Here’s a bit of a different spin on sweet and sour chicken. Tamarind provides sourness but also the delicious aroma of dried fruit, while the tender free range chicken is contained in a crisp, double-fried alkaline batter.
600g Lilydale free range chicken thigh fillets
1 tbsp fish sauce
¼ tsp baking soda
2 egg whites
½ cup corn starch
salt, to season
750 ml vegetable oil for deep-frying
2 tbsp tamarind puree
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp corn starch mixed with ½ cup water
1 thick spring onion, thinly sliced
1 cup loosely packed coriander leaves
1 tomato, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
- Thinly slice the Lilydale free range thigh fillets into long strips about 1 cm wide. Combine with the fish sauce, baking soda, egg whites, corn starch, a good pinch of salt and about ¼ cup of water and mix to a thin batter. Set aside to stand for 10 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 170C. Fry the chicken in batches for about 3 minutes each until lightly golden and just cooked. Set aside to drain on a wire rack while you fry the remaining batches. Allow the chicken to rest and cool for about 15 minutes while you make the tamarind sauce.
- For the tamarind sauce, combine the tamarind puree, vinegar, sugar and fish sauce together in a wok with ½ a cup of water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a minute to dissolve the sugar, then drizzle in enough of the corn starch mixture to create a sauce thick enough to coat the chicken.
- Return the oil to the heat and heat to 200C. Fry the chicken again for a minute or two until golden and crisp. Toss through the sauce and transfer to a serving plate and serve with the