Don't be intimidated by some of the ingredients. If you can't find them easily, there are simple substitutions that will not greatly affect the end result. For instance, galangal is an exotic type of ginger... you can use regular ginger. Tamarind paste can be substituted with Worcesterhire Sauce and if you cannot find palm sugar substitute light brown sugar. Do get rice flour, there is no substitute for the crispiness you get from it. I am noticing that it is being used more and more in recipes that require breading for frying. You can also leave out the belacan powder, it's only an 1/8 tsp. so it won' t affect the taste too much.
I am usually very much against substitutions. If you don't have the ingredients, skip it and go on to something else. I hate it when I give out a recipe for shrimp and they substitute chicken as an example, or omit this and add that. Then they say the recipe was not as good as they thought!! This is a different situation. Here you have a famous chef who needs to come out with something special and yes, if you use all of these esoteric ingredients, it will be special, particularly to those who have grown up eating it. But let's face it, most of us reading this blog are not Thai. One thing though, if you do not live in an area where mangoes are available when you decide to make it, wait to add them until they come in season. That does make a difference. Goya has some pretty good canned mango slices, but there is nothing like the real thing, specially in season.
This is a fantastic recipe and one that will go well as part of any Super Bowl party.
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 fresh red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 pounds chicken mini drumsticks from chicken wings, or chicken wings, separated at the joint
1 ripe mango, cut into 1-inch slices
2 teaspoons salt
Grape seed or corn oil, for frying
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
In a medium saucepan, combine soy sauce, lime juice, nam pla, garlic, chiles, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely.
Place drumsticks in a shallow baking dish. Pour over soy sauce mixture and toss until chicken is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss mango slices with salt. Let stand 30 minutes.
Add enough oil to a deep, heavy-bottomed pot to reach a depth of 3 inches. Heat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry.
In a shallow dish, mix together cornstarch and rice flour. Working in batches, dredge chicken in cornstarch mixture and carefully add to hot oil. Cook until crisp, browned, and cooked through, about 10 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain temperature.
Transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Place hot-and-sour sauce in a large bowl; add chicken and toss to coat. Serve immediately with salted mango and mint leaves.
Hot And Sour Sauce
1/4 cup grape seed or corn oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped dried red finger chiles
1/2 fresh red Thai chile
1 piece fresh galangal (1/4 inch), peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (ginger)
1/8 teaspoon belacan (shrimp paste) (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
2 tablespoons tamarind paste (or Worcestershire Sauce)
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until deep golden brown. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to the jar of a blender. Carefully puree until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl; set aside until ready to use.