Sweet and sour chicken pancakes

    55 min

    This is a novel way of serving the popular Chinese dish of stir-fried sweet and sour chicken. Here courgettes and bean sprouts are added, and the mixture is folded up in lacy pancakes.

    3 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • Pancake batter
    • 115 g (4 oz) plain flour
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 200 ml (7 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
    • Chicken filling
    • 450 g (1 lb) skinless boneless chicken breasts (fillets)
    • 2 tbsp tomato pure
    • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
    • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 tsp malt vinegar
    • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
    • 2 tsp clear honey
    • 1 onion, halved and sliced
    • 1 courgette, cut into 5 cm (2 in) matchsticks
    • 225 g (8 oz) bean sprouts
    • 1 tsp sesame seeds
    • 2 tbsp rich soy sauce, plus more to serve
    • salt and pepper
    • spring onions to garnish

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. To make the pancakes, sift the flour into a bowl and season with a little salt and pepper. Make a well in the centre. Mix the eggs, milk and 90 ml (3 fl oz) water together and pour into the well, then whisk in the flour to form a smooth batter. Cover and leave to stand while you prepare the filling.
    2. Cut the chicken into long thin strips. Mix together the tomato pure, 1 tbsp of the oil, the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, sugar and honey in a bowl. Add the chicken to this sweet and sour sauce, and toss to coat the strips.
    3. Heat a wok or large frying pan and add 1 tbsp of the remaining oil. Add the onion and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the courgette and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Using a draining spoon, remove the vegetables from the wok and set aside.
    4. Reheat the wok, then add the chicken mixture and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes or until cooked. Return the vegetables to the wok. Toss together, then remove from the heat and set aside.
    5. Heat a 20 cm (8 in) pancake pan, preferably non-stick or well seasoned. Rub a little of the remaining oil over the surface using a crumpled piece of kitchen paper. Pour in a little batter and tilt the pan so that the batter spreads evenly over the surface; tip any excess batter back into the bowl. Cook the pancake over a moderately high heat for 2 minutes, then loosen the edges and flip it over. Cook the second side for about 30 seconds. Slide the pancake onto a plate and cover with a square of greaseproof paper. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 8 pancakes in all, stacking them up, interleaved with greaseproof paper, as they are made. Keep warm over a pan of simmering water, covered with foil.
    6. Reheat the filling. Add the bean sprouts, sesame seeds and soy sauce, and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes until everything is hot. Fill the pancakes, fold into quarters and garnish with spring onions. Serve with extra soy sauce.

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    Some more ideas

    Add 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder to the flour for the pancake batter. * For chilli chicken pancakes, make the batter as above, adding 1 tsp mild chilli powder to the flour. Omit the sweet and sour sauce mixture. Stir-fry the onion in 1 tbsp sunflower oil with 1 thinly sliced yellow pepper and 100 g (3 1/2 oz) baby sweetcorn, each one cut in half lengthways. Remove the vegetables with a draining spoon and set aside. Add another 1 tbsp oil to the wok and heat, then stir-fry the chicken strips. Return the onion, yellow pepper and sweetcorn to the wok. Add 115 g (4 oz) finely shredded Chinese leaves, 1 tbsp mild or sweet Chinese chilli sauce and 1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil, and toss together for 1–2 minutes. (For more chilli heat in these chilli chicken pancakes, stir-fry 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and cut into very fine strips, with the onion, yellow pepper and sweetcorn.)

    Plus points

    Bean sprouts, along with other sprouted seeds, are rich in B vitamins and vitamin C. Although some of the vitamin C will be destroyed by cooking, they still contribute good amounts in this recipe. * Eggs provide valuable amounts of protein and iron. The vitamin C in the bean sprouts, lemon and courgette will help the body to absorb the iron. This mineral is important to prevent anaemia, one of the most common nutritional problems in the UK, particularly among women.

    Each serving provides

    B6 * B12, C, E, folate, niacin, copper, iron * A, B1, B2, calcium, potassium, selenium, zinc

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