recipe adapted from here
1/2 chicken - chopped into pieces (seasoned with some salt and pepper)
2-1/2 oz chinese brown sugar or about 1 plank size (chopped into pieces)
1/2 cup water + 2 tbsp water
1 medium sized knob ginger - peeled and chopped coarsely
1 large shallot - sliced
3 tbsp vietnamese fish sauce
freshly ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste
3 tbsp coconut oil
*if not making caramel sauce using brown sugar, replace with vietnamese caramel sauce or indonesian kecap manis.
- Put brown sugar and 2 tbsp water in a skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon, stirring until it dissolves completely.
- Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking, stirring constantly until the bubbling caramel darkens to a reddish brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and, with your face averted to avoid steam and spatters, carefully pour the 1/2 cup water into the pan. The caramel may harden; if it does, set the pan over medium-high heat and stir until it dissolves. Stir the liquid to blend in the caramel and pour it into a heatproof measuring cup or bowl.
- Wipe out the pan and heat the coconut oil over medium high. Add the shallot and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re softened and starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Set the skillet back over high heat. Add the seasoned chicken pieces and cook until they lose their raw color on the outside, about 2 minutes per side; the pan will be crowded and the chicken needn’t brown.
- Stir in the fish sauce, salt, pepper and reserved caramel. Reduce the heat to medium and cook simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the reserved ginger and shallot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to blend the flavors.
- Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with scallion rings.