This recipe for sweet and sour chicken is my adaptation of Ching-He Huang’s sweet and sour duck from Chinese Food in Minutes. I added chilli for a bit of kick, spring onion for colour and flavour, carrot for additional vegetables (got to get in my five a day!) and garlic because few things aren’t improved with garlic! It’s quick and easy to prepare, fruity and tangy. Great with egg fried rice. Also works well using duck, pork and prawns.

Serves 2


2 x chicken breasts

1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry or rice vinegar or vodka!

2 tbsp cornflour

2 tbsp groundnut oil

2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal and the white separated from the green

1 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced into batons

1 clove garlic, finely sliced

½ red chilli, sliced into rings

1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced on the diagonal

1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

juice of 2 small oranges

juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp light soy sauce

ground white pepper


  1. Remove the skin from the chicken breasts and cut into thin slices. Put the slices into a bowl with some white pepper, the rice wine/sherry/rice vinegar/vodka and the cornflour and mix well to coat the meat. Marinate for 10 mins or so.
  2. Heat a wok over a high heat and add the groundnut oil.
  3. Stir fry the white part of the spring onion, garlic, ginger and chilli for a couple of minutes before adding the meat.
  4. Once the meat is brown all over add the carrot and stir fry for a few minutes.
  5. Add the peppers and stir fry for a few more minutes until the vegetables start to soften and the meat is almost cooked.
  6. Pour in the orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce and green part of the onion. Cook for a couple of minutes before tasting for seasoning. You can always add a drop of water if it’s too concentrated a flavour.