19 October 2012

Tamarind and Honey Chicken wings

"Take these broken wings..."
Mr. Mister 1985 

Sunset, Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia.

On a trip to Malaysia last year we wound up in Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo where we stayed for a few nights at the Shangri La, undoubtedly one of the island's best and most luxurious hotels. It served very nicely as our 5 star base camp for an expedition  to Mount Kinabalu National Park and boasted a choice of numerous restaurants, cafes and eateries all offering a dazzling array of international cuisine. But after a day or two of all that the novelty wore off  and we craved some more authentic and colourful local cooking.

Luckily for us just outside the gates at the end of the hotel's long drive, wedged between the KK Yacht and Golf club and a beautiful sandy beach there was a local family resort with large authentic open food courts Malaysian style. So one night we planned our escape.  At dusk we made our way to the main entrance and bravely refusing offers of the hotel cars, we calmly strolled past the curious gatekeeper. After the reserved atmosphere of the hotel our little jaunt really did seem like a release!

Petai beans waiting to be cooked ! 
A short distance away, along a dimly lit path lined with Tamarind trees laden with bursting pods, life bustled  in huge semi-outdoor spaces surrounded by little shops and stalls running down to the beach. Long refectory style tables and benches meant large families of several generations could sit together devouring local favourites; grilled locally caught seafood and shell fish, chicken wings, lamb curries, beef rendang, gado gado, noodle dishes, corn on the cob, petai beans and roasted nuts with freshly squeezed juices. Needless to say the food was a fraction of the hotel prices and we tucked right in.

The dish we post below was inspired by that visit. Many people fight for the chicken breast personally we like the wings which are much sweeter, moister and tastier especially when cooked in this Malaysian style. The marinade includes Kecap (pronounced ketchup, where we get the English word!) Manis often referred to as Indonesian soy sauce, if unavailable just use soy.


24 Chicken Wings (2 kg) Most skin + tips removed
I Golf ball size fresh tamarind
2 tbsp Kecap Manis
2 tbsp Light soy sauce
2 tbsp Cooking oil
2 tbsp Honey
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp chilli powder
1 Tbsp Muscovado sugar
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp five spice powder
Ground Black pepper
4 Cloves of Garlic (paste)
I 1/2 tbsp ginger paste


In a big bowl mix all ingredients then massage marinade into chicken. Leave for several hours or overnight if possible. Pre-heat the oven to 200C, drain the wings saving the marinade and place on a baking tray for about 15 minutes then turn over the wings and brush on remainder of marinade. Bake for another 15 minutes or until golden and well cooked.

Posted by incredibly fed

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