Wok-fried chicken with beans, chilli and tamarind

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Food and Travels: Asia

Food and Travels

By Alastair Hendy

Published 2004

  • About


  • 3 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 1 stick lemongrass, trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 small hot red chillies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 4 free-range chicken breasts, skin on coconut or groundnut oil
  • 200 g long beans, French beans or runner beans, topped, tailed, blanched and shredded
  • 3 tbsp tamarind water, or 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 handfuls whole/split toasted peanuts
  • 2 long mild red chillies, shredded


Chop up the ginger, lemongrass, garlic and hot chillies, then pound to a paste with the salt, shrimp paste and sugar. Slice the chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks, then toss with the paste, cover, and leave on side to bathe for an hour or so. Heat a shallow pool of oil in a wok, then deep-fry the chicken pieces in batches until just cooked, about 3 minutes, depending on the size of your chunks. Drain. Decant most of the oil from the wok, then briefly stir-fry the shredded beans with a flick of salt, add the cooked chicken, tip in the tamarind and toss through. Toss in the peanuts and shredded chillies and serve.