Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Cookbook Challenge - Week 17 - Vietnamese - Chicken with Vietnamese Caramel Sauce

Yes, I'm late. I'm sorry. Fitting blogging in around my life is harder than I anticipated. Uni's back, and I went away for the weekend - not making excuses... ok, maybe I'm making excuses. But, I'm blogging now!

This week's recipe came from delicious. Magazine, June 2007 edition - Chicken with Vietnamese Caramel Sauce. This is a great mid-week dinner recipe as it's nice and quick, cheap, and delicious. Although, and I'm not quite sure how, I did manage to create a lot of washing up with this recipe. I have a reputation for using the maximum number of dishes and utensils possible when cooking though, so don't let this put you off the recipe. I expect I'm the exception. And that's what dishwashers are for.

Chicken with Vietnamese Caramel Sauce - delicious. June 2007

1 tbs sunflower oil (or substitute peanut oil)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
125g brown sugar
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs tamarind concentrate
4 chicken breast fillets with skin on
steamed pak choy and white rice to serve

Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat, add ginger and stir for one minute - watch it carefully as you don't want burnt ginger. The ginger flavour is really mild, so if you're looking for a ginger kick, double the amount. I will next time.

Add soy sauce and brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add fish sauce and tamarind concentrate, reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes or until sauce thickens and is a dark caramel colour. I found it took no time at all to caramelise, but I think I had the stove up a little too high - it didn't seem to make a difference though. I still simmered it for the five minutes while I cooked the chicken.

Make three to four slashes in each chicken breast, about an inch apart so it depends on the size of your chicken breast, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining oil in a frypan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and cook for two to three minutes until golden brown. Turn and cook for two minutes on the other side, then turn skin-side down once more.

Reduce heat to medium-low, then add the sauce and cook chicken, basting, for a further five minutes or until cooked through. Serve with white rice and steamed pak choy, drizzled with the sauce.

Tip: Donna Hay (Modern Classics Book 1) taught me how to cook rice perfectly - To serve 4, put 1 1/2 cup long grain rice, 2 1/2 cups water in a pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes, until funnels form in the rice and the liquid is absorbed. Set aside for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve. Ignore the instructions on the pack and follow these - you'll have perfect rice every time.

There you go, that's something by Kate.


  1. Oh, how I wish I was still at uni. It's been over twenty years, and I still miss it - how tragic is that? :)

    Great recipe, thank you - reminds me of something I saw on the Hairy Bikers show a few years ago. The recipe was a sweet caramel with pork (I think), made in Vietnam, which also included a little chilli. It was served with steamed rice and boiled quail eggs!

  2. You sound like me - no matter what I make I manage to use nearly every pot, pan, utensil and inch of space.

  3. Chilli would be good in it Celia. I'll add some when I make this again. I don't know about the quail eggs though... Uni is not so much fun the second time around while you're working full time as well. I enjoy it, but it makes for some long days.

    Jo, wait until you see the mess I made with my next dessert entry. Makes this mess look tame!

  4. Haven't heard from you in ages, Kate, hope all is well and you're just flat out with uni?


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