Somewhat challenged by a friend, I embarked on mission to cook the best sweet & sour chicken aka Ku Lou Yok in town… well, maybe not in town, perhaps within my circle of friends (non cooking people, mostly) – except Datin, who is a super goddess when it comes to cooking! Look what he made me for lunch some weeks ago??
Datin’s Ku Lou Yok and portobello mushroom sandwich!
You could have guessed it. It was Datin who taught me how to cook Ku Lou Yok. Datin is a vegetarian, so I started to learn to cook using fake meat made of flour.
As he waltzed around in his kitchen with perfection, I offered to wash the dishes, helped to prepare the ingredients to cook and watched a master at work.
After I watched him cooked almost flawlessly, I decided to cook for the family last weekend, much to my family’s surprise. My aunt said I never cook for them before in my entire existence.
Well, I usually cook for myself (does instant noodles count?) and a handful of friends back in school and college. I did picked up some tricks when I was in home science class in form 1 to 3. I fried rice for my best friend when I was 14 years old and it was somewhat overly oily. But she liked it. I made leong char for a friend who was coughing for an entire week that earned him a nickname: Leong Char Chai. I still remember I made some spaghetti for a hot guy next door when I was in college and he ended up marrying my best friend’s cousin. Oh well, let’s not talk about that.
So far I have experimented with only chicken, you might need the following ingredients:-
(a) Marinate the chicken strips with ginger, pepper, rice wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt to taste and egg.
(b) Instead of using batter as taught by Datin, I decided to just mix the meat with egg and roll them over a mixture of tapioca flour/ frying flour (KFC). Datin used corn flour, wheat flour and rice flour mixed with water and egg, salt and pepper to taste.
(c) As for the sauce, you need tomato sauce, orange juice, some vinegar and sugar.
If you ask me about the measurements, well, I would say – agak agak lah! Haha! Now I know why mom always tells me that. If you prefer “sourish” Ku Lou Yok, add more vinegar. Sweeter – then add more tomato sauce and sugar! In fact, this time round, I didn’t measure anything. I just go with my gut instincts. I guess mom’s culinary skills rub off on me a little, huh? Haha! Perasan habis habisan.
Here’s the chronology of what I did in the kitchen last week… if I remember correctly.
(1) Prepare the wok, pour in enough oil for deep frying.
(2) Roll the marinated chicken over the mixture of flour as per (b).
(3) When oil is super hot, put the chicken strips into the hot oil and deep fry till golden brown.
(4) Strain the oil from the deep fried chicken strips using paper towel.
(5) Brown some garlic on hot wok.
(6) Stir fry mixture of vegetables as per (d)
(7) Pour the sauce as per (c) into the mixture of vegetables and mix.
(8) Add some corn starch to thicken to sauce.
(9) Lastly, put all the chicken strips into the mixture.
(10) Serve while it’s piping hot.
I still couldn’t get the chicken strips to be extra crunchy though. Datin said, after deep frying the chicken strips, we have to put all the chicken strips back into the hot oil for a good 15 seconds before scooping them out for extra crunchiness. I am just a bit lazy.
Well, this is how my sweet sour chicken turned out to be.
Doesn’t look as pretty as Datin’s but it sure taste good! Haha! Try it!
*Sigh* I am so proud of myself.