Sometimes you just fancy your favourite takeaway – and, for me, that’s sweet & sour chicken balls, egg fried rice and plain chow mein. If I can’t get to the takeaway, I found the best sweet & sour chicken recipe to make at home!
Kenny McGovern’s sweet & sour chicken recipe went down a storm across the Internet when it was published in his original Takeaway Secrets book. I think we all made it! The recipe is on page 74 and I’ve turned back that page in the book so I can get to it quickly. These takeaway style recipes are now called Fakeaways as the recipes were created to copy takeaway food.
For me, this was the moment I stopped craving a Chinese takeaway of sweet & sour chicken balls as I could whip up my own at home. Of course, it’s nice, sometimes, to buy a Chinese takeaway, but at £10 for a few balls, bit of sauce and some egg fried rice I got to the point where I thought they were taking the pee! Also, I always found that I’d get too many chicken balls and not enough sweet & sour sauce – being able to make my own microwave sweet & sour sauce from Kenny’s recipe meant I was free to choose my own portion sizes!
While I like chicken balls in batter from the Chinese takeaway, I’m not prepared to go to all that effort for 4-5 balls, so instead I opt for using Chicken Dippers and similar frozen Chicken in Batter portions when I make this for myself. I vary my portion size from 4-7 pieces, depending on how hungry I am and how large the pieces are.
Kenny McGovern’s book gives you the whole recipe, including the batter recipe to make chicken balls if you are willing to go that far!
Sweet & Sour Chicken:
How I’ve made the easy and fast Cheats Version, is:
- Steamed Rice: Steam the rice in a microwave – this takes just about 10-12 minutes. I use basmati rice, just from choice. Any white rice (or brown) will do. If you really want to cheat, grab a microwave rice pouch at the supermarket, at ~£0.50 you’re saving money and adding convenience if you have that in the cupboard.
- Frozen Chicken Dippers: I oven-bake frozen Chicken Dippers, or frozen chicken fillets in batter, depending on which bag grabs my attention – the quantity depends on how hungry I feel. One bag of 42 Chicken Dippers lasts me a year, making seven meals usually (with 6 pieces/portion). Chicken fillets tend to be larger, so I’ll typically cook just 2-3.
- Microwave Sweet & Sour Sauce: I make a Microwave sweet & sour sauce from Kenny’s original recipe, although his book gives you the saucepan/stovetop method. Here’s my microwave twist for that: Microwave Sweet & Sour Sauce
Everything is then laden into a bowl!
Now just eat it.
I can highly recommend Kenny’s book available on Amazon UK: Takeaway Secrets, ISBN 978-0716022350 – the book has a “Look Inside” feature and you can see the entire index there, to see what else is in the book. Prices are variable (from £2 up to £7.99) and there’s a Kindle version too. This one book can get you saving money on takeaway meals from the first time you use it! Very frugal 🙂
One of my favourite Saturday Night Takeaway meals at home 🙂
The cost of this will depend on your ingredients, but the rice if you make your own is about £0.20, 6 Chicken Dippers might be £0.50 and the sweet & sour sauce is probably £0.30. So, without actually costing it meticulously, I’d say this cost about £1 per portion – and made in under 20 minutes for everything from start to end.