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Pinkfoot goose with crying tiger sauce recipe

Crying tiger sauce is hot stuff and one for those who like strong flavours, but Tim Maddams pairs it with goose rather than supermarket beef. Serves four as a starter.

Have you tried a crying tiger salad? It’s basically a marinated beef steak, cooked rare, served with some chopped crunchy salad and with a dipping sauce that is knock-your-socks-off hot. That’s where the crying tiger comes in, the idea being that the sauce has enough hot chilli in it to make even a tiger weep. But who can tell exactly how much chilli that is likely to require?

It breaks a hitherto hard-and-fast rule of mine: only ever use fish sauce very sparingly. This recipe throws that rule out of the window. The incredibly rich and very potent fermented fish sauce is one of those things, a very powerful flavour, yet in this instance, rather than being used like a seasoning, it is pretty much the base flavour for the whole dish.

Effectively the crying tiger sauce combines fish sauce, chilli, sugar, more chilli, lime juice and that’s pretty much it. There’s a little chopped fresh tomato, some shredded onion and a smidgen of soy and garlic, but this is not, I repeat not, a dipping sauce for the faint hearted.

Nor is crying tiger sauce, in my opinion, an ideal dipping accompaniment for beef, with which it is almost always served.
These days most beef is fairly timid in flavour, coming from cattle under 30 months old and not hung anything like long enough. So the goose breast here works well, as the strong and texturally complex meat stands up to sauce rather better than some insipid supermarket beef steak.

As to the authenticity of the dish, I remain in the dark. Maybe it’s some delightfully old and traditional ancient Thai dish, handed down lovingly from generation to generation, or maybe it’s some contrived nonsense to please the tourists.

Either way, the dipping sauce is great and you can always turn down the heat by adding less chilli.


Pinkfoot goose with crying tiger sauce recipe



For the goose:

  • 1 young pinkfoot goose breast, skin on
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp finely chopped coriander stems
  • 2cm shredded root ginger

For the crying tiger dipping sauce:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp light brown soft sugar, or palm sugar, if you have it
  • 1 spring onion, very finely chopped
  • 3 fresh bird’s-eye chillies, seeds in, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

To serve:

  • A handful of chopped cos or iceberg lettuce
  • 2 sprigs mint leaves
  • 2 sprigs coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp of panko breadcrumbs, pan-fried in a little oil and drained once golden and crispy

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


The method

  1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a small dish and add the goose breast. Leave to rest for at least a couple of hours (overnight is best) and allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking.
  2. Preheat a good frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the goose breast with a little light oil, skin side down first. It will want around 5 minutes per side on a moderate heat. Once cooked on both sides, turn off the heat and flip the goose breast back on to its skin side and allow it to rest in the pan for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Mix all of the crying tiger dipping sauce ingredients together and taste — adjust as required.
  4. Slice the goose breast lengthways as thinly as possible — aim for a thickness of a 10p piece. Arrange over the chopped salad, sprinkle over the picked mint and coriander, and place a small bowl of the dipping sauce next to this — or drizzle on top if feeling brave. Finely scatter over some crispy fried panko breadcrumbs (this is very much my addition — it is supposed to be toasted rice powder, but I prefer the panko) and serve.