A fluffy crispy batter and syrupy sauce, brilliant with prawns, chicken, pork, beef or sea food.

sweet and sourI wasn’t sure which main ingredient to post this under – I first cooked it using prawns – but it works well with any ingredient you would care to use.

While living in China, I found this dish was more often than not chicken or pork (at least in the area I lived in, which wasn’t coastal).

If you use pork or beef, then thinly slice it – then coat and fry as per the recipe.


  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 kg (2 lb) medium prawns, heads and shells removed, deveined, tails left intact
  • 250 ml (1 cup) oil

For Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 100 g (1/2 cup)  sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 60 ml (1/4) cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour dissolved in 250 ml ( 1 cup) water
  • 1 tablespoons tomato ketchup


  1. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the cornstarch and salt.
  2. Combine the remaining cornstarch and salt in another dish.
  3. Dredge the shrimps in the cornflower, and then dip in egg-white mixture to coat.
  4. Heat cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Cook prawns in hot oil in batches until they turn an even yellow-orange colour. Drain on paper towels.
  5. To make the Sweet and Sour Sauce: blend sugar, salt, ketchup and vinegar in a saucepan.
  6. Bring to simmer over low heat.
  7. Stir in the cornflour mixture. Continue simmering until sauce is thick, stirring occasionally.
  8. Pour over cooked prawns or serve as a side dip.