Whenever we get Chinese takeaway, Sweet and Sour Chicken is always at the top of our must-have list. There is just something so good about that delicious little flavour combination. However, the takeaway version is pretty low on the healthy scale… there’s hardly any vegetables at all! And sometimes we get the pork version which is deep-fried. Yummy? Yes! Healthy? No! So I decided that it was time to experiment with making a healthy version of sweet and sour chicken at home.
My version of sweet and sour chicken is packed with vegetables. I like to include red onion, capsicum and a whole heap of baby bok choy or pak choy. You could use any Asian greens that you like. To keep things light, I also like to grill my chicken breasts in a pan on the stove with just a little spray of olive oil. The pineapple gives this dish a beautiful sweetness which goes perfectly with the quick and easy sauce.
The thing I love about this dinner is that it’s ready in less than 20 minutes. I use the microwavable rice packs which are so quick and easy (yep, I’m lazy when it comes to prepping dinner… shortcuts are my life saver!).
For the sauce –
1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
3 tbs tomato sauce
3 tbs white vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs caster sugar
2 tbs water
500g chicken breasts, sliced
400g tin pineapple pieces, drained (reserve the juice)
3 small bunches bok choy, pak choy (or other Asian greens), roughly chopped
1 red capsicum, chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 cups cooked rice (Jasmine, white, brown are all fine to use).
1. Chop the vegetables and set aside.
2. Thinly slice the chicken breasts.
3. Cook the chicken breasts in a frying pan over medium-high heat until browned.
4. Meanwhile, place all of the sauce ingredients (except for the cornflour and water) into a saucepan and brown to the boil.
5. Mix the cornflour and water in a cup and add to the boiling sauce.
6. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir until thickened.
7. Add the capsicum, onion and pineapple to the chicken.
8. Cook for 2 minutes.
9. Add the bok choy (or other Asian greens) and stir to wilt slightly.
10. Add half of the sauce to the chicken and vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
11. Place 1 cup of rice on each plate.
12. Divide the sweet and sour chicken over the top and drizzle over the remaining sauce.
13. Serve immediately.
What are your favourite ways to make ‘takeaway’ food healthy?