Caramel Chicken

Image: Super Food Ideas – August 2011, Page 61. Photography by Mark O’Meara.

Caramelised Chicken or ga kho is a sticky, sweet and spicy Vietnamese dish. And, before you get freaked out by the words Caramel and Chicken appearing alongside each other, it is savoury caramel rather than a sweet caramel. So don’t worry you won’t be tucking into a bowl of Jersey Caramels with a side of chicken thigh!

This Vietnamese style savoury caramel sauce weaves together the perfect blend of salty, sweet, sour and spicy by making a caramel using sweet brown sugar, salty fish sauce, sour lime juice and spicy chilies along with some garlic which reduces to a glaze while it cooks, for a full flavour punch. Delicious.

Ingredients – Caramel Chicken

  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 800g chicken thigh fillets – Β trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • Steamed rice to serve

Ingredients – Pickled Cucumber

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbss caster sugar
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers – cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 green onion – thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of cold water

Method

  1. To make the pickled cucumber, place the vinegar, sugar and 1/4 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat.Β Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, add cucumber, stir to combine and set aside to cool completely. Once cooled, stir in the green onion.
  2. Place the chicken and oil in a bowl and toss to combine. Heat a large frying pan or wok over a high heat until hot. Add half the chicken and cook for two minutes on one side until lightly browned, turn and cook for another minute. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add a little extra peanut oil if needed. Add the onion and garlic and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the chicken to the pan, add the soy sauce, chilli flakes and stir to combine.
  4. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high, add the sugar and stir to combine. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce is rich, dark and syrupy.
  5. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and stir to combine.
  6. Place in a serving dish and serve with steamed rice and pickled cucumber.

Enjoy!

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