Hed Chef: Taiwanese-style salty and crispy fried chicken
If you are suffering from fatigue and envy over those holiday shots surfacing on your social media feed and have no travel plans, fear not.
You can travel anywhere via your kitchen.
Today, transport yourself to Taiwan with this night market street snack of salty, crispy chicken known as yan su ji in Mandarin.
In Taiwan, vendors may sprinkle Sichuan peppercorn salt or chilli powder as a final seasoning. I skipped that.
In fact, I avoided using Sichuan peppercorn salt as the ones available here often contain monosodium glutamate.
In the marinade, I used ground Sichuan peppercorn, and I find that enough to lift the flavour with its floral aroma.
One of the key ingredients is rice wine. I opted for a premium grade rice wine which cost $28 a bottle.
But it certainly made a difference. It infused the chicken with flavour.
I highly recommend marinating the chicken overnight to let the flavours penetrate more deeply.
- 400g boneless chicken thigh meat, cut into 5cm by 5cm pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, remove skin and pound into paste
- 2 tbsp rice wine
- 1 tbsp light soya sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp five spice powder
- ⅛ tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder
- Dash of ground white pepper
- ⅓ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 70g sweet potato flour
- 380ml oil
1. Place the chicken in a bowl.
2. Add the garlic paste, rice wine, light soya sauce, sesame oil, five spice powder, Sichuan peppercorn powder, ground white pepper, sugar and salt. Mix well.
3. Add the cornflour and mix well. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.
4. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
5. Pour the oil into a deep-frying pan. Allow it to heat over medium heat. To check if the oil is hot enough, submerge the ends of a pair of cooking chopsticks and see if the oil bubbles around them.
6. Place sweet potato flour on a plate.
7. Dredge the chicken in the flour and lightly tap to remove excess flour.
8. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken in the pan. Cook up to five pieces of chicken at a time. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat. Cook the chicken for two to three minutes over medium-low heat on each side until browned, turn over and continue cooking for another two minutes until chicken is cooked through and crispy.
9. Transfer chicken to plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.
10. Turn the heat up to medium. Once the oil is hot again, place half of the fried chicken and deep-fry again for 45 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Allow oil to heat up and fry the remaining chicken for 45 seconds. Place the chicken on kitchen paper.
11. Arrange the chicken on a serving dish and serve immediately.
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