I first tasted the prototype for this at a dinner party in Juso last year. The host improvised it because he couldn’t find certain Thai spices in Osaka. Or something. Anyway, a bottle of kimchi sauce (called kimuchi nabe tsuyu, or base, I think) is used in Osaka as the flavour bomb for an ersatz Korean hotpot called kimuchi-nabe (the taste is not ersatz – it’s a wonderful winter dish). You can buy the sauce anywhere in Osaka during the winter. Our host added this sauce to chicken and canned mangoes, served it on rice and it didn’t taste half bad. Mind you, we’d drunk a lot of wine while waiting for his inspiration to strike.
In the past month I’ve had a craving for the stuff again and so I’ve been experimenting and I think I’ve got me a simple, serviceable recipe:
Kimchi Mango Chicken
– 1 piece of chicken breast or thighs per person, cut up
– one onion, chopped
– one zucchini, chopped (optional)
– one tin of mangoes, drained (or fresh if you can find them)
– kimchi sauce, one-third to one-half of a bottle (if you prefer to use real Chinese cabbage kimchi and some water, go ahead – it just occurred to me)
Put some olive oil in a frying pan or wok. Sauté the onions and zucchini (if using), then add chicken and fry until cooked on outside. Add the mangoes and kimchi sauce (or real kimchi and a bit of water and omit the zucchini). Increase the heat and stir often. The liquid should eventually reduce by about half or two-thirds, and the mangoes will all but dissolve. The result should be not quite as sticky as a Chinese sweet-and-sour sauce (unless you like it that way: who am I to judge?). Serve on rice or couscous. Serves many, or one person many times.