Chicken Tangsuyuk (Sweet n Sour Chicken)

Tangsuyuk (sweet n sour pork) and jajangmyun (black bean paste noodles), two wildly popular fast-food dishes in Korea, are Chinese in origin but have a distinct and modified Korean taste to them. They have been around in Korea for such a long time now so it’s quite possible that current generations might think of them as uniquely Korean. Anyhow, (sorry to digress here) I still remember hearing and seeing the insanely dangerous delivery guys on motorbikes weaving in and out of traffic trying to deliver their meals as fast as possible. And lucky me, I even got to meet one of them personally as he blindsided my Honda motorbike (yes, I had a motorbike in my heyday). Luckily, it was just a minor scratch and nothing too serious. Anyways back to the food, tangsuyuk is a great dish for those who love fried food and have a sweet tooth. If you don’t live in Korea where you can get this dish round the clock, this recipe is as close as you’ll get to the real thing. This recipe can be substituted with beef or pork, with the latter being the norm served at most restaurants in Korea.

 

Servings: 4 people
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 1.5 or 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 medium size onion, cut into strips
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin pieces
  • 1 cup edamame
  • bell peppers (optional)
  • canola oil for frying
For the Batter:
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 beaten egg
Sweet Sauce:
  • 1½ cup of water
  • 2 tbsp corn starch + equal parts water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (optional if available)
Directions:
  1. Cut the chicken into thin strips, about 1 or 2-inch pieces. Add soy sauce to the chicken; mix well and set aside.
  2. Cut the vegetables into large bite-sized pieces. Set aside until the sauce is ready and thickened.
  3. Make batter by mixing the flour, cornstarch, water and beaten egg. Batter should have a thick consistency. Dip the marinated chicken strips into the batter.
  4. Bring canola oil to medium high heat (or approx. 350 degrees). Deep fry each of the strips for about 3, 4 minutes for each batch or until browned and cooked through. When finished, place on paper towel-lined dish to remove excess oil. Once the first round of frying is done, re-fry the batch for the 2nd time for a minute to make it really crispy (optional).
  5. To make the sauce bring the following ingredients in a saucepan: one cup of water along 3 tbsp vinegar, 3 tbsp sugar, and 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Bring to a rapid boil and then add the mixture of cornstarch and water. Add desired vegetables and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until it thickens.
  6. On a large plate, add the fried chicken strips, then pour over the sauce/vegetable mixture and serve while warm.

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