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

Tamarind sauce

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

To serve:

1 thick spring onion, thinly sliced

1 cup loosely packed coriander leaves

1 tomato, sliced

1 cucumber, sliced


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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