I looove Chinese food. I only wish it didn’t make me bloat up like a blowfish and give me hunger pangs an hour after eating it, every time I go out.
As a result I like making it at home where I can control the ingredients so that it won’t leave me wanting more (or wishing I had less). The only problem is, a lot of my favourite dishes either take forever to make at home or require deep-frying.
I hate deep-frying. The smell permeates the house for days afterwards and although I enjoy the results it’s not worth it, to me, for just one meal.
That is where this loverly recipe comes in. You can make a huge batch of this and store it in the freezer to be heated in the oven at a later date. That way your house only smells of grease for one meal but you reap the benefits of many more.
The first time I made this was when I was just married, which speaks volumes about this recipes ease of preparation. It’s still a huge hit in our house and although it appears intimidating there’s nothing to it really. Once I figured out the whole freeze and bake thing, we’ve been enjoying this much more often and hopefully you will be too.
The chicken is coated in a crispy batter which remains mostly chicken and very little dough. I don’t particularly enjoy mine to blow up so huge that I have to chew through miles of dough just to get to a teeny piece of chicken inside.
I’m also in love with this Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce. It’s a delightfully perfect combination of all things sweet and tangy. And, by all things I mean the ingredients listed below.
To show just how easy this recipe is I have included step-by-step photos at the bottom of the post. There’s nothing to stop you from making this at home. No more excuses! Unless you can’t have wheat. Then I’ll let it slide.
What are you favourite Chinese dishes that you wish you could make more often at home?
Sweet & Sour Chicken Balls
adapted from Company’s Coming – Chinese Cooking
- 1 cup flour
- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3 eggs
- 4.5 tsp. water
- 1 lb. chicken into bite size pieces
- canola oil, for deep-frying
- Preheat oil in dutch oven or deep-fryer on medium heat or to 375ºF (190ºC).
- Stir together flour, cornstarch and salt. Make a well in the centre. Crack eggs into the well. Add water. Whisk to first combine water and eggs, then stir together all ingredients until smooth.
- Add chicken. Stir to coat.
- With a fork, drop chicken one piece at a time into hot oil. Cook in batches, making sure to not over-crowd the pan, until light golden brown and chicken is cooked through. (3-5 min.)
- Remove to a paper towel lined baking tray to drain.
* To freeze: Once chicken is completely cooled and drained, transfer to a resealable freezer bag or plastic container and throw in the freezer. For even more convenience divide them into bags depending on the amount of servings required. (one recipe makes 6-8 servings depending on the appetite.)
* To cook from frozen: Place on a baking sheet (frozen) and bake at 400ºF (200ºC) for 15-20 min. until crisp and heated through.
Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 (14oz) can pineapple tidbits, do not drain
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- Fry onion in a bit of oil, in a saucepan, until starting to softened.
- Add canned pineapple (juice and all), brown sugar, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil.
- Combine the cornstarch and water in a separate bowl or cup until dissolved. Add to pineapple mixture along with green pepper. Simmer 2 minutes until thick.
- Pour over chicken balls to serve.
* To freeze: Allow to cool. Divide into containers depending on the amount of servings you want per container. Keep in mind that one recipe of sauce covers one recipe of chicken balls.
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