Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls . . . Combo Number Nine Part Deux

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

 Following on from yesterday's post on a Chinese Combo Plate Number Nine, here are the delicious Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls which went along with the Beef and Broccoli which I cooked for us the other day.  

If you go to a Chinese Buffet (in Canada at least ) these are the first things to disappear!  Followed closely by the won tons and the chicken wings!

 Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

I  have been making these delicious Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls since the late 1970's, which reminds me of a really funny story about them.  

Haha funny, not the other kind.  My ex used to love these chicken balls and I often made them for him.

Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

We had an electric deep fat fryer which I used to cook them in, and I used to use a paper grocery sack to shake them in and get rid of any excess fat when they were done.  

One night I was making some of these for a snack. When you are in your early 20's you can eat almost anything for a snack without gaining weight.  Well we could at any rate.  

We often made a pizza or a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese as a snack in the evening. We would eat it all and then go to bed without any indigestion keeping us up all night. 

Imagine that!

Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

Back to the chicken balls.

I had just shook them in the paper sack when the young lad from a couple of doors down came in.  We used to organize teen dances with him for charity, so he often came over to talk to my husband.

I can remember him standing in the kitchen talking to my ex and knocking the ashes off the end of his cigarette into the paper sack holding the chicken balls. Of course I was so shy and hesitant in those days I didn't have the courage to tell him what he was doing.  

So my ex did not get his chicken balls that night at any rate!

Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

This was the same young lad whom my husband caught sitting in our car in our garage necking with his girl friend one night as well.  

You know those days . . .  nobody locked anything. We were not afraid of being robbed or stabbed in our sleep . . .  we were so trusting.  

Now . . . again . . .  back to the chicken balls.

Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

These might look like they are a lot of work, but really they are not.  

There is a simple sauce that you can make well ahead of time if you wish.   

Then there is a simple batter that you just mix your chicken breast chunks in.

Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

It's quite a thick batter, and it may not look like it's going to do anything, but trust me, once those balls hit the hot fat it balloons out and you end up with lovely crisp coated little bites of chicken.

 Each crisp batter balloon contains moist little nuggets of chicken breast.

The batter is light, fluffy and delicious.  Oh, so yummy. 

 Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

This sauce is perfect . . .  with just the right balance of sweet and sour and a nice colour.  

It would go well with won tons and other things also . . .  dumplings, spring rolls, etc.   

It's just a really nice sauce.  I think you will like it.

Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

The two together are just gorgeous, and when you combine these with that lovely Chinese Beef and Broccoli which I showed you yesterday . . .  

Well, you have a fabulous meal indeed!  Inexpensive and easy to make and one which is a real family pleaser.  

Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls

*Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe  

This may seem a bit convuluted and lengthy, but if you are organized, it happens quite quickly and it worth every ounce of effort.   These are as good as any you might find in a restaurant.  You can make the sauce the day before and just reheat it when you need it. 

For the sauce:
55g of tomato ketchup (1/4 cup)
1 tsp soy sauce
60ml of white vinegar (1/4 cup)
50g soft light brown sugar (1/4 cup packed)
95g of white sugar (1/2 cup)
180ml of water or a mix of water and pineapple juice (3/4 cup) plus 2 1/2 TBS
1 1/2 TBS corn flour (corn starch)
For the chicken batter:
70g of plain flour (1/2 cup)
75g of corn flour (1/2 cup cornstarch)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bakind soda
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
120ml plus 2 1/2 TBS water (1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 TBS)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
You will also need:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
oil for frying  

To make the sauce, whisk together the ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar and both sugars in a saucepan.   Whisk together the water/juice and the corn flour until well blended.   Whisk this vigorously into the ketchup mixture.  Place over medium high heat and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture bubbles and thickens.   Cook for several minutes, then set aside and keep warm.  If you are making it the day before or earlier in the day, pour it into a sealable container and refrigerate.   Reheat gently when you are ready to serve. 

Combine the flour and corn flour for the chicken balls in a bowl, along with the baking powder, soda, seasoning salt, garlic powder and sugar.   Whisk in the water to make a thick batter, whisking vigorously.  You want a thick batter which will cling to the pieces of chicken, but you don't want it too thick., it should flow somewhat.   If you need to you may add a little bit more water at a time to get the right consistency.  It should be like extra tacky glue.  Add the chicken pieces, stirring them in with your hand and making sure that all are well coated with the mixture. 

Heat about 4 inches of oil in a large heavy saucepan or a deep fat fryer, to 190*C/375*F.  Carefully add the coated chicken pieces a few at a time (I add about 12) and fry them in the hot oil, stirring occasionally until they are golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.  If they are browning quicker than that your oil is too hot.   Scoop them out onto some kitchen paper toweling and keep warm while you cook the rest. 

For the egg  fried rice, I simply followed this recipe, leaving out the pineapple and the chicken.
Serve immediately with the warm sweet and sour sauce. 

Sweet And Sour Chicken Balls 

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  1. Ohmygosh you did it!.
    Must try.They look like my childhood in Bamboo Village.

  2. Thanks Monique! I hope that you like them! WE love them! A rare treat indeed! xx

  3. I did the No. 9 tonight for dinner for my family, all 12 of us.

    I have one comment...

    The No. 9 is divine...perhaps sublime!

  4. Darlene! I am so happy that your family enjoyed this! You made my day! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know. Glad to find another fan of the Number 9! xxoo

  5. these were so delish..and the sauce!!! best recipe i have ever found..ty so much 3 breasts made enough for hubby and i..so enjoyed 1/2 and froze the other 1/2 and sauce (separately)for another day..i have a food saver and it freezes food so good..no crystals..so is fresh..ty so much from Canada..huggzz

    1. Gail, am so glad that you and your family have enjoyed these. I agree, they are fantabulous! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us! Xo

  6. the chicken balls for awesome..and the sauce!! wow..best recipe i have ever found..froze 1/2 of the sauce and chicken (separately) for another time..ty so much from canada huggzz

    1. So sorry for the late response for this Gail. I agree it's a beautiful recipe! xo

  7. Made this tonight for my family! Everyone loved it, including my 6 year old who's very picky about his chinese food! :) Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. Crystal, I am so pleased that it wasd enjoyed! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know! xo

  8. This may be a silly question, but I can’t find anywhere in the recipe that says whether to cook the cubes of chicken before dipping them in the batter.

    1. There is no such thing as a silly question. You can't find that information anywhere in the recipe as the cubed chicken is added raw to the batter prior to cooking! Hope this helps!

  9. What do i do with the sesame oil

    1. You stir it in with the rest of the batter ingredients! Sorry about any confusion!

  10. This was simply perfect! The sauce was so easy to make and tastes better than any I have had from a Chinese restaurant. I am totally serious, I used the pineapple juice and water combination and added some pineapple chunks once the sauce was cooked. The chicken was also so so good, it really did taste like the batter on chicken balls from a restaurant. It didn't look as pretty all nice and rounded but it didn't matter, it tasted devine. In all my life I never thought I could cook something like this but you gave me the confidence with your fab directions. Thank you so much Marie, best wishes, Jayne.

    1. I am so pleased that you enjoyed this chicken dish Jayne! It is a real favorite of mine. I haven't made it in a while. Time to small batch it me thinks! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave feedback on your experience. Much appreciated! xo

  11. Hi Marie, I have a question. I make this recipe regularly,I still love it and have a question. I would like to try this in a slow cooker, obviously, with just chicken breast chunks and not the usual battered and fried chicken. Do you think the sauce would work in the slow cooker? Any advice would be most welcome. Thank you, Jayne.

    1. Hi Jane, I do think the sauce would work in the slow cooker. My suggestion would be to leave out the cornstarch/cornflour and let the chicken cook in the other sauce ingredients, and then just make a slurry with the cornflour and whisk it in about half an hour or so before the chicken is done, allowing it to thicken then. That way you sauce won't burn. If you use it already thickened I would be afraid that it might scorch. Hope this helps! xo

    2. Thank you for taking the time to get back to me, Marie, I am going to try it and will report back, your entire repertoire of recipes are amazing Marie, I have loved every dish I have tried.

    3. You are very welcome. I am looking forward to hearing how this works for you in the slow cooker! Thanks for your lovely comments re my page. I do work hard at it! xo


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