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Chinese Buttermilk Chicken Recipe: Elevate Dining Experience with a New Dish

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, you've probably heard of buttermilk chicken. This dish is a staple in Chinese restaurants and is known for its creamy, tangy flavour. If you're looking to recreate this dish at home, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll be sharing a delicious Chinese buttermilk chicken recipe that you can easily make in your own kitchen.

A wok sizzles as buttermilk-marinated chicken is fried with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Green onions and sesame seeds garnish the golden-brown chicken pieces

Buttermilk chicken is a popular Chinese dish that is loved for its crispy texture and creamy sauce. The dish is made by marinating chicken in a mixture of buttermilk and spices, then coating it in a flour mixture and frying it until crispy. The chicken is then served with a creamy sauce made from buttermilk, garlic, and other seasonings.

By following our recipe, you'll be able to recreate this delicious dish in the comfort of your own home. Whether you're looking to impress guests at a dinner party or simply want to enjoy a tasty meal with your family, this Chinese buttermilk chicken recipe is sure to be a hit.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese buttermilk chicken is a popular dish known for its crispy texture and creamy sauce.
  • The dish is made by marinating chicken in a mixture of buttermilk and spices, then coating it in a flour mixture and frying it until crispy.
  • Seafood can be added to the recipe as a suggestion. For example, prawns or scallops can be used in place of chicken for a seafood twist on the classic dish.

History and Origin

A chef mixing soy sauce, buttermilk, and spices to marinate chicken, surrounded by traditional Chinese cooking ingredients and utensils

If you're a fan of comfort food, you've probably heard of buttermilk chicken. This dish has its roots in Chinese zi char cuisine, and it has since spread throughout the world, with variations such as Malaysian Buttermilk Chicken and Indian Butter Chicken. In this section, we'll take a closer look at the history and cultural significance of this dish.

Evolution of Buttermilk Chicken

Buttermilk chicken has evolved over time, with different regions adding their own unique twists to the dish. In China, the dish is known as lai yao kai, and it is traditionally made with chicken that has been marinated in a mixture of buttermilk, garlic, and spices before being deep-fried. In Malaysia, the dish is often served with a creamy, garlicky, spicy sauce that is made with evaporated milk and butter.

Buttermilk chicken has also evolved beyond its Chinese and Malaysian origins. In the United States, for example, buttermilk fried chicken is a Southern staple. The dish is typically made by soaking chicken pieces in a mixture of buttermilk and spices before coating them in flour and deep-frying them.

Cultural Significance

Buttermilk chicken has become a beloved comfort food around the world, and it is often associated with family gatherings and special occasions. In Malaysia, the dish is often served at weddings and other celebrations. In the United States, it is a popular dish for picnics and backyard barbecues.

As for the cultural significance of buttermilk chicken, it varies depending on the region. In Malaysia, for example, the dish is seen as a symbol of the country's diverse culinary traditions. In the United States, it is often associated with Southern hospitality and comfort food.

If you're looking to put your own spin on buttermilk chicken, consider adding seafood to the mix. Shrimp or prawns can be a great addition to the dish, adding a sweet and slightly briny flavour that complements the creamy sauce. Alternatively, you could try making buttermilk fish by marinating white fish fillets in buttermilk and spices before frying them.

Ingredients List

A table with ingredients: chicken, buttermilk, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and spices. Bowls, measuring cups, and utensils scattered

Main Ingredients

To make Chinese buttermilk chicken, you will need bone-in chicken thighs, buttermilk, unsalted butter, and yellow onion. You can also add seafood like prawns or scallops to the recipe if you prefer.

Seasonings and Spices

For seasoning, you will need Chinese five spice, white pepper, salt, and garlic. You can also add curry powder and curry leaves for extra flavour.

To make the buttermilk sauce, you will need buttermilk, unsalted butter, and yellow onion. You can also add garlic and curry leaves for extra flavour.

To prepare the chicken, start by marinating it in a mixture of buttermilk and Chinese five spice for at least 4 hours. Then, coat the chicken in a mixture of corn flour, rice flour, salt, and white pepper. Fry the chicken until golden brown and crispy.

To make the buttermilk sauce, sauté yellow onion and garlic in butter until soft. Add buttermilk, curry leaves, and salt. Simmer until the sauce thickens.

Serve the chicken with the buttermilk sauce and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Preparation Techniques

A whole chicken being marinated in buttermilk and Chinese spices in a large bowl, surrounded by ingredients like ginger, garlic, and soy sauce

Marinating the Chicken

To make delicious Chinese Buttermilk Chicken, you need to start with a good marinade. The marinade is crucial as it adds flavor to the chicken and tenderizes it. You can use a simple marinade of salt, pepper, and white pepper. You can also add some sugar to balance the flavors.

If you want to add a seafood twist to your recipe, you can use prawns or shrimp as an alternative to chicken. You can marinate the prawns or shrimp with the same marinade as the chicken for a similar flavor.

Creating the Batter

The batter is what makes the chicken crispy and delicious. To create the batter, you need to mix rice flour and corn flour in a bowl. You can also add some salt and pepper to the mixture to enhance the flavor.

Once you have created the batter, you can coat the chicken in it before frying. The coating will help the batter stick to the chicken and prevent it from falling off during frying.

If you want to add a seafood twist to your recipe, you can use squid or fish as an alternative to chicken. You can coat the squid or fish with the same batter as the chicken for a similar texture.

By following these simple preparation techniques, you can make delicious Chinese Buttermilk Chicken that is crispy, flavorful, and tender.

Cooking Method

Chinese buttermilk chicken sizzling in a wok with bubbling sauce and aromatic spices

Frying the Chicken

To start, you will need to prepare your chicken by cubing it and marinating it with curry powder, oyster sauce, salt, and pepper. You can also add seafood such as shrimp or squid to the marinade if you like. After marinating for at least 10 minutes, coat the chicken with egg and then with a mixture of cornstarch and rice flour.

Next, heat up some cooking oil in a wok or deep frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces in batches and fry until golden brown and crispy. Make sure to drain excess oil by placing the fried chicken on a paper towel-lined plate.

Making the Sauce

Now it's time to make the buttermilk sauce. In the same wok or pan, melt some butter and add grated garlic. Cook until fragrant, then add the buttermilk, water, and a pinch of salt. Let the mixture simmer until it thickens and becomes creamy.

If you want to add more flavour to the sauce, you can also add Chinese five spice powder or Zhong sauce. Once the sauce is ready, add the fried chicken and stir until the chicken is coated in the sauce.

Serve your Chinese buttermilk chicken hot with steamed rice and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

By following this recipe, you can enjoy delicious and crispy fried chicken with a creamy buttermilk sauce that is perfect for any occasion.

Serving and Pairing

Chinese buttermilk chicken dish on a decorative plate with chopsticks and a side of steamed rice, surrounded by traditional Chinese spices and ingredients

Accompaniments

Chinese buttermilk chicken is a dish that goes well with a variety of accompaniments. A simple and classic pairing is with white rice. The richness of the buttermilk sauce complements the plainness of the rice, creating a delicious contrast of flavours.

If you're looking to add a bit of spice to your meal, try pairing the chicken with some spicy prawns. The heat of the prawns will complement the richness of the buttermilk sauce, creating a flavourful and satisfying meal.

Another great accompaniment for Chinese buttermilk chicken is stir-fried vegetables. The crispness of the vegetables pairs well with the crispy chicken, while the flavour of the vegetables adds a fresh and healthy element to the meal.

Garnishing Tips

Garnishing your Chinese buttermilk chicken can be a great way to add some extra flavour and texture to the dish. A simple garnish of chopped spring onions can add a fresh and vibrant element to the meal, while a sprinkle of sesame seeds can add a nutty and crunchy texture.

If you're looking to add some extra spice to your meal, try garnishing your chicken with some chopped chillies. This will add a spicy kick to the dish, while also adding some colour and texture.

For seafood lovers, you can try adding some prawns to the dish as a garnish. Simply cook some prawns in a pan with some garlic and chilli, and then sprinkle them over the top of the chicken. This will add a delicious seafood flavour to the dish, while also providing some extra protein.

Overall, Chinese buttermilk chicken is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of accompaniments and garnishes. Whether you're looking for something simple and classic, or something a bit more spicy and adventurous, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok with golden-brown chicken pieces in a fragrant buttermilk sauce. Ingredients like ginger, garlic, and green onions are neatly arranged nearby

What's the simplest way to make buttermilk chicken at home?

The simplest way to make buttermilk chicken at home is to marinate chicken in a mixture of buttermilk, salt, and pepper for at least 30 minutes. Then, coat the chicken in a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, and your preferred spices before frying it until it's golden brown. You can also use an air fryer to make a healthier version of buttermilk chicken.

Can I pair buttermilk chicken with rice, and if so, how?

Yes, you can pair buttermilk chicken with rice. You can serve the chicken on top of a bed of steamed rice or cook the rice with chicken broth to add extra flavour. You can also add vegetables like peas, carrots, and corn to the rice to make it a complete meal.

What are the essential ingredients for a classic buttermilk chicken?

The essential ingredients for a classic buttermilk chicken are chicken, buttermilk, flour, salt, pepper, and your preferred spices for seasoning. You can also add hot sauce, garlic powder, and paprika to the flour mixture for extra flavour.

What impact does buttermilk have on the texture of chicken?

Buttermilk has a tenderizing effect on chicken, making it more tender and juicy. It also adds a tangy flavour to the chicken, which complements the savoury flavour of the coating.

Is there a substitute for buttermilk I can use when marinating chicken?

Yes, you can use a mixture of milk and vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute for buttermilk. To make the substitute, mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 5 minutes before using it in the recipe.

How do I recreate the flavours of a Malaysian buttermilk chicken dish?

To recreate the flavours of a Malaysian buttermilk chicken dish, you can use a combination of spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric in the flour mixture. You can also add coconut milk to the buttermilk marinade for a creamier texture. For a seafood twist, you can use prawns or squid instead of chicken.