To cook the rice:
1. Wash the rice grains under cold running water until the water almost runs clear.
2. Place the rice in a medium saucepan and add 3 cups of cold water (or 3½ cups of water if brown rice). The amount of water should be approximately a thumbnail’s length above the level of the rice.
3. Bring to the boil and then stir to separate the grains. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cover with a tight fitting lid. Leave to cook for about 15 minutes (brown rice takes longer, about 25-30 minutes). Do not stir or lift the lid – let it steam cook! Shake the pan occasionally towards the end of cooking time to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan but do not be tempted to stir or lift the lid.
To cook the sweet and sour chicken:
4. Heat half of the oil in a deep frying pan or wok until very hot and add the chicken. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken onto a plate and leave to one side.
5. Heat the remaining oil until very hot and stir fry the garlic and ginger for 10 seconds but make sure it doesn’t burn. Add the onions, carrots and peppers and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
6. Mix the cornflour with 4 tablespoons of cold water in a jug. Add the pineapple juice, soy sauce, tomato puree, vinegar and sugar and stir well.
7. Add the cornflour mixture to the wok; bring to the boil and stir until thickened. Add a little water if it looks too thick.
2 cups of rice (brown or white), about 200g (7oz)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large chicken breast fillets, cubed
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2.5cm (1 inch) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and minced
1 onion, peeled and chopped into large pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thick batons
2 peppers (mixed colours), deseeded and chopped into large pieces
1 can pineapple in juice, chopped (juice reserved)
For the sweet and sour sauce
1 tablespoon corn flour
Pineapple juice from canned pineapple, about 150ml juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato puree
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar