April 24, 2007

Mango Chicken

for the sauce:
1 1/2-2 cups fresh, cubed mango
2 birdseye chile peppers (or other small, hot pepper) seeds removed
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine
1/2 inch chunk palm sugar
2 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
3 cloves garlic
juice of 1/2 lime

for the chicken:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1/4 thick* and thinly sliced
oil for frying

for serving
hot white rice

In a food processor or blender, pulse together all of the sauce ingredients, leaving some chunks of mango remaining. Set aside. Sprinkle an even amount of flour and cornstarch on a plate, season with some salt and pepper, then dredge the chicken breast strips in the flour. Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the chicken cooks evenly on all sides. In a large saucepan, heat the mango sauce. Add the chicken and cook until just bubbling. Serve with white rice.

My thoughts:
Mango chicken is one of our favorite dishes at Penang (they have a few locations in NYC, Boston and Philadelphia) and we always look forward to having it when ever we go there. So it is some what surprising that it took until today for me to think about making it at home. I wasn't sure exactly what went into the sauce (and the description on the menu is vague-"shredded mango cooked w. spicy sweet & sour sauce served in mango shell") but I think I did an excellent job of recreating it at home. It tastes as good as what get had at Penang, if not better and it was remarkably quick and easy to make. The idea is to have the perfect balance of sweet-sour, so I recommend tasting the sauce as you go to adjust the flavoring-a lot depends on the quality and sweetness of the mango.