Curried Chicken Livers

After a morning’s explorations in Mandalay, I stopped for lunch at a hole-in-the-wall on a side street. I ended up lingering over my meal, for the day was hot and the food a pleasure, especially this curry.

The sauce is smooth and creamy, the chicken livers, in bite-sized pieces, creamy too. It’s a great combination with rice or new potatoes and a vegetable side or a salad.


  • 1 pound chicken livers, preferably from organic birds
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon crushed or minced ginger
  • ½ cup crushed or minced ripe tomato
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Red Chile Powder


Rinse the chicken livers and trim off any fat and off-colored parts. Cut into small pieces, about ½ to ¾ inch across, and set aside.

Place a heavy wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, and when it is hot add the turmeric and stir, then add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and tomato and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Push the sauce out to the sides of the pan, raise the heat to high, and add the chicken livers. Cook, stirring and pressing the livers against the pan to expose all surfaces to the heat, for about 1 minute, or just until all surfaces have changed color. Pull the sauce back into the center of the pan, add the water, and bring to a boil. Add the fish sauce, salt, and chile powder and lower the heat to maintain a simmer. The livers will be just cooked through but still tender in another minute or two and the sauce will have thickened. Remove from the heat and serve.