Tamarind Chicken Wings

Tamarind is one of those basic ethnic pantry staples like cilantro that can be found in many world cuisines. This tart pulp of a seed pod shows up frequently in Latin, Asian, Indian, and African cuisine. It’s used in sauces and curries to add tartness, in sour candies, jams and as a base for tangy beverages similar in flavor to lemonade. It’s also an ingredient in Worcestershire and steak sauces.

Tamarind pulp can be found in Asian, Latin, Indian or gourmet food markets. It’s sold either in jars of already strained pulp or in small blocks of semi-dry fruit that is similar in appearance to prunes or raisins. If using the blocks of whole tamarind, it just needs to be soaked for a few minutes in hot water to loosen it up and pushed through a strainer to extract the dark brown pulp.

In this easy, Asian inspired recipe for chicken wings, the tamarind coats the wings with a sweet & sour sauce that’s finger licking good.

Tamarind Chicken Wings
1/3 cup tamarind pulp
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tsp sherry
1 ½ lbs chicken wings, separated
Salt & pepper

Cover about ½ cup of tamarind pulp with boiling water and break up with a fork. Let sit for 20 minutes. Place the tamarind in a coarse mesh strainer and with a spatula push the pulp through the strainer over a medium bowl until there’s 1/3 cup of thick puree. Discard the seeds and skin that remain.

Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and sherry to the tamarind pulp, stir to combine and set aside.

Season the wing segments with salt and pepper and place in a single layer in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté, turning occasionally until nicely browned on all sides.

Add enough of the tamarind mixture to barely coat the wings and continue to sauté over medium low heat for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally until the wings are tender and sticky on the outside. Serve hot or at room temperature.

  1. We’d love to have you feature these photos at kitchenartistry.com

    • wdbickford
    • February 14th, 2011

    Wow! Never thought of this mix though I do love my tamarind. I am going to give this recipe a shot. Thanks a million!

  2. Tamarind and chicken wings: Brilliant!. The idea of sweet tang with rich skin is making me hungry. No wings in the house today but I’m desperate to try this. It might be Tamarind Chicken Thighs over here tonight!

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