Let’s Go to China!!!
Italian is in my heart, but Chinese is in my blood. And when I comes to choosing between my two favorite cuisines it’s nearly impossible. But who says I have to choose?! And who says it can’t be gluten Free?!
My love of Chinese food and cooking, stems from my great grandfather on my mother’s side, who came to Trinidad from China, many moons ago. He passed his way of cooking onto my great-uncle, who eventually taught me some of the old ways of Chinese cooking.
Of course as time has gone by, things have changed and we have put our own Trinidad twist on it. But the essence of the cuisine is still there and it’s still one of my favorites. Especially a bowl of steamed white rice, with sweet and sour chicken and chunky vegetables. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
But as with many types of food, not all of it is gluten free, and it’s often filled with hidden sugars that are bad for candida. So it was either remake my favourite or give it up. And I’m sure you guessed which one I chose.
So here it is, my Sweet and Sour Chicken made gluten free and refined sugar free. If you didn’t think it was possible think again! This recipe is so simple that it might become one of your go to dishes for that at home take out dinner! It just takes a little prep, but once you’ve got it set up, it comes together very quickly.
- 1 lb Boneless Chicken Breast Cut into pieces
- 1/2 large green pepper cut into chunks
- 1/2 large red pepper cut into chunks
- 1 small onion cut into chunks
- Coconut Oil for frying
- Green Onions chopped for garnish
- 1 tbsp 5 spice powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
Gluten Free Batter:
- 2 md-lg eggs
- 3 tbsp corn flour
- 2 tbsp white gluten free all purpose flour blend (I used dove farms)
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup water – 1/2 cup hot and 1/2 cup cool
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup xylitol
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- In a bowl place cut up chicken breast. Add all the ingredients of the chicken marinade and mix well, until all the chicken is well coated. Set aside, and all to marinate for about 20 mins.
- While chicken is marinating, prepare vegetables, but cutting up the green peppers, red peppers and onion into chunky pieces about 1/2“ – 3/4” in size and set aside.
- Once chicken has marinated, add batter ingredients: egg, corn flour and gluten free all purpose to the bowl and mix together well, ensuring that the chicken is fully coated in the mixture.
- Heat coconut oil in a wok or deep fryer and when ready drop coated chicken into the hot oil and fry until golden and tender. About 5 -7 minutes depending on the size of you chicken chunks.
- Once chicken is cooked, remove from the oil and set on paper to absorb the excess oil, or onto a cooling rack for the excess oil to drain out. Repeat until all the chicken is cooked. Note: Remember not to crowd the pot, so that the chicken can cook evenly.
Now to the yummy part. Making the sweet and sour sauce.
- In a measuring cup combine, hot water and xylitol mixing until the xylitol has dissolved. Next add the 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1/4 cup vinegar then set aside until ready to use.
- In another cup or bowl combine the cool water and cornstarch mixing until dissolved then set aside until time to use.
- In a wok, heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil until very hot. Add 1 tbsp minced garlic and saute for a couple of seconds. Next add onions and peppers and saute with the ginger for about a minute or two. (Try not to cook them too long as you want them to retain some of its crunch)
- Add xylitol mixture to the vegetables stir and then add cornstarch mixture. Stir sauce with vegetables until the mixture starts to thicken. (this will happen quickly so pay attention to it)
- Once it’s thick, add cooked chicken and stir to ensure that its completely coated.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle with come chopped green onions and serve over steamed rice.
Just a couple of notes:
- You can adjust the vinegar and the xylitol deepening on how sweet or sour you would like your sauce.
- You can also adjust the five spice powder in the marinate to 2 tsps instead of 1 tbsp depending on how much five spice flavor you want in your chicken. I love five spice, so the 1 tbsp is perfect for me.
- This recipe can also be made using sugar if you don’t have any sugar issues, as well as regular white vinegar instead of apple cider. I use apple cider because it’s recommended for those on a Candida diet.
- If you have a corn allergy, you can use arrowroot instead of cornstarch with great results as well.