One of my favorite places to eat in our area is Khun Thai. It is a Thai restaurant in Millburn, NJ. We have been going there for many years now and all the dishes are really good.
One dish I always get (most of the time) is a grilled beef with a tamarind sauce. It is served with grilled vegetables and sticky rice. I find it very satisfying and relatively healthy. I always ask for extra tamarind sauce on the side. I wish they would sell the sauce in a jar- I would buy tons of it. It is salty, savory with a bit of spice- absolutely perfect in my book.
We went for dinner the other day to Khun Thai and yes I had the same thing. While I was eating it, I decided to make my own version at home. I knew I won’t be able to make an exact replica but it will be make take on the tamarind sauce.
I was reading the latest Food and Wine and a chef was featured who cooks with a lot of Thai and Chinese flavors. He made a chicken with a tamarind glaze on top of a noodle cake. I decided to use that as an inspiration and came up with my own version. I started with chicken stock and tamarind concentrate. I added a bit fish sauce- which is a great thing to keep in your pantry. It gives Asian dishes great nutty, salty flavor.
The noodle cake was very easy to make and a lot of fun to eat. My daughter loved it. I sauteed broccolini to serve with the meal. It was perfect- it looked gorgeous on the plate and the sauce was delicious. It definitely was not the same as the restaurant but it was still good.
Try it- you will love it, guaranteed…
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (available at Whole Foods)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons honey (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons cilantro stems, finely chopped
- 1 medium shallots, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 green onion, green and white parts separated
Add the chicken stock, tamarind, honey, fish sauce and chili sauce to a small saucepan. Add the cilantro stems, shallots, garlic cloves and white part of the green onions. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat till it reduces to 1 cup. Keep aside.
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Brown the chicken pieces on both sides, about 3 minutes each on high heat. Sprinkle salt generously on both sides. Add the tamarind sauce in the pan and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes basting once. Take the chicken pieces out on a plate and boil the liquid till thickened, about 3 minutes. Place the chicken back in the frying pan and place it under a high broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, till the pieces are golden brown.
Serve on top of a crispy noodle wedge and some sauce on top. Garnish with the green parts of the green onion.
Crisp Noodle Pancake
- 4 ounces dried thin egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
Boil the noodles according to instructions. Drain and spread onto a cookie sheet and pat dry. Heat a non-stick frying with 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the noodles, spreading them thin covering the pan surface. Take a spare lid and press down and cook for 8 to 9 minutes on medium heat. Invert the pancake onto a plate. Heat the same pan with the remaining olive oil and slice the pancake back now browning the other side. Cook for 8 to 9 minutes on medium heat. Once both sides are golden brown and crisp, slide the pancake onto a cutting board. Slice into 4 wedges and serve with the chicken.
- 1 pack or a pound of broccolini
- 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
Blanch the broccolini in boiling water for a minute. Take out and shock in cold water to retain the color. Heat a frying pan with the olive oil. Saute the blanched broccolini on medium high heat, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve with the chicken and noodle pancake.