Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Chinese food?!

Isn't take out Chinese food a little expensive to be listed as something frugal to do on Thrifty Thursday??  Probably but that is not what I am suggesting :)  How about a little homemade Chinese food or stir fry??  Super easy to make and use can use all the things that you already have around the house!!  What do you think of this pan of sweet and sour chicken?

I used cubed chicken that I already had in the freezer which was the end of the chicken that didn't make it into the chicken tender bags.  I defrosted it overnight and it was ready to go.  I started by breading the chicken in corn starch.  If that isn't something you have around the house, you can use flour or a baking mix.  If you don't have any of those things, just use the chicken.  The "breading" just gives a little more surface area for the sauce to stick to.

Heat some oil in a pan and add the breaded chicken.  Lower the heat to cook at medium high heat.  Flip chicken when it is starting to brown or when you see the chicken start to get white around the outside.  Cook until all of the chicken is browned on both sides and cooked through.  Turn the heat down to simmer.

Open a small can of pineapple with juice.  Add the amount of pineapple to the pan that works for your family.  My husband doesn't like the pineapple warm/hot/cooked so I leave a little on the side for him to eat cold.  Obviously, you can add the whole can if you family loves it as much as I do!!  The only thing better is the pineapple on the grill!! YUM!!!!  Sorry, I got off track... back to the recipe.

Are you ready for this next step??  I used the packages of duck sauce from all of the leftover Chinese food that we have sitting in the fridge?  Do you keep all the packets that you have ever had?  Well, I do!  I used all of the soy sauce to make fried rice but I still had a pile of duck sauce and I wasn't sure what to do with it.  I added package after package until the chicken was coated.  The duck sauce started to thicken too quickly so I added pineapple juice whenever that happened.  It makes it sweet and thins out the sauce.

The final dish was super easy and super cheap.  Served with a side of simplified fried rice which I will post the recipe for soon, it was a great and flavorful meal using ingredients around the house for under $5.  I highly recommend trying this dish because of the flavor and not just the cost :) 

Take a look around your house and make a pile of the things that you need to use up in the next month.  Start to get creative!!  Do you have anything around your house that needs to be used up??  I went through the pantry and found a bunch of ingredients to make spaghetti sauce so that is next on my list so that nothing in the house goes to waste.  Take a look at the things that you aren't using and see if you can find a use for them!!  I promise that it will be fun and might be really tasty :)

Shared on Homemade Mondays


  1. Yum - I love Chinese food!

    1. Always the best. I certainly would love to cook like the restaurants do but I probably wouldn't like to see the amount of fat and other things that they use so a little Chinese food at home spreads out the need to get take out :) I also found a noodle recipe which I hope to try soon. It seems so easy to make and it would make a really good lunch so maybe I will make it just for myself :)


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