jaggery chicken

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jaggery chicken Just a little over a year ago, my sister served an Asian feast which included the most amazing chicken that was cooked in jaggery (palm sugar). We loved that chicken!! So we made it ourselves often last winter. It’s wonderful on a cold night when the wind is howling through the cracks in this old house.

And just recently, we noticed a little piece of jaggery lurking in the spice drawer. Jaggery!! Jaggery chicken!! How could we have forgotten to make it again!? So, make it we did. And we served it with a mountain of steamed Thai jasmine rice and stir-fried broccoli with peanuts. Jaggery chicken was just as fabulous as we remembered. Indeed the whole dinner itself was fabulous.

And I raved to my sister again about how great jaggery chicken is, thanking her again for introducing us to it. But when I mentioned how hot the chopped green chillies were, she looked perplexed. Chillies??

Well, naturally, we couldn’t keep ourselves from changing the recipe just a little… here is our take on my sister’s recipe.

Jaggery Chicken

  • 250 gm chicken thighs meat (more or less)
  • 1½ Tbsp jaggery sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • good shot ginger
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 c water (add water only if absolutely necessary)
  • good shot green chillies


  1. Heat sugar.
  2. When it bubbles, add ginger and garlic; cook until golden.
  3. Add chicken, soy sauce. Coat chicken.
  4. When cooked, add water. Simmer til thick.
  5. Add fish sauce and salt. At the last minute add chopped green chillies.

A word of caution: fish sauce really really stinks. Big time. The stink dissipates for the most part and it does add another subtle (amazingly) dimension to the taste though so we have always added it anyway. But we’re thinking that the next time we make jaggery chicken, we might be bold and leave out the fish sauce to see if it really makes that much difference.

Late next fall, when the frost hits, don’t let us forget! Remind us to make jaggery chicken.


edit: We suddenly decided to throw out our bottle of fish sauce. It’s just too too stinky. Now, we add an anchovy at the same time as the ginger and garlic. The flavour of the finished chicken is just as good but there’s no stink.

This entry was posted in food & drink, main course, posts with recipes, spicy on by .

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7 responses to “jaggery chicken

  1. bing

    Leave out the fish sauce? The idea!

    I wonder if your fish sauce is more virulent smelling than ours, or if you are more sensitive than us. I kind of like the smell of fish sauce.

    Here is a picture of the kind we use: http://importfood.com/sasq2501.html

  2. ejm Post author

    I’m pretty sure that when we went to buy fish sauce, we asked a shopkeeper to recommend what she would buy for her own kitchen. This method has worked pretty well for us with other Asian condiments. We have Viet Huong Three Crabs http://importfood.com/gourmet_fish_sauce.html

    Maybe we should try the Squid brand. I see that the review at importfood.com says it “has less of a fishy smell and is slightly less salty

  3. ejm Post author

    Ha! And my next post was going to be about just that, fiordizucca! But it wasn’t going to be talking about how clean the stove is… au contraire (but I’m getting ahead of myself, I just have to get the most recent pictures out of the camera and onto a page. It should be by this evening some time.)

  4. ejm Post author

    Jaggery is available in most Indian grocery stores, Nastassia. We get jaggery from a small store on Queen St W, but I would think that you’ll definitely find jaggery in any of the grocery stores at Gerrard and Coxwell. Or if you’re in the northern part of the city, you might try somewhere on Albion (near Kipling) in Etobicoke.


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