Pineapple Chicken

This might be called ‘nouvelle Hong Kong’ or ‘South-east Asia meets Hong Kong’. It is an exotic and unlikely combination. I have eaten this dish several times in Hong Kong and found it delicious every time. The acidic sweetness and texture of the pineapple works extremely well with the delicate taste of the chicken. The pineapple is cooked very quickly, just enough to warm it through.

Ingredients

  • 450 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2.5-cm (1-in) pieces
  • 600 ml (1 pint) groundnut oil or water
  • 2 teaspoons groundnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
  • tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 350 g (12 oz) small pineapple, peeled and cut into 2.5-cm (1-in) pieces

For the Marinade

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

For the Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

Method

Combine the chicken with the egg white, sesame oil, cornflour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well and chill for about 20 minutes.

Heat a wok until it is very hot and then add the oil. When the oil is very hot, remove the wok from the heat and immediately add the chicken pieces, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the chicken pieces turn white (after about 2 minutes), quickly drain the chicken.

If you choose to use water instead of oil, bring it to a boil in a pan. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the chicken pieces, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the chicken pieces turn white (about 2 minutes), quickly drain the chicken.

Add the 2 teaspoons of oil to the wok and re-heat. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, salt, sesame oil and pineapple cubes. Gently stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the pineapple is heated through. Add the drained chicken and stir gently to mix well. Turn on to a warm platter, garnish with the coriander and serve at once.

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