Caramelised chicken: Proof that white boys can cook Asian food

On tonight’s menu is an old favourite of mine from Bill Granger’s Open Kitchen – caramel chicken. This dish is such a yummy gooey combination of brown sugar, dark soy and fish sauce that beautifully caramelises the red onion.

I always at least double the amount of red onion – trust me, you will thank me for the advice. I’m also a little less heavy handed on the fish sauce than recommended. Never thought I’d hear myself (a self-respecting Vietnamese person) say those words, but it is actually a little too salty otherwise. Bill Granger must be some kind of hardcore fish sauce loving guy 😉

I had some left over mushrooms that Mikee bought over the weekend so I bought some green beans to go with them in a stir-fry. I found this recipe on my Epicurious app and basically followed the instructions for making the sauce mixture only. I thought the order they used for putting the ingredients in the pan was a little out of whack so I swapped it around a little. Mine went in the pan in this order:

Oil, garlic & ginger, beans, half the mixture, wait for a couple minutes, mushrooms, rest of the sauce mixture, spring onions about 1 minute before serving.

I served the dish with white rice and cucumbers to freshen the palette. Yum!

The caramel chicken recipe:

The stir-fry recipe:

Stir-Fried Tofu with Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas, and Green Onions


3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 12-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, patted dry with paper towels

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

6 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps quartered

8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

4 green onions, sliced on diagonal


Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Add tofu and stir to coat; let marinate 30 minutes. Drain, reserving marinade in small bowl. Whisk 1/4 cup water and cornstarch into marinade.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer tofu to plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to skillet. Add mushrooms and stir-fry until tender, about 3 minutes. Add sugar snap peas; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; stir-fry 30 seconds. Return tofu to skillet; drizzle reserved marinade mixture over. Stir-fry until marinade thickens slightly, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

10 Responses to “Caramelised chicken: Proof that white boys can cook Asian food”
  1. mmmmmm…this sounds great – and quick. I always assume anything that’s going to be “caramelized” is spending an eternity in the oven. Definitely worth a try 🙂

  2. Debby says:

    I’ve never tried caramel chicken but I like asian food and this recipe looks delicious 🙂

  3. chef Dennis says:

    That chicken looks positively amazing!!! wow, I would love to try that! Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe with us!

  4. LouiseG says:

    Social media does work ! Found the blog via linked in connection – cooked the chicken and definately a winner ! Next time I might actually follow the recipe – I had to wing it with brown not red onions, and light not dark soy, but still a winner. I’m a fan! Hope life OT (over there) is treating you as well as it looks!

    • jennynoowyn says:

      Hey Louise! Nice to hear from you! Ahh the power of social media… Glad you got to try the recipe – I suppose I can call you a ‘conversion’!!

      Good to know the recipe works well with light soy, in case one day I’m out of dark soy. Life is great over in Amsterdam, thanks been keeping myself very busy with this blog actually! Should keep my mind off the winter that’s creeping up on us V quickly! Hope you’ve been well!

  5. Sandra says:

    OK, now I know I’ll be cooking chicken soon, that looks so tasty! Your pictures are amazing,what kind of camera do you use? I’m on the hunt for a new one. The old “point and shoot”, doesn’t give the results I want for my desserts. Great job and I did subscribe. Have a fun weekend.

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