• Using cornstarch in Chinese cuisine brings together the whole dish. (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

Not all Chinese food comes from China. Billy Kee chicken is a dish that hails from Sydney's Chinatown in the 1950s. Named after local identity, Billy Kee, the Aussie influence of red wine and tomato sauce is plain to see. I also add five spice and garlic, and replace the chicken with pork belly, but you could easily use chicken if you wanted.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (188 votes)


  • 600 g skinless and boneless pork belly, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g (½ cup) cornflour
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 125 ml (½ cup) red wine
  • 125 ml (½ cup) tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • ¼ tsp five spice powder
  • 1-2 litres canola oil, for deep frying, plus extra for wok frying
  • 300 g snow pea shoots
  • salt, to season
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 10 minutes

1. Place the pork, egg and 1 tsp each of the cornflour and soy sauce in a large bowl. Stir to combine well, then stand for 10 minutes.

2. Combine the wine, tomato sauce, vinegar, five spice powder and remaining soy sauce in a separate bowl.
Place the oil for deep-frying in a wok or saucepan and heat to 180˚C. Toss through the remaining cornflour and shake off any excess flour. Deep-fry the pork in batches for about 4 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through, then remove the pork from the oil and rest on a wire rack.

3. Drain the oil from the wok, then add another tablespoon of oil. Add the snow pea shoots, season well with salt and add the Shaoxing wine. Toss the snow pea shoots to coat in the oil, then cover and steam for 1 minute. Toss again (you can thicken this with a little cornflour if you like), then transfer to a large serving plate.

4. Return the wok to the heat and add another tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and fry for about 1 minute until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the sauce and bring to the boil. Add the fried pork and toss to coat. Remove from the wok and serve with the snow pea shoots.


Adam Liaw visits bushfire-affected communities and creates dishes using their local produce in Adam Liaw's Road Trip for Good.