up to you to decide what vegetables you want to use - those that I used today, or perhaps thinly sliced carrots, exotic mushrooms or water chestnuts.
tbsp groundnut oil
fresh ginger, a walnut size
2 garlic cloves
4 spring onions
2 small chicken breasts
red bell pepper
green bell pepper
tinned bamboo shoots, 120g drained
piece of fresh pineapple (I used a quarter of small one, you can use tinned instead, but in my opinion fresh is more tasty)
For the sauce:
150ml good quality chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp tomato puree
3 tbsp rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp corn flour (starch) or potato flour blended with 3 tbsp water
Prepare all the ingredients so they are ready to stir fry: peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger, slice the spring onions diagonally, deseed peppers and slice into strips, thinly slice the chicken breast, cut pineapple into bite size chunks.
Heat the oil in a wok or deep pan and stir fry over a high heat the ginger with garlic and half of spring onions (I save the darker, top parts for garnishing) for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken breast stir fry until seared. Next add the peppers and bamboo shoots, season with salt and pepper and meantime prepare the sauce.
Mix all of the sauce ingredients except the corn flour and set aside.
After about 5 minutes of frying the vegetables with chicken add the pineapple and fry for another minute or so then add the sauce and bring to the boiling point. Add the corn flour blended with water, mix well and cook for about 30 seconds - the sauce should be thick after this time, so remove it from the heat.
Serve with boiled rice and sprinkled with some spring onions.
* The Communist Manifesto, originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party (German: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei)
** I believe my sister Miki didn't have bad intentions when she gave me this book of which title contains the word "foolproof", ha, ha! I have made a very good use of this book and would recommend it to anybody wanting to cook easy Chinese dishes at home.