Today, I’m giving you fakeaway at it’s easiest: full of short-cuts and it’s air-fryer friendly!
Let me lay down some history to this dish: My daughter finishes kindergarten at 5.30pm. What? That’s crazy! I know, I’m hearing your exclamations from here. She goes to a full day kindergarten which doubles as a child care for working parents, that’s why it’s a long day. Take out the giant naptime they get, and it’s a usual school day. Anyway, it’s not the easiest time for planning dinners around, sometimes we don’t get home until around 7pm because she still wants to socialise with her besties. My slow cooker died last year, so that’s out. I dislike cooking dinner at 10am just to refrigerate it then reheat it at 7pm. So most of my dinners are meals that take under 30min to prep and make, and I take short cuts. Sometimes I do dump meals, sometimes we have veggies with curry puffs from Old Chang Kee or pau’s from Nam Kee Pau. But the other day, I tried something different.
You know how next to the big jars of Kan Tong and Chicken Tonight there are always those tiny sachets of sauce saying ‘Black Bean Chicken’ or ‘Lemon Chicken’? That’s where this started. I saw a few recipe base sachets on sale, and one of them was for Sweet and Sour. The packet instructs you to coat and deep fry chicken or pork, but I thought, “Why don’t I just use a packet of chicken karaage?”
For those of you who don’t know what chicken karaage are, put extremely simply, Japanese-style chicken nuggets. These are everywhere in Singapore, and are easy to find in any supermarket freezer at a fairly decent price. It’s worth checking your local Asian grocer for these, they are that good! I’ve noticed that Woolies and Coles back in Australia are starting to stock these, and I’ve heard that Costco has them too, but I reckon you could sub them with tempura chicken bites or nuggets. Or even just plain ol’ cooked chicken breast fillet will do.
I normally use my airfryer to cook the karaage, but feel free to pop them in the oven if you don’t have one.
The best thing about this meal is that you can chuck in whatever veggies you have in the fridge to use up, it’s a great fridge cleaner. I’ve used capsicum, broccoli, baby corn, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber… whatever I have left in the veggie crisper.
Cheat and Sour Chicken
Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3-4 serves
- 450-500g frozen chicken karaage
- 100-120g sweet and sour sauce sachet
- 2 tb water
- 200g fresh or tinned pineapple, cut into small chunks
- 200-300g vegetables of choice, chopped
Preheat airfryer with wire basket attachment on 180C for 3 minutes. Once heated up, cook the karaage in airfryer for 12 minutes.
Whilst the karaage are cooking, cook your pineapple and veggies with the sauce sachet and water in a wok or frying pan on medium high heat.
Once the karaage are done, toss them with the veggies and sauce to coat, then serve.
Notes: All cooking times are estimates, each airfryer is different. I use a Philips Viva 0.8kg.
The karaage can be cooked in the oven, just adjust the cooking times to suit.