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Sweet and Sour Plum Chicken with Egg Fried Rice

by Jo Scarratt-Jones from Eat Well for Less: Quick & Easy Meals

Ditch the takeaway and go for this time and cost-effective recipe for Sweet and Sour Plum Chicken from the BBC series, Eat Well For Less, instead.

From the book

Jo Scarratt-Jones, Gregg Wallace, Chris Bavin


The key to a good stir-fry is in the preparation. Get the rice cooked and cooled, the plum sauce made, and the rest of the ingredients prepared before you start cooking the stir-fries, as the actual cooking process is then very quick.

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For the egg fried rice:
450g basmati rice
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 small bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
240g frozen peas
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
For the sweet and sour plum chicken:
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 large bunch of spring onions, trimmed and sliced
2 red chillies, deseeded (or not, if you prefer more heat) and roughly chopped
5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
500g plums, halved, stoned and roughly chopped
125ml rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
75g clear honey
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
3 mixed peppers (red, orange and yellow ones), deseeded and thickly sliced
240g tenderstem broccoli, cut in half
240g sugar snap peas


Start by cooking the rice. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the rice and cook according to the packet instructions until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water, then drain once more. Line a baking sheet with kitchen paper. Tip the rice onto the lined baking sheet and spread it out, pat dry with more kitchen paper, then place it in the fridge to chill while you prepare everything else. The rice needs to be cooked, cold and dry to make the best egg fried rice for this recipe.

Meanwhile, make the plum sauce for the chicken. Heat a sauté pan until hot, then add half of the groundnut oil and spring onions and all of the chillies, ginger and garlic. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and sweat for a few minutes until just softened. Add the plums, increase the heat to high and stir-fry for a minute, then pour in the vinegar, soy sauce and honey and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat again, cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes until the plums have softened, stirring once or twice.

Remove the pan from the heat and either blitz the mixture to a purée using a hand-held stick blender in the pan, or decant the mixture into a blender and purée. Keep hot.

Heat a wok until hot, then add the remaining groundnut oil and the chicken and stir-fry over a high heat for 2–3 minutes until just turning golden brown. Add the remaining spring onions and the mixed peppers and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until just softening, then add the broccoli and sugar snaps.

Add 4 tablespoons of water, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cook gently for a few minutes while you cook the egg fried rice – you will be steam-cooking the veg.

For the egg fried rice, heat a separate wok or a large frying pan until hot, add the groundnut oil and spring onions and stir-fry over a high heat for 1 minute, then add the chilled dry rice and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until hot through.

Stir in the frozen peas and while they cook through, crack the eggs into a small bowl, add the sesame oil and soy sauce and beat together. Stir the beaten eggs into the hot rice and stir-fry for 1 minute until they have cooked through in the heat from the rice and peas, then stir in half of the coriander. Remove from the heat.

Pour the hot plum sauce over the chicken stir-fry and stir through, then simmer for 1 minute. Serve the sweet and sour plum chicken with the egg fried rice. Scatter the remaining coriander over the top to garnish.


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From the book: Eat Well for Less: Quick & Easy Meals

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