Jan 13, 2017

A Little Southeast Asian Flair - Seared Chicken with Laotian Spicy Sauce

Reading food related articles daily comes with one major benefit - it broadens my cooking options. All these wonderful dishes and even recipes from the readings always intrigue me. When curiosity takes over, or more so when these words and pictures put me into a very hungry mood, that's when these knowledge turn into real food, in my own kitchen.

Tasting Table published an article back in early 2016 talking about bang bang sauce - chef Phet Schwader's version of a tradition Laotian sauce called jeow som. I can almost taste its flavors through my imagination, a sauce consists of ginger, sugar, chilies, and cilantro. I must try it myself. So a little research and a little improvisation, here is my take on Laotian spicy sauce.

Seared chicken with Laotian spicy sauce -


  • 1 large or 2 medium chicken breast
  • Some olive oil


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilies (Thai chilies preferable)
  • Small bundle cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Cut several gashes on the chicken breast and make sure not to cut all the way down. Drizzle just enough olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Turn to medium high heat. Once the pan gets hot, add in the chicken and sear both sides till slightly browned and almost fully cooked through.

Transfer the chicken to a serving plate. The residual heat will continue to cook the chicken, and the texture should be perfect when it's ready to serve.

Peel and give the garlic cloves a few chops. Trim off the chili stems and roughly chop the remaining. Finely chop the cilantro, this recipe needs about 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. 

Add garlic, chilies, and sugar to a grinding tool or use mortar and pestle. 

Crush and grind these ingredients till it turns into paste. It doesn't need to be smooth, just make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the lime juice and fish sauce. Mix till combined. 

Lastly, mix in chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust with lime juice and fish sauce if needed.

Pour this pungent sauce all over seared chicken right before serving. The sauce tastes so good that I even pour it on steamed rice. 

My Laotian sauce recipe yields a more toned down version in regards to spiciness. You know, these tiny red chilies can be very fiery at times.

Other Asian style chicken recipes: 

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