Alex wanted to cook Chinese so she looked over the recipes in Savoring China by Jacki Passmore. She found a pork recipe with pineapple sauce but what I thawed in the fridge the previous night was chicken, not pork. Could she substitute, she asked. Of course, I replied. And this crisp-fried chicken with pineapple sauce was born.
It’s a fruity sweet-sour dish with an earthy heat from the sheer amount of ginger both in the marinade and the sauce. So aromatic and so delicious.
You’ll need two cooking pans to make crisp-fried chicken with pineapple sauce—a small sauce pan in which to make the sauce and a wok or frying pan for frying the battered chicken. The cooking procedure is straightforward though. Marinate the chicken. Make the sauce. Fry the chicken. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Serve.
- 6 chicken thigh fillets (skin on or skinless, either will work)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 whole eggs lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- cooking oil for deep frying
- sliced scallions to garnish
Pat the chicken fillets dry. Cut into half-inch strips. Dump into a bowl, add the ginger and salt, and mix well.
Make the sauce. Mix the rice wine vinegar, chili sauce, corn starch, sugar, salt and pepper with half a cup of water in a bowl.
Cook the sauce. Heat the cooking oil in a sauce pan. Over medium heat, saute the scallions, ginger and garlic for half a minute. Pour in the vinegar-starch mixture. Cook, stirring, until thick and clear. Add the chopped pineapple and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat. Cover the pan to keep the sauce hot.
Make the batter for the chicken by stirring together the eggs, flour and starch. Add the marinated chicken strips and mix well to coat each piece with batter.
In a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking to reach a depth of at least two inches. When fine wisps of smoke start to float on the oil surface, fry the battered chicken strips, in batches if necessary, until lightly browned and crisp.
Pile the fried chicken strips on a platter. Pour the pineapple sauce over them. Sprinkle sliced scallions on top.
Serve the crisp-fried chicken with pineapple sauce with rice.