Spices and Seasons – Soy Sauce and Chili Chicken


 What a crazy week this was! The weather was anything, but, seasonal! We went through a hurricane, not something I would ever expect in Fall, certainly not in our neck of the woods. I am still in a house without power, spending the day at a friend’s house to get close to civilization, wondering how to get gas in my car tomorrow.

So, in thinking and celebration of this, I would like to talk about soy sauce and a recipe, that is comfort food and in some ways timeless and good for wall seasons in a lot of houses, while I am at it maybe I should tell you about Indo-Chinese food.

Soy Sauce is originally a chinese condiment, that began as a mixture of fermented soy beans, brine and roasted grain. It is used as a seasoning and salt substitute. It is use in a lot of other cuisines, I often tend to use it as a seasoning when I want to add a salty taste to food with some depth.

Now, Indo-Chinese cuisine is a breed of food, that has evolved originally from the chinese community who came to India, as traders. They came to the eastern port city of Kolkata and still live in one of the oldest Chinatown communities in India. As they fused their culinary styles with Indian spices, their unique brand of cuisine evolved. Over time, Indian chinese food is much loved and has become extremely popular across India and one of the most popular examples of this cuisine is something called Chili Chicken, and this recipe is one of my versions for this dish.

Chili Chicken – Chicken Coated with a Soy Chili Sauce

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6


For the chicken and marinade

2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste

1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch disolved in 2 tablespoons water

1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1-inch sized pieces

Oil for shallow frying

For the tossing sauce

2 tablespoons oil

4 pods pressed garlic

5 tablepsoons soy sauce

11/2 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon cooking wine

1 teaspoon sugar

8 spicy green chilies, slit lengthwise

1/2 green bell pepper thinly sliced

3 to 4 dried red chilies

1/2 cup scallions, cut into 1 cm pieces

Method of Preparation

1. Mix together the ginger-garlic paste, red cayenne powder, egg, cornstarch, and the salt and toss the chicken in this mixture and set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a large flat skillet and add the chicken in a single layer and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until the pieces are browned and almost cooked.

3. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

4. Heat the two tablespoons of oil in a wok and add the garlic and cook lightly.

5. Add in the chicken.

6. In a mixing bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, wine and sugar and mix well and add to a chicken and let the mixture simmer.

7. Add in the green chilies, bell peppers and the dried red chilies and stir well. Cook for a couple of minutes until the soy sauce is absorbed.

8. Stir in the scallions.

Rinku Bhattacharya is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Cooking in Westchester, where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years, and has found her classes a great way to teach and learn.

Her cookbook the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles, is scheduled to be published in November 2012. Rinku can be found on facebook, twitter and pinterest.



About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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