Gen­eral Tso’s chicken

BBC Good Food - - Inside -

Not au­then­ti­cally Chi­nese at all, but a much-loved dish in Chi­nese restau­rants in the States. It looks com­pli­cated but if you get all the var­i­ous com­po­nents ready, it’s ac­tu­ally quite easy to make.

SERVES 4 along with other dishes PREP 15 mins COOK 25 mins A LIT­TLE EF­FORT

For the chicken

1 egg white

½ tbsp po­tato flour

2 tbsp dark soy sauce 2 tbsp Shaohs­ing wine or medium sherry 500g bone­less chicken thighs, cut into 4cm pieces

For the flour coat­ing 50g corn­flour

50g plain flour

For the sauce

1 tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp po­tato flour

1 tbsp dark soy sauce 2 tbsp light soy sauce 2 tbsp Chi­nese rice vine­gar

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp Shaohs­ing wine or medium sherry 6 Sichuan long dried chill­ies (if you can’t get hold of th­ese, 1 tsp chilli flakes works well) 1 tbsp ground­nut oil 1 inch piece of gin­ger, peeled and very finely chopped

2 cloves gar­lic, finely chopped To cook the chicken and to fin­ish

1 litre ground­nut oil 3 spring onions, finely chopped

3 tsp toasted sesame seeds 1 For the chicken, mix the egg white with the po­tato flour in a bowl, then add the soy sauce, Shaohs­ing wine (or sherry) and the chicken. Turn the chicken over to coat it.

2 For the sauce, mix to­gether the tomato purée, 2-3 tbsp wa­ter, po­tato flour, soy sauces, rice vine­gar, sugar and Shaohs­ing wine and set this aside. Snip the chill­ies into 5cm lengths, dis­card­ing the seeds.

3 Heat the oil in a wok and cook the gar­lic, gin­ger and chill­ies over a medium heat un­til they’re aro­matic and begin­ning to soften, but not brown.

4 Mix the corn­flour and plain flour for the coat­ing with salt and pep­per and tip into a broad shal­low bowl. Work­ing with one piece of chicken at a time, dip it in the flour mix and set the pieces onto a tray.

5 Pour enough oil into a deep pan to come 8cm up the sides. Heat un­til it reaches 200C (if you drop in a test piece of chicken, it should siz­zle straight away). Care­fully add half the chicken pieces and fry un­til they’re crisp and golden – ag­i­tat­ing the pieces to make sure they don’t stick to­gether – about 4 mins. Lift the pieces out with a slot­ted spoon onto a dou­ble layer of kitchen pa­per. Re­peat with the rest of the chicken.

6 Heat the wok, add the sauce mix­ture to the gar­lic, gin­ger and chill­ies in there and cook, stir­ring, un­til the mix­ture bub­bles and thick­ens. Add the chicken and half the spring onions and warm ev­ery­thing through. Serve with the sesame seeds and the rest of the spring onions scat­tered on top. This doesn’t give you huge serv­ings so it’s best to of­fer an­other dish with it, as well as boiled rice.

PER SERV­ING 430 kcals • fat 18g • sat­u­rates 4g • carbs 34g • su­gars 10g • fi­bre 1g • pro­tein 30g • salt 3.1g

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