Yesterday, I cooked a stir fried vegetable dish with mung bean sprouts, spinach, mushrooms and tofu. If you’ve cooked with mung bean sprouts and spinach before, you’d know how much water they expel during cooking. Had I allowed the stir fried dish to soak in all that liquid after cooking, the steam from the hot broth would have turned the vegetables soggy within minutes. So, I served the vegetables without the broth. Instead of discarding, I saved it. Why? Because that’s a very tasty broth with all the flavors of the spices and mushrooms. Nutrient-rich too. So, why waste something so good?
The obvious question is what did I do with it.
And the answer is — I used it to make sweet chili sauce.
Chicken with sweet chili sauce
- 1/2 cup broth
- 1/4 cup rice wine
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 bird’s eye chilies chopped
- 10 to 12 chicken thigh fillets cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon salt more if using rock salt
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup flour corn starch and tapioca starch will do well too
- 2 to 3 cup cooking oil for deep frying
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1 small onion peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- fresh parsley
- Put the first four ingredients in a pan. Boil. Lower the heat to medium and allow the liquid to reduce. The process takes about 15 minutes, the pan has to be uncovered and as soon as the mixture starts to thicken, add chopped chilis. Then, continue boiling until the desired consistency is achieved. One note though. The sauce thickens some more as it cools so don’t overdo the boiling.
- While the sauce cooks, prepare the chicken.
- Heat the cooking oil to smoking point in a frying pan or work. Fry the chicken strips IN BATCHES until a crisp crust forms around each one. Each batch should cook in less than three minutes if the chicken strips are thin enough and the temperature of the oil is correct. Scoop them out and drain on a stack of paper towels. Reheat the oil to smoking point before frying the next batch.
- To serve, transfer the cooked chicken to a platter. Top with thinly sliced onions. Pour the sweet chili sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.