Ching-He Huang’s Fried Sweet Chilli Chicken

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This dish has become a mid-week staple for my three kids. It’s crisp and crunchy, succulent and moist, served with a sauce that has a hot-sweet-sour hit. Finger lickin’ good. It comes from Ching-He Huang’s ‘Chinese Food in Minutes’ book – one of my favourite go-to cookbooks for quick and easy meals.

Ching writes: “This quick and easy fried chicken is delicious and addictive. You can use chicken breast but I love juicy chicken thighs on the bone.”

Unfortunately, my kids prefer breast meat, so that what I’ve used for this recipe. Serve with egg-fried rice.

Serves 2-4

2 chicken breasts, carved into thick slices
4 tbsp cornflour
2 egg whites
1 litre groundnut or sunflower oil for deep-frying
Salt and ground white pepper

For the sauce

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded
6 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
Juice 1 lime
Small handful freshly chopped coriander (optional)

1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Combine the cornflour and egg whites to make a batter.

2. Heat a wok (or chip pan, in my case) and fill with the oil. Heat the oil to 180C or until a cube of bread dropped in turns brown in 15 seconds and floats to the surface.

3. Dip the chicken slices in the batter, then place in a spider (or chip pan basket, in my case). Gently lower into the oil and deep-fry for about 5 mins until crispy and golden. Remove and drain on kitchen towel. (You can reserve the oil for use in another recipe).

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4. To make the sauce, add 1 tbsp of reserved oil to a small saucepan and heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add th chilli sauce, soy sauce and lime juice. Mix well.

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5. Serve the chicken with egg-fried rice or noodle, smothered with the sweet chilli sauce. Or just have as a sticky finger food.

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