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Sweet and Sour Chicken

ingredients

4 servings
4 Chicken breasts, skinned
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Ground ginger
2 Egg whites, lightly beaten
2 Tbs Cornflour (cornstarch)
Sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying

for the sauce

50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
piece 5 cm (2 in) Fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
1 Large green pepper, pith and seeds removed and chopped
1/2 Cucumber, halved lengthways and sliced
5 Spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
175 g (6 oz) Bean sprouts
225 g (8 oz) Canned pineapple chunks
4 Tbs Wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs Soy sauce
2 Tbs Tomato puree (paste)
2 Tbs Soft brown sugar
1 Tbs Cornflour (cornstarch), blended with 3 Tbs water

method

1. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and rub the flesh with salt, pepper and ground ginger. Put the pieces into a shallow dish. Beat the egg whites and cornflour (cornstarch) together, then pour the mixture over the chicken pieces, tossing gently until they are thoroughly coated. Set aside for 15 minutes, basting occasionally.

2. Preheat the oven to warm 150°C (Gas Mark 2, 300°F).

3. Fill a large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat until it reaches 180°C (350°F) on a deep-fat thermometer, or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 55 seconds. Carefully lower the chicken cubes, a few at a time, into the oil and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towels. Transfer the cubes to a serving dish and keep hot in the oven while you cook the sauce.

4. Heat the oil in a very large frying-pan. Add the ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the vegetables and pineapple chunks and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Combine the pineapple can juice and the remaining ingredients, except the cornflour (cornstarch) mixture, and beat well to blend. Pour into the pan and stir-fry for a further 1 minute or until it is heated through. Stir in the cornflour (cornstarch) mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and becomes translucent.

5. Remove the chicken pieces from the oven and pour over the sauce. Serve at once.

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