At a local Thai restaurant, the chefs cook and serve numerous noodle, curry, and rice dishes. Most plates include only one or two traditional “mix-ins”—broccoli and egg, cashews and spinach, onions and sprouts—but in my favorite entrée, the cooks grab a pinch of nearly every vegetable (hold the mushrooms, please!) and toss them all in a pan with a sweet ’n sour sauce. When I see the waitress balancing my plate of peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and pineapple, I break out the chopsticks and try not to drool.
Although my fridge lacked the tomatoes and cucumbers, it still contained the remaining ingredients for an attempt at recreating the dish. After chopping all of the vegetables and listening to the chicken sizzle in the skillet, my stomach begged for a taste, and I proceeded to (almost) lick the plate clean. Just as delicious as the original!
Sweet ’n Sour Pineapple Chicken
modified from CL’s Sweet and Sour Chicken
Add a little more crushed red pepper for an extra kick. Serve over rice.
1 large chicken breast (or 2 chicken tenderloins)
¼ tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp garlic powder
⅛ tsp crushed red pepper
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
half of an onion, chopped
2 (4 oz) individual serving pineapple cups
2 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp brown sugar
2 tsp corn starch
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and sprinkle with the ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Sauté in a large pan coated with nonstick cooking spray over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through and turns golden, about 5-6 min. Remove the chicken from the pan.
- Add the chopped bell pepper and onion to the pan, and cook for about 4-6 min, or until heated through but still slightly crunchy. Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice, and add to the pan. Cook another 2 min or until heated through. Remove the vegetable mixture from the pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and corn starch. Reduce the heat to low, and add the sauce to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the chicken back to the pan, still stirring. Add the vegetable mixture to the pan, and stir until everything is coated with the sauce. Serve hot.