Although this dish is usually made with pork (Goo Lo Yuke), I've come to prefer Sweet & Sour Chicken. Traditionally the pork is battered, deep fried then coated in the sauce.
I eliminate the deep frying and simply stir fry the chicken instead, cutting down on the fat and calories but none of the flavor, and this method makes the recipe easily do-able at home with a minimum of mess.
You can change out the vegetables according to what you like (or what you have on hand). I've used canned pineapple chunks in this recipe, but if you can get fresh pineapple, all the better! For this recipe I usually buy small container of fresh chunks in the produce refrigerator case ~ a great shortcut!
Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fresh Pineapple
6 servings if part of a multi-course Chinese style meal
2 to 3 servings if it is your main dish
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks or strips
1 Tablespoon extra-dry, or dry cocktail Sherry (not cooking sherry)
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce (best brand for this recipe)
4 teaspoons flour
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 green, or red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 yellow or white onion, cut into wedges or chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or canned
1 or 2 green onions (scallions) cut diagonally (for garnish)
Add any of the following:
2 or 3 celery ribs, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
Some add the following (I don't):
1 cup canned lichee and or 12 maraschino cherries
(I usually double this amount; I use half for coating the chicken & vegetables, and pass the other half at the table for those who like more.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar in this recipe)
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons tomato ketchup (catsup)
3/4 cup pineapple juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
When ready to cook:
Drain fruits, (save the pineapple juice for the recipe), set aside.
Prepare the Sweet & Sour sauce:
Stir all sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan, cook over medium heat until mixture boils and it thickens. Taste for seasonings; if you like it sweeter, saltier, or more tart, adjust the seasonings accordingly. Set aside while you cook the meat.
Heat a generous 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat (canola or other flavorless oil).
Drain chicken chunks and stir fry until browned and just cooked through; remove from pan and set aside.
Reduce heat, and in the same pan quickly stir fry the onion, carrots for 2 or 3 minutes, then add celery and bell peppers, (and water chestnuts if you are using), stir fry for another minute or two then add chicken back into pan along with the pineapple and (other fruit if you are using). Toss together then add in the Sweet and Sour sauce* and stir for just a moment until all ingredients are heated through.
Serve hot with steamed rice.
*If you've doubled the sauce, you may only want to add half of it to the dish and pass the remainder at the table.
**You can substitute pork or shrimp for the chicken if you like.
The Sweet and Sour Sauce is also a great dipping or chafing dish sauce for cocktail franks, chunks of ham or kielbasa, or chicken, etc.