Sweet & Sour Chicken with Lychees

I’m suck at making round things. Like shaping meatballs. That’s why you see irregular shapes of so-called “meatballs” in the picture below. I used to like sweet and sour pork (ku lou yuk in Cantonese) when I was younger but when I had this one experience of chewing on super-hard and chunky lean pork cutlets, I started to stay away from ordering sweet sour pork. Don’t get me wrong; I still like the dish but only if the cook uses the suitable cut of pork. I used minced chicken instead of pork (pork is expensive-lah especially when you purchase it from supermarket).

Half a can of canned lychees (reserve syrup for sauce)
1 medium green capsicum, cut into long strips or square chunks
(use different types of capsicums for colour – reduce the size to small)

For the irregular meatballs:
About 400-500grams ground/minced chicken/pork
Some salt
Some freshly grounded black pepper
Some flour (optional)

For sauce:
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup chilli sauce
About half a cup of syrup from canned lychees
Salt and sugar to taste

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  1. In a small pot, combine all sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Add salt and sugar to taste, and let it simmer on low heat.
  2. Combine all meatballs ingredients in a big bowl. The mixture must be very thick and sticky, else it’ll fall apart when being cooked. Else, add a few teaspoons of flour. Read here on how to make the perfect meatballs. Or you could just go freestyle (like me) by scooping the mixture and put it into the pan immediately. Try to make them in similar size so they’ll cook evenly.
  3. Heat 3 spoonfuls of cooking oil in frying pan and fry the meatballs batch by batch for about 2-3 minutes. Avoid the meatballs from touching each other.
  4. Add in lychees, capsicums and the sauce to the meatballs and let it simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. You can test the meatballs by piercing a skewer or chopstick; if it comes out clean, it’s cooked.

*Recipe modified from Steamy Kitchen Cookbook – Sweet and Sour Lychee Meatballs Recipe

DU Project – The Brand New Hokano

In case you haven’t known, the small Japanese eatery, Hokano at Damansara Uptown has been given a facelift recently. Operating from about ¾ of the whole shop lot previously, now it has been expanded to a full shop lot with glass windows and doors.

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The ambiance though, doesn’t change much but now they can sits more than 40 customers compared to before this. The DU Project members are happy with the place as they know they’re not paying for the ambiance (based on the perception of “nicely decorated restaurants tend to be more expensive”!).

Basically, we tried a variety of dishes here on our two times visits and we overall were happy with the food.

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Sashimi (we ordered the set, which comes with chawan mushi, miso soup and salad, priced RM20), Chirashi Sushi (RM23.50). Amy loves this very much, quoting that the sashimis were fresh and thick cut too.

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Chicken Katsu Don set (RM25.90, same side dishes) was delectable; the chicken was fried to perfection, not dry or tough and best of all, the egg yolk enveloping the chicken was still runny.

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The Salmon Teriyaki set (RM19.50) was grilled to just nice texture and not too salty. The tempuras (RM18) were lightly battered, and not greasy, just like how tempura should be.

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If seafood is not your preferred cup of tea, try their Chicken Teriyaki (set, RM 17.95). They use the chicken thigh meat for this dish and we heart it for the well-marinated and tender meat.

Overall comment from DU Project gang: Expansion doesn’t change the food quality served here, therefore Hokano shall remain as the best pick for budget Japanese cuisine.

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Hokano Japanese Restaurant
74, Jalan SS 21/35, Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7729 5325
Same row with Maybank.

Who else been here before:

Chocolate Wontons (Wantan Coklat)

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In need of something sweet but interesting to please your guests? Try this! I first came across this recipe at SteamyKitchen and I Initially I planned to make this for dessert after Earth Hour for my friends who came over for dinner but the guys brought too much food over, we were too stuffed at the end. finally made this few days ago and I love it! I did screw up a few pieces (the wantan wrappers burst and… you know what happen). But it’s easy and quick to make, so if you’re looking for something different to please your friends or your kids, give this a try.

Read about the recipe and instructions here. Watch the video too!

Oh, by the way, if you think the wantan wrappers were too thin and worried it’ll burst (like me), don’t try to use two layers of the wrappers. Double layers of wantan wrappers yield a thick and hard skin that is difficult to chew.