½ cup brown sugar
800g (1.76 lb) boneless chicken thigh fillets, cut into roughly 4cm (1.6 inch) cubes
1 cup coconut water*
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp fish sauce
¼ tsp ground white pepper, plus extra to serve
steamed rice, to serve
Pickled carrot & herb salad:
1 heaped cup of carrot strips (about 80g/3oz)
1 long red chilli, sliced
3 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
¼ cup mint leaves
Place the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about a minute or until sugar dissolves and a dark caramel forms. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Stir through the coconut water. Then add the garlic, fish sauce and white pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every so often. Use a spoon to scoop off any chicken fat from the sides of the pan. Then continue simmering for another 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and glossy.
In the meantime, make the pickled carrot and herb salad. Combine the carrot, chillies, vinegar, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Set aside for about an hour. When ready to serve, use your hands to squeeze excess liquid from the carrots and chillies. In a bowl, toss the carrots and chillies with the coriander and mint.
Serve the chicken topped with the pickled carrot & herb salad. Serve with steamed rice.
– Coconut water is the juice from inside the coconut. Fresh or packaged coconut water is fine to use. You can also substitute plain water or chicken stock instead.