The trouble with sweet-and-sour chicken is that the flavor is mostly sweet — too sweet, at that — and weirdly acidic. It never seems to deliver on the satisfying balance of gently sweet and teasingly sour that I hope for.
But a recipe in a British food magazine inspired me to create a better version. The recipe in BBC GoodFood magazine was for caramel chicken wings, though I wasn’t much interested in the wings themselves. It was the caramel-based sauce that intrigued me. Spiked with ginger, lime juice and fish sauce, it seemed just right for what I wanted.
The result is deliciously sweet, but equally tangy and savory. Be warned: This isn’t the gloopy red sweet-and-sour with pineapple and cherries you know from the takeout box. It is much better.