Sweet and Sour, Singapore-style

It is virtually impossible to track down the recipe for a dish found in any Chinese restaurant, but it is so easy to make, and you can put in whatever you like in the way of vegetables. The ingredients list may look long but it is all fridge or larder basics.

Serves 4

  • 450g/ 1lb chicken, cut into strips, or large, raw shelled prawns
  • 150ml (half a portion) 'your secret sauce'
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil (if you have it, otherwise any vegetable oil)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped as above
  • 1 large-ish carrot, cut into strips
  • 1 small tin pineapple in juice
  • 1tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry or rice wine
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp of the pineapple juice
  • small fresh chillies, chopped (optional)
  • baby sweetcorn/broccoli/mange tout/ other crunchy veg (optional)
  • can water chestnuts (optional)
  1. Combine the secret sauce with the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and sherry or rice wine.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the chicken or prawns and onion and carrot for a couple of minutes (with the optional chillies).  
  3. Add the pepper and any other vegetables you are using.
  4. Stir in the cornflour mix, then gradually add the secret sauce mix and heat until it begins to thicken.
  5. Add the pineapple at this stage, and let the liquid bubble until the chicken is cooked, which will only be a few minutes.
  6. Taste the sauce and add as much of the remaining pineapple juice as you feel it needs.
  7. Serve with rice.

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