Back sometime in early summer, I went out for dinner with my co-workers. I don’t usually do that because of the habit of cooking for myself that I picked up during my poor university years. Of course when there is a chance that I can get full and better even, for free, then I have no reason to decline.

That time I had sweet and sour pork, that many might be familiar with from Chinese cuisine, but it’s found its way into Japan and is just as established as ramen (which is also Chinese). I really liked it, and decided to make it for myself.

Thing is, pork is expensive, so after a while I just switched back to my “traditional” chicken-onion-eggplant mix. It’s not all so exciting though… A few days ago on a sudden urge to make it more interesting, I added vinegar to it – and only ex post facto did I remember that vinegar in itself will likely make the food smell like vomit (something I learned the hard way during my first years of cooking for myself).

Then what? The only edible thing I know that uses vinegar is the aforementioned sweet and sour sauce, and luckily I had both soy sauce and ketchup at hand, so that’s what it turned into. I also added ground chili to it, because I was kind of tired of black pepper, and sesame, because why not. That made me realize that it doesn’t have to be sweet and sour pork, it can just as well be chicken. So that’s what it is: a nice, tasteful topping for my rice.

Sweet and sour chicken