600g (1.3 lb) chicken breast, cut into roughly 3cm cubes
½ cup chicken stock
2 tbsp Chinese shaoxing wine*
2 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp water
vegetable oil for frying, plus 1 extra tablespoon
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese shaoxing wine
1 egg white, lightly whisked
In a large bowl, place chicken and marinade ingredients. Mix thoroughly to break up the egg white. Allow to marinate for 10-20 minutes.
In another bowl, mix together the chicken stock, Shaoxing wine, vinegar, honey, soy sauce and sugar.
Place the flour in a large tray or bowl. Add the chicken pieces and the marinade and use your hands to pat and press the liquid and flour together around the chicken pieces to form a craggy coating.
Fill a wok or saucepan to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. The oil is hot enough for frying at 325°F or 165°C or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles. Shake excess flour from the chicken pieces. Cook chicken pieces in 2 to 3 batches for about 3 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper.
In a clean wok or pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and then add the garlic. Cook for about 10 seconds or until fragrant. Then add the chicken stock mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid starts to foam. Then add the cornstarch mixture. Cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the chicken pieces and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Shaoxing is a Chinese cooking wine made from fermented rice. Use it to add flavour to Asian broths, stocks and stir-fries. If you don’t wish to use alcohol simply substitute chicken stock.