Crispy Tamarind Chicken


So there’s orange chicken right? That sweet and tangy and sometimes spicy crispy chicken smothered in an orange sauce that you can find in Chinese fast food joints. Well, I’ve also seen and tasted a strawberry chicken version of that at a small  Japanese fast food place, a mango version at a Thai restaurant, and a lemon version at a Korean food place.  Technically each one was just a differently unique spin on the sweet and tangy and sometimes spicy sauce for the crispy deep fried breaded chicken.

Now, to jump into this bandwagon, I thought about what I can do to make a version of this when mango was already taken, and using calamansi would make it too close to the Korean version? So, special thanks to my husband’s brilliant idea, he suggested we try and make tamarind chicken!

For this recipe you will need….

1.5 lbs skinless chicken

Cooking oil for deep frying


For the spiced-up Batter

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp curry powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp pepper

1 and ½ cups cold water

1 Tbsp sesame oil


For the Tamarind Sauce

¼ cup tamarind concentrate (found in asian stores)

1 cup cold water

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

4 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon ginger powder

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons fish sauce (patis)

1 and ½ Tablespoons cornstarch


What to Do

Start off by patting dry the chicken and slicing it into bite sized cubes. Set aside.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, pepper and spices (curry, onion, garlic powder, and paprika). Add 1 and ½ cups cold water and mix the batter until smooth.

I used cold water for the batter because it will make the chicken crispy. It has something to do with the sudden change in temperature when the cold batter meets the hot oil in the pan. Do try and keep the batter cold by setting it on top of a bigger bowl that has ice cubes in it.

Heat up your oil for frying.

Dip the chicken in the batter and drop it one at a time into the hot oil for deep frying.  Once it turns golden brown, scoop out and drain onto a paper towel.

,Now, prepare the Tamarind Sauce.

In a sauce pan whisk together the tamarind concentrate, chili garlic sauce, sugar, ginger powder, soy sauce, fish sauce (patis), cornstarch and cold water. I used cold water because I find that this easily dissolves the cornstarch. Put the sauce pan over medium heat over the stove and whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Serve the sauce on the side or drizzle it over the fried chicken.

Now enjoy the sweet and tangy with just a hint of spicy tamarind sauce with your crispy battered chicken!


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Written by Donna

DSC_0921With moving to California and having two kids, Donna traded in her city night-owl-running-on-caffeine lifestyle by becoming a suburban domestic deity. She is a special-ed teacher during the daytime, and a juggler of sorts in the evenings and most weekends. If most people find watching TV or shopping relaxing, she on the other hand, finds running, making lists of things to do, trips to the grocery, crafting, and experimenting with new recipes to be fun.

Check out her blog on cooking, crafting and ideas for other things to do.


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