One of the best things about backpacking in my early twenties was discovering a planet full of new and before unheard of foods.
I still remember the very first Macadamia nut I ate in Australia, the first Durian fruit in Singapore and the first bowl of miso soup I supped in Japan.
My memory can still taste those little sweet steamed red bean dumplings from the old lady on the street outside my dorm house in Shanghai, and I can still feel the excitement in the sushi bar as my puffer fish was taken fresh from the tank all puffed up and deadly looking and instantly turned into the freshest sashimi Fugu.
I don’t remember too many town names or even the names of the people I met in those towns, but I vividly remember the meals we shared, the local beer we drank and the new styles of cooking my young mind was opened up to.
One thing I learned from Asian street food was that simplicity and speed were of the essence. The quicker a dish was prepared, the safer the meats would be in the tropical heat and often the simple meals turned out to be the tastiest.
These Sweet Chilli Chicken Skewers are about as easy as they come. You could, if time was short and cupboards were bare, just use the sweet chilli sauce to coat the kebabs and still get a damn tasty skewer. But the extra ingredients bring a depth of flavour which is multiplied if you can cook them over a BBQ or real fire.
The beauty in them comes from the sugar in the sweet chilli sauce caramelising over the heat source. Delish.
The ingredients below will serve 1-2 people depending on other dishes you are offering. If you’re feeding more, just keep doubling it up.
- 1 chicken breast around 200g
- 2 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or Tamari
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- Put the wooden skewers in cold water to soak while you prepare the meat.
- Slice the chicken breast into long strips, no more than half an inch thick. Pop in a bowl with the sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and garlic.
- Mix it all together well and ideally leave to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes - 24 hours. However, if you don't have time, they will still taste fantastic if you cook them straight away.
- Thread the chicken strips onto the skewers, with the thin, pointy end of the chicken going on first. This will allow the fatter end to get more heat and cook safely all the way through.
- When all the skewers are loaded up, pop over the white hot coals of a BBQ or grill and cook for 3 minutes each side.
- Baste the skewers while they are cooking with the remaining marinade and a silicone pastry brush.
- Before serving, check sure they are cooked all the way through by making sure there is no pinkness left in the middle of the meat.