Thai Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Chicken

All Thai dishes should have a balance of hot/sour/salty/sweet. Whatever recipe you use, keep tasting and adjusting until you get that balance just right. I do a lot of Thai cooking, and we love it all – but this is the first recipe that our Thai student Ping claimed was exactly like chicken he eats at home.

hot-sour-salty-sweet Gotta get that balance in Thai cookery!

hot-sour-salty-sweet
Gotta get that balance in Thai cookery!

MARINADE:
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp asian fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (white if you have it)
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate

Blend all ingredients together well – then add chicken.

This is enough to do 4 chicken breasts, or 8 chicken thighs. If using breasts I like to pound them lightly first – just enough to make them equal thickness which is easier to grill. Allow to marinate for whatever length of time you have – I have made this with only 1/2 an hour to marinate, and up to overnight.

Grill until cooked through – slice into strips and serve with dipping sauce.

DIPPING SAUCE
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1/4 cup asian fish sauce
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 minced clove garlic
1 small Thai chile – seeded and minced
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients except cilantro – TASTE!! Adjust to your preference, and if you like it really spicy, drizzle in a little chili oil. I have also drizzled on sesame oil to finish it. Once you have a good balance of flavour (which means you can’t stop yourself from continuing to taste) then stir in the cilantro.

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