Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweet Chilli Fried Chicken with French Beans

It wasn't until I came to Sydney that I was introduced to Thai sweet chilli sauce, which is widely used not only as a dipping sauce but for seasoning and various stir-fries. I hardly recall using or coming across sweet chilli sauce in Singapore or Malaysia, probably because we prefer our chillies to be hot rather than sweet. However, it does make a very delicious coating for deep-fried chicken. Of course, you could just dip the fried chicken in the sauce separately, but tossing everything together allows time for the sauce to absorb into the crunchy batter on the chicken. The french beans in the dish are also lovely with that sweet chilli sauce and adds a bit of texture to the dish.

I wanted to add some acidity to the sweet chilli sauce to cut through some of that sugary sweetness, and so I added some Sambal Oelek (I used Thai sambal oelek which is sharp-tasting and vinegary) to it. If you don't like the heat from the sambal, you could substitute with tamarind paste/puree/juice, or perhaps some vinegar might work too. If you have a penchant for sweet dishes, then try making this at home and serve it with some steamed white rice. It's so yummy (and just a little spicy), even the kids love it!

Sweet Chilli Fried Chicken with French Beans


600g chicken thigh fillets (about 4 pieces), cut into 1 inch cubes or strips
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp glutinous rice flour
1/2 egg, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
15-20 french beans
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Sauce (combine in a bowl):
1/2 cup Thai sweet chilli sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Sambal Oelek (or to taste)
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp corn syrup (optional, for sticky-factor)


Combine chicken with salt, pepper, sesame oil, plain flour, cornflour, glutinous rice flour and egg. Use your hands to mix everything together until the chicken is well coated. Set aside for 1/2 hour.

Wash the french beans and pat dry. Top and tail them, and then cut them in half so that they are about 2 inches long.

Heat up 3 cups vegetable oil in a wok until it reaches 180C. Drop a piece of chicken into the oil and it should sizzle immediately. Fry the rest of the chicken in batches for 6-8 minutes until golden brown and cooked. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

Once all the chicken has been cooked, use the same oil to deep-fry the french beans for about 20 seconds until it starts to wrinkle and change colour slightly. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

In a clean wok, heat up 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil and fry the chopped garlic. Add sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and beans and toss to coat evenly. Dish out onto a serving plate and serve as an appetizer or with steamed white rice. Garnish with some deep-fried thai basil leaves if desired.

Note: Do use a good quality Thai sweet chilli sauce if possible, as I have tried some "unauthentic" sweet chilli sauces and they tasted.....kinda strange!


Reem | Simply Reem said...

OH I Love This!!!!
I really like the blend of sweet and spicy flavors, this chicken looks good...
I like that you added beans... we need our veggies right.

Andrea said...

this looks very good. I must try.

Simply Tia said...

Saving this recipe. Will have to make soon. They look so delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Janine said...

adding french beans is something new! ps, just wanted to say I tried your sweet & sour pork recipe and it turned out fantastic :D

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I love this - I love sweet chili sauce and I can eat it very often! This chicken dish is very very dangerous food around me. I'd fight for the last piece. I'm madly in love with sweet chili sauce... =P

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Janine: I'm thrilled to hear that you tried my recipe! Thanks for the feedback! :)
@Nami: Yeah I know what you mean... same here...especially if it's deep-fried! Try this http://tofoodwithluv.blogspot.com/2011/03/prawn-crackers-with-sticky-chilli.html, but it's quite spicy though :)

Debs @ DKC said...

Oh yum, save some for me please.

mycookinghut said...

OMG! This looks extremely appetising! I need to make some soon!

White Toast with Butter said...

Made this tonight - looks and tastes incredible - I made basil fried rice to go with it - yummy!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@myookinghut: Thanks for visiting! Hope you get to try it soon :)
@Andrew's Mom: Sooo happy to hear that you enjoyed it! Fantastic with basil!

GIang Hoang said...

Hi, thank you for posting this. This is one of my favourite dishes and I will make it tomorrow night.
Just a question though, you mention that the dish needs quality Thai sweet chilli sauce. What is your favorite brand of Thai sweet chilli sauce/What brand do you use for the dish? Living in the US, it's quite hard for me to find authentic Thai sweet chilli sauce :).

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Glang Hoang: Hi! Thanks for your comments. I use Mae Ploy brand, but I guess if you buy one that's made in Thailand it should be alright. I'm sure the Asian section of the supermarket or the Asian supermarkets should stock them.

Josephine said...

Oh my gosh, it looks so gooooood!! *0*
Hehe, will definitely try this out some time!
I love sweet chilli and chicken together!! >w<

Anonymous said...

Tried this yesterday. Its not bad. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Can you use chicken breast instead?

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Shelina: You can use chicken breast if you prefer.