“This carotenoid found in tomatoes (and everything made from them) has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. The antioxidant function of lycopene-its ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage-has been linked in human research to the protection of DNA (our genetic material) inside of white blood cells. Prevention of heart disease has been shown to be another antioxidant role played by lycopene.” – from “Tomatoes” by The World’s Healthiest Foods.
It’s really encouraging me to use tomatoes more regularly in my cooking. Sometimes I just eat them raw, mix them in salad or cook them in soup. Sometimes I cook tomatoes with egg, sometimes with meat. Here’s one of my family’s favourite dish of tomatoes, Chicken in Tomato Sauce. When it comes to cooking tomatoes in Chinese way, I like to adapt my mother’s method, adding brown sugar in pieces (片糖) to cook sauce. The kind of brown sugar would balance the sour taste of tomatoes and produce fantastic results. It’s a kind of homey dish that many kids like to have with rice.
- 240 gm chicken breast, julienned
- 3 to 4 tomatoes (about 300 gm), cut into chunks, deseeded
- 20 gm brown sugar (片糖, chop into smaller pieces), available at Asian stores
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1/2 cup water
- a dash of salt
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon corn flour
- 1 Tbsp water
- Rinse chicken and drain well. Slice crossways into thin 4cm (1 1/2 inch) lengths. Mix with marinade for at least 10 minutes. Cut tomatoes into chunks and spoon out seeds inside. Rinse and drain well.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a hot wok (or saucepan). Add chicken and cook until brown. Set aside.
- Add some oil in wok, sauté minced garlic until aromatic. Add tomatoes, sprinkle a dash of salt, and briefly stir fry. Pour in water, add sugar, ketchup and stir well. Cook until tomatoes softened, but don’t overcook them. Make sure the sugar completely dissolves well. Toss back chicken. Add thickening and cook to the consistency you preferred. Dish up and serve hot with rice.