Thai Chicken with Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Sauce

“Thailand is condiment heaven, with a gazillion sauces. This northern Thai-style one is extra-sour, because it uses both tamarind and lime,” says Naomi Duguid.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4


marinated chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 4 whole chicken legs, skinned
dipping sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate (see Note) dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small Thai chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

How to make this recipe

  1. marinate the chicken

    In a mini food processor, process the cilantro, fish sauce and pepper to a coarse puree. Coat the chicken with the marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

  2. prepare the dipping sauce

    In a bowl, combine the dissolved tamarind with the fish sauce, lime, garlic, chile, sugar and water.

  3. prepare the dipping sauce

    Preheat the oven to 400°. Light a grill. Rub the chicken with the oil and rub the grill with an oiled paper towel. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning, until charred, 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, until cooked.

  4. prepare the dipping sauce

    Just before serving, stir the cilantro into the dipping sauce and serve with the chicken.


Tamarind concentrate is available at Indian and Latin food shops.

One serving: 177 cal, 7 gm fat, 1.5 gm sat fat, 2 gm carb, 0 gm fiber, 26 gm protein.

Suggested Pairing

Peppery, raspberry-rich Zinfandel.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published May 2012

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