Black Sauce Chicken has two main components – the black sauce, and the chicken! Here’s an easy weeknight recipe for the quick-fix chicken dish!
Black sauce chicken is a cult favourite in Asia. Every Asian country, from Indonesia to Thailand, has its own version of this. Some use chilli padi, some use lots of garlic, some add curry powder even! Especially in Indonesia, you can find this with made with sambal and kicap (which is dark soya sauce). A friend of mine suggested I try adding Baked Beans for sweetness and texture – and so that’ll be the next version of this recipe.
I have used a combination of Dark Soya Sauce and Oyster Sauce here and I did not add any salt when making this dish. I generally have a half-salt practice, where I half the amount of salt I’d like to add to any of my dishes. At times, I don’t salt at all! In the case of this recipe, the salt content comes from the Oyster Sauce and Soya Sauce. If you’d like to add salt to this, go ahead; but I’d advice tasting the dish before you do.
I have used Sambal Pedas here, a fiery red chilli sauce I purchased during my travels in Batam. I hardly head to Batam and when I do I fill my bag with chilli pastes. This is a rather fiery chilli paste, so I’ve used one packet. Feel free to substitute this with others, such as Sambal Terasi or even ground red chilli paste. However, if you’re using ground red chilli paste, you’ll have to cook this longer so that the rawness of the chillies gets cooked – otherwise this dish might be too hot to handle. If you’re using store-bought sambal pastes like I did, then you’re in the green.
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Medium Red Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
200 to 250 g boneless Chicken, cubed
1 ½ Tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
1 ½ Tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 Tbsp Sambal Pedas/Terasi or others (see notes above)
A large appetite – serves 2 modestly or one very hungry person
In a skillet of your choice, heat up the vegetable oil and add the onions to fry. Cook the onions till soft and tender, then add the cubed chicken pieces.
Toss the chicken in the onion infused oil, allowing the pink flesh to turn white and brown slightly in certain places. Then, add both the Dark Soya Sauce and Oyster Sauce. Turn all chicken pieces around in the pan and allow them to cook through in the sauce. This will take around 7 to 12 minutes, depending on the cut and size of meat you’re using.
Once the chicken is cooked, add the sambal. Stir through carefully, making sure that the sambal completely disappears in the dark mess. Remove from heat and serve warm with rice.
Notes: You can up the ante by adding thin strips of raw ginger to this dish after removing it from the heat. If you’re not using sambal from a packet, then refer to notes above on added cooking instructions.