Sweet and sour cauliflower chicken

timemed skillmed budgetlow

This is an example of a dish invented outside of China when immigrants want to eat something close to their origin, but had to adapt with what was available around them. In its essence, this is just a variation of a stir fry but with a lot more sauce, so generally it is composed of three things: 1. The aromatic ingredients, 2. The content, and 3. The sauce. Tackle one part at a time and you will be fine. Being a saucy stir fry instead of a dry one means it also has an extra failsafe from your protein of choice drying out or undercooking. Like all stir fry, you can turn this into a vegetarian dish by simply removing the chicken. The key is to prepare all components before you start cooking.

Essential Components:
• Chicken, cut into bite pieces (I’m using breast, but thigh is fine)
• Carrot, sliced into thin pieces
• Cauliflower cut into bite chunks
• Onion cut into wedges
• Large red chili, sliced (remove the seeds to reduce the heat if you don’t like it- large red chili generally are less spicy anyway)
• Scallion, sliced

Pantry item:
• Tomato ketchup
• Corn starch
• Salt
• Pepper
• Cooking oil
• Chinese rice wine
• Stock
• Sugar

Method:
• High heat, heat your pan until hot, then add a little oil into it
• Add the onion wedges and cook for about 3 minutes then add the chili, cook for about 1 more minute, then add the chicken
• Cook until the chicken is slightly browned, then add rice wine and scallion, cook for about 1 minute
• Add the carrot slices, cauliflower, generous amount of stock, and tomato ketchup, cook until the vegetables are ready, lower the heat to a simmer
• Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, sugar and more tomato ketchup – the final flavour should be sweet and sour
• In a small bowl add corn starch, then add water into it to create a slurry, add the slurry into your dish to thicken, cook for few more seconds. Adjust the consistency by adding more water or slurry.
• Serve

Tips and Thought:
• I use powdered stock, there’s nothing wrong with them other than having high salt content- so make sure you taste and adjust
• A lot of time spent in this dish is for the prep work, the actual cooking is short
• Some people prefer their vegetable crunchy, some prefer it soft, all you need to do for this adjustment is to either cook them shorter or longer before adding the starch, when you already thicken everything, the risk of burning increases

sweetsour cauliflower

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