Sweet and Sour Chicken/Pork Batter
- 2 cups water, ~110-115 degrees fahrenheit
- 1/2 an egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- batter mix - 4 parts flour to 1 part corn starch. Maybe have about 2 cups of this ready to add to the water, give or take.
Mix water, eggs, baking powder. Then add the batter mix and beat it until you have a smooth pancake mix-like consistency.
Let the batter rest for half an hour - let the baking powder do its job.
Season the chicken with your preferred mix of salt/sugar/white pepper/msg optional, or whatever your recipe states. The seasoning is mostly all in the chicken, not the batter.
Dredge the chicken directly in the batter. No need for a cornstarch coating or egg pre-dredge. The chicken should not be that wet. That stuff should stick well to it. The coating should be healthy and thick, about 1.5 to 2mm coating the chicken. If it runs off quickly, you need to add some more batter mix and thicken it.
As soon as you lift the chicken out of the batter, immerse in oil at about 325-350F. Watch your fingers.
The restaurant method is to par fry until lightly past white into golden brown, give them a good shake in the fry basket to break off the ugly "fingers" of batter so we have nice rounded pieces as well as letting some excess oil drain off, let cool and rest (actually we freeze them for storage), then finish frying thawed pieces at 325F for about 2 minutes when an order comes. Frying it all at once might work - I think we do this for mass production and storage reasons. Experiment?
This is straight from a Chinese take-out restaurant, fudged a bit because I make 5 gallons of this stuff at a time but it should be close. If I downsized the recipe correctly, you should have super puffy, light and crunchy batter on your SS chicken or pork. If it comes out a bit too airy, reduce the baking soda and slightly reduce the amount of egg. If the coating is too puffy and you're struggling to find the chicken inside, it's probably too thick. Reduce the water. If it comes out too hard, you either fried it for too long, or the batter was probably too watery to puff up correctly. It'll end up looking a bit craggy and may be hard/sharp enough to do a number on the roof of your mouth, as well as the chicken being drier. Add more batter mix and thicken it up a bit in this case.