Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Going Asian This Week

My weekly recipes have so far covered (or bastardized) Italian, Mexican, and classic American. It was time to go Asian.

I had a partially unused jar of tamarind sauce in my fridge. I decided it was time to use it. Not only would I be going Asian, but I know Sue likes the stuff. When I began Googling recipes for chicken in tamarind, I was expecting to find Indian recipes. Imagine my surprise when I found the recipe that came up the most was Chinese Ayam Siow.

The recipes I found required whole bone-in chicken pieces and long periods of marinating. In the interest of time, I used boneless, skinless thighs and marinated them two hours. They also took less time to cook. Speed is important when you have to be at rehearsal by 2PM (and don't come home till 10PM with an hour break for dinner).

I would have liked the recipe to be a bit sweeter and would use more sugar in the future, but otherwise I liked the dish. The shallots took on the sharpness of the tamarind and reminded me a bit of pickles. I served this with rice that was simmered with ginger and garnished with chopped scallions and green beans (frozen) that I defrosted in the microwave and tossed with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.

Chicken in Tamarind Sauce

2 Pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
10 shallots finely chopped
1/2 cup tamarind paste
2 Tbp soy sauce.
2 Tbp rice vinegar
2 Tbp brown sugar
1 Tbp ground coriander
1 Tsp white pepper
2 Tbl oil

Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a bowl. Add chicken and marinate at least two hours. Heat oil in a large skillet and add chicken and marinade. Cook about 20 minutes (turning once) or until cooked through.


Emiline said...

Hmmm, this sounds great! Tamarind really interests me. I bought a dried brick of tamarind, but I had no idea what to do with it. I soaked it in hot water, then tasted it, and decided it was gross. So I threw it away. I want a fresh pod.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

From what little I know of tamarinds, they're pretty inedible unless prepared well. That's why I just stick with the tamarind paste. I have no idea how to prepare it fresh or dried.

michelle @ TNS said...

i always find myself needing tamarind paste for one thing or another, but i can never find it. where do you get yours?

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I get it in the ethnic foods area of Whole Foods. I don't know if I've seen it in any other stores, although it's not something I go looking for that often.

There must be a dozen specialty food websites out there where you could get it. Let the googling begin!