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(Video): Cooking Chinese New Year mango chicken with Colin Foo

Richmond actor, artist and chef Colin Foo was joined in his kitchen by MLA Jas Johal to learn how to cook an Asian dish in anticipation of Lunar New Year.

Richmond actor, artist and chef Colin Foo was joined in his kitchen by MLA Jas Johal to learn how to cook an Asian dish in anticipation of Lunar New Year.

While the sweet and sour mango chicken was a smashing success, the process to get there was a learning curve for the television-reporter-turned MLA.

Foo has been inviting Richmond News to his home for the past several years to learn how to make a lucky dish ahead of the annual celebration.

Foo outfitted Johal with surgical gloves and showed him how beer can be used in breading and deep frying chicken.

Johal was surprised by Foo’s recipe, in particular when he used Kokanee beer to make sweet and sour mango sauce — calling it “Kokanee chicken.” 

“If I knew you are going to do this, I would have brought some craft brew from my riding: Fuggles and Warlock,” said Johal, ever the politician, not missing an opportunity to promote his constituents. 

The sweet and sour mango chicken aims to bring good luck and blessings for Richmond News readers this year, Foo said, flashing a big smile.

He added that the mango chicken recipe is an easy choice for a quick main dish —even for people who have never cooked before.

Under Foo’s guidance, Johal gently dipped chicken pieces into the egg batter and coated it with tapioca flour, placing them into the cooking oil. 

However, Johal was schooled by Foo for throwing too many chicken pieces into the cooking oil at one time. Foo said it would reduce the temperature of the oil, making it take longer to get the chicken golden brown. 

“I haven’t managed to mess this up yet,” Johal said as he started putting in the second batch of chicken pieces. “I have a good teacher.”

The conversation turned to family gatherings, with Johal noting a “medium-sized” Indian wedding is a thousand people.

They agreed pot luck is the way to go at family gatherings. Foo said there are 24 people at his family’s Chinese New Year celebrations and, because the mothers have taught them well, everyone in his family brings good food.

Marinade ingredients:

One pound of skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes

Two tbsp. light soy sauce

One tsp. salt

One tsp. white pepper

Two tbsp. Chinese cooking wine

Method: Marinate the above ingredients and leave them in the fridge overnight

Sweet and sour mango sauce


One cup fresh mango puree

One cup water

One tsp. white pepper

One tsp. salt

One tbsp. tapioca flour

One drop red vegetable food coloring

Two tbsp. tomato ketchup

Two tbsp. granulated sugar

Two tbsp. white vinegar

Method: Mix all ingredients together

Prepare before cooking

Beat two eggs, add one cup of beer and mix them

Prepare a bowl of tapioca flour for coating

Measure two cups of cooking oil for deep frying

Finely chop one medium-sized onion

Slice one bell pepper julienne 

Cut one cup fresh or frozen mango into cubes


Pour eggs into the bowl with marinated chicken and mix well.

Heat the cooking oil in a wok in preparation for deep frying. When it’s ready for frying, lower the heat the medium.

Coat the egg-soaked chicken with tapioca flour and place them in the cooking oil one at a time.

Fry chicken until golden brown and remove from the wok.

Add a tablespoon of oil to a clean wok. Fry the sliced onions and red pepper for about a minute.

Pour sweet and sour mango sauce into the pot and bring to a boil.

Keep stirring until it thickens.

When ready to serve, pour the hot sweet and sour mango sauce on the chicken and garnish with the mango cubes.