Saturday, 6 March 2010

Honey Chicken and more cultural exchange

My son's favourite dish to order at Nasi Kandar restaurants is Honey Chicken. For my foreign readers, Nasi Kandar is basically rice with a variety of dishes, usually curried or spicy. Nasi Kandar is thought to have originated from Penang and is is basically food with a strong Indian Muslim influence.

Literally translated, from Malay, Nasi is Rice while Kandar is a yoke or to carry with a pole on the shoulders. Picture a vendor in days of yore, balancing a pole on his shoulders with each end of the pole attached to containers of rice and curries! Today, Malaysia is full of Nasi Kandar shops and the key or trick to a good Nasi Kandar is to mix a little bit of curry/gravy from every dish in addition to the main meat dish that you choose. Ergo, if you chose to have a chicken curry with rice, you would take a serving of chicken curry but you would also add a litte of the gravy from the mutton curry, the fish curry, the chicken kurma, the chicken sambal... you get the idea.

One of the specials at most Nasi Kandar restaurants is the Honey Chicken. This is basically chicken cooked in a honey sauce flavoured with spices. Some shops add a bit of chilli powder to make it a little spicy. Most times, the chicken is fried first and then coated in the sauce.

Any time we go to a Nasi Kandar restaurant, my son will order Honey Chicken. Since my son loves his Honey Chicken so much, The Lovely Wife decided she was going to try and make this at home - without frying the chicken first so that it would be healthier. This is what she did.

4 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
1 onion - sliced
cinammon stick - broken into pieces
1 Tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
1/2 Tbsp light soya sauce
3-4 Tbsp Honey
pound ginger, garlic and marinate the chicken together with the dark soy sauce. Fry the cinammon until fragrant. Add onion and cook till soft. Add in chicken and cook well. Add light soya sauce to taste and then add in the honey. Continue to cook until chicken is well coated and honey is caramelised.

It turned out really well and we all really enjoyed this. I guess the true test of the success of this was my son licking his fingers and declaring. "No need to go to Nasi Kandar shops anymore Mummy!"


Joanne said...

This sounds amazing! I love sweet sauces on chicken...definitely need to make this soon.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm bookmarking this recipe. That chicken is jumping right off my computer screen -- beautiful!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Mmm that looks so lovely and sticky and good Dharm! No wonder he orders it all the time! :)

Bellini Valli said...

I make a mean Nasi Goreng but am a whimp when it comes to spiciness. This chicken dish looks amazing Dharm.

WizzyTheStick said...

I love honey glazes on meat. This looks out of this world good.

Cakelaw said...

This looks devine, and I love the fact that the chicken isn't fried (not because I don't like fried chicken, but because one has to watch their expanding waistline!).

Elle said...

Great recipe and I love that the chicken wasn't fried kind of dish! Thank your Lovely WIfe and son, will you?

Rose&Thorn said...

My favourite food in the world, chicken wings!
I just got a Vietnamese Coriander plant, been waiting for 2 years for the nursery to get it for me - can't wait to get home to plant it and then start using it.

Anh said...

This is so yummy! I love chicken cooked in this kind of sauce.


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