Many years ago, in Toronto, I had moved into a fantastic apartment at Spadina and St. Clair. My new roommate came home one day with a flier for a Chinese restaurant and asked if I wanted to order in. Not being much of a Chinese food afficionado at the time, I wasn't enthused, but played along. The roommate called the restaurant, and while she was debating what to order, asked if they had something that wasn't on the menu on offer. And then the sky parted and the sun shone through the gap, taking away all the evils of the world. Or maybe they said - "Sure, we have mango chicken". Mango being one of my three desert island foods (what are yours?), I suggested strongly that we go for it.
I think that for the two years we lived in that apartment, the mango chicken made an appearance at least every other week. On a particularly cold New Year's Eve, it even starred as our NYE meal, and was delivered to us by none other than the restaurant's owner, who drove it up from Chinatown in his shiny Lexus.
As soon as I moved out of their delivery area, I began to beg them for the recipe, but to no avail. I had to console myself from that point on with occasional trips downtown, to eat in the restaurant (Eating Garden chinese restaurant, on Baldwin Street). I once went there with my friend T (wife of J), and she agreed with me that mango chicken was indeed the yum.
Fast forward several years. Rappy moves to Israel and continues to dream of mango chicken, with the tastes and images slowly fading away from her aging memory. Until, that is, she goes to visit Toronto this past September, and meets T&J for lunch at Eating Garden. J gets to learn all about the magic that is mango chicken and hears of my unsuccessful attempts to obtain the recipe. He makes a weak attempt at the restaurant to get it for me, but is unsuccessful. Unsuccessful? Yes. Deterred? Never!
The next day he calls up the restaurant and talks to my old friend the owner, explaining the situation. And lo, owner begins to dictate the recipe over the phone. J, ever the practical one, stops him and says: "Hey, how about you fax it to me?" YAY, J!
So here it is - blurred out a bit, as I don't want to be giving all of the restaurants secrets outright. If you follow along, however, you may be able to put two and two together...
It was DELICIOUS, and very similar to what is made at the restaurant.
Things I would do a little differently:
* Cut the chicken into thin strips instead of chunks.
* Use home made sweet & sour sauce, and use less of it
* Chop the ginger and garlic with a knife instead of a microplane. I got a super-fine microplane grater and it just turns things to mush.