Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tamarind chicken wings and summer vegetable soup (canh ga chien nuoc mam me, canh rau cu)

 Tamarin chicken wings (canh ga chien nuoc mam me), a very addicting and finger-licking good appetizer dish that pair perfectly with a big glass of ice-cold beer in this summer heat. This Vietnamese version of chicken wing is listed somewhere amongst the top of my appetizer dishes. It is simple to prepare and yet full of bold flavors that make you reach out for more after the first bite. It is perfect when served as a finger food for any party and delicious as a meal on its own with some steamed rice. 

On my usual weekday of work, with not much time to prepare for dinner, I marinated the chicken the night before. Once I get home from work, I only need to deep fry the chicken and drizzle them with the pre-made tamarind sauce, then prepare a quick and easy vegetable soup to go with it. In no time we are ready for a delicious meal. The soup that I made today is a root vegetable soup that not only healthy and tasty, but it also pairs perfectly with the chicken wings.

I hope this simple recipe will help bringing a little surprised, delicious meal to your dinner table or your party of all occasions.


 1. Tamarind chicken wings:


- 15 chicken wings (rinsed and pat-dried with paper towel).
- 1/2 cup of corn starch, 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp of mushroom seasoning, 2 tsp of sugar, black pepper and garlic powder
- Tamarind sauce (recipe followed)

In a large bowl, combine chicken wings with the all the seasoning ingredients and cover to marinate over night or at least a few hours in the fridge.
When ready to fry, combine the two flours with 1/2 tsp salt, then dredge the chicken wings in the flour mixture and shake off excess flour. Heat up about 2-3 inches of cooking oil in a medium sauce pan, once hot, carefully place the chicken wings in the oil. Fry the chicken and turn occasionally for even browning. Once cooked and golden brown, remove the chicken and drain the excess oil. Drizzle the tamarind sauce and mix to coat the chicken wings evenly. Serve hot as an appetizer or as a meal.

2. Tamarind sauce:


- 1/2 cup of tamarind paste (with or without seed)
- 1/2 cup of fish sauce
- 1 cup of sugar
- red crushed pepper (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Once boiled, lower the heat down to low-medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes until slightly thicken. Remove from heat and drizzle on top of chicken wings. It can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for several months for later uses.

3. Summer vegetable soup (canh rau cu):

- 1/2 lbs of pork spared rib (cut into 1-2 inch cubes)
- 2 small potato, 1 medium carrot, 3 chayote squash, 1/4 head of cabbages (all cleaned and chopped into cubes)
- 1 small piece of rock sugar, salt, 2 tsp mushroom seasoning, 3 shallots
- 6-8 cups of water or chicken broth
- cilantro and chopped green onion for garnish

Bring water to boil in a pot, then add the pork ribs. Once boil, remove from heat and rinse the pork ribs under cold water to clean. Bring another pot of water to boil, then place the cleaned pork ribs with rock sugar, mushroom seasoning, salt and shallot into the pot
Simmer for about 30-45min until the meat semi-tender, then add the root vegetables and adjust the seasoning. Simmer for another 20 minutes until the vegetables is tender then add the chopped cabbages and cook for another 5 minutes before turning off the heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onion.


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