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The Ultimate Comfort Food: Chinese Fried Chicken Recipe

If you're a fan of fried chicken, you'll definitely want to try out the Chinese version. Chinese fried chicken is known for its crispy exterior and juicy interior, making it the perfect main course for lunch or dinner. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can easily recreate this dish at home.

A sizzling wok fries marinated chicken pieces in a blend of soy sauce, ginger, and spices, creating a mouthwatering aroma

To make Chinese fried chicken, you'll need a few key ingredients such as chicken thighs, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and rice wine. You can also substitute some of these ingredients with seafood such as prawns or squid for a unique twist. Marinating the chicken in the right mix of sauces and spices is essential to getting that signature Chinese flavor.

Once you've marinated the chicken, it's time to bread and coat it before frying. This involves using a mixture of flour, cornstarch, and spices to create a crispy coating that will keep the chicken moist and flavorful. Finally, frying techniques such as double-frying or deep-frying can make all the difference in achieving that perfect texture. Serve your Chinese fried chicken with some rice and vegetables for a complete meal.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese fried chicken is a delicious and crispy main course that's perfect for lunch or dinner.
  • The right mix of sauces and spices is essential to getting that signature Chinese flavor.
  • Breading and coating the chicken before frying and using the right frying techniques can make all the difference in achieving that perfect texture.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A wok sizzling with crispy fried chicken pieces, surrounded by soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and green onions. A bowl of cornstarch and a plate of marinated chicken sit nearby

Primary Ingredients

The primary ingredient for Chinese fried chicken is, of course, chicken. Chicken wings are the most popular cut of chicken for this recipe, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs or breasts. If you want to add seafood to the mix, you can use shrimp or fish as a substitute for chicken.

Seasonings and Flavours

Soy sauce, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, and sesame oil are the key seasonings and flavours for Chinese fried chicken. You can adjust the amount of each seasoning to your taste. If you want to add a bit of sweetness to the dish, you can add a pinch of sugar.

Alternative Ingredients

If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can substitute all-purpose flour with rice flour or cornstarch. Cornstarch is also a great substitute for flour as it makes the chicken crispier. If you are allergic to eggs, you can use fish sauce or peanut oil as a substitute.

When it comes to fresh ingredients, you can add chopped scallions, ginger, or cilantro to enhance the flavour of the dish. You can also add salt and pepper to taste. If you want to add some variety to the recipe, you can use pork instead of chicken.

Chinese fried chicken is a versatile dish that you can customize to your liking. By experimenting with different ingredients and seasonings, you can create your own unique version of this classic recipe.

Marinating the Chicken

Chicken pieces soaking in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings in a large bowl

Marinating the chicken is an essential step in preparing Chinese fried chicken. This is where the chicken absorbs all the flavours and becomes juicy and tender. Here's what you need to know about marinating the chicken:

Marinade Preparation

To prepare the marinade, you will need soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, garlic, ginger and other ingredients of your choice. You can also add seafood such as prawns or squid to the marinade for an extra burst of flavour. Make sure to clean the seafood thoroughly before adding it to the marinade.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well until they are fully combined. You can adjust the seasoning to your preference by adding more or less soy sauce, wine or other ingredients.

Marinating Time

Once the marinade is ready, pour it over the chicken and mix well. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight for best results. This allows the chicken to fully absorb the flavours of the marinade.

When you're ready to cook the chicken, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and prevents it from being too cold when it hits the hot oil.

Marinating the chicken is an important step in preparing Chinese fried chicken. By using the right ingredients and allowing enough time for marinating, you can create a delicious and flavourful dish that your family and friends will love.

Breading and Coating

A chicken piece is being dipped in a bowl of batter, then coated in a mixture of flour and spices before being placed in hot oil

When it comes to making Chinese fried chicken, the breading and coating are key components that give the chicken its signature crispy texture. There are three main components to the breading and coating process: the flour coating, egg wash, and final coating.

Flour Coating

The first step in the breading process is to coat the chicken in a mixture of flour and cornstarch. This helps to create a light and crispy texture on the outside of the chicken. You can use all-purpose flour or a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch for this step.

Egg Wash

After the flour coating, the chicken is dipped into an egg wash. This helps to bind the final coating to the chicken and create a more uniform texture. You can also add some baking powder to the egg wash to help create an even crispier texture.

Final Coating

The final coating is what gives the chicken its signature flavour and texture. This can be a mixture of flour, cornstarch, and a variety of spices and seasonings. Some popular options include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt. You can also add some seafood to the final coating mixture to give it a unique flavour. Shrimp or crab meat are great options to consider.

The breading and coating process is crucial when it comes to making delicious Chinese fried chicken. With the right combination of flour, egg, and seasonings, you can create a crispy and flavourful dish that your whole family will love.

Frying Techniques

Chicken pieces sizzle in hot oil, turning golden brown. Steam rises as the cook carefully flips them with tongs

Deep Frying

When it comes to frying chicken, deep frying is the most popular method used in Chinese cuisine. Deep frying involves immersing the chicken wings completely in hot oil, which results in a crispy exterior and juicy interior. To achieve this, you will need a deep pot or wok that can hold enough oil to submerge the chicken wings.

Oil Temperature

The ideal temperature for frying chicken wings is around 375°F (190°C). A higher temperature will cause the chicken to cook too quickly on the outside while still being raw on the inside, whereas a lower temperature will result in greasy and soggy chicken. Peanut oil is commonly used in Chinese cooking due to its high smoke point and neutral flavour.

Safety Tips

When deep frying, it's important to exercise caution to avoid accidents. Here are some safety tips:

  • Use a pot or wok that is deep enough to hold enough oil to submerge the chicken wings.
  • Use a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature and avoid overheating.
  • Use long tongs or a slotted spoon to add and remove the chicken wings from the oil.
  • Never leave the pot unattended while the oil is heating up or while the chicken is frying.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of any accidents.

If you want to try something different, you can also use seafood in your fried chicken recipe. Shrimp or squid can be used as a substitute for chicken wings, and they can be seasoned in the same way as the chicken. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure they are cooked through.

Serving Suggestions

A plate of golden, crispy Chinese fried chicken garnished with fresh green onions and sesame seeds, accompanied by a side of steamed rice and a small dish of savory dipping sauce

Accompaniments

When it comes to serving your Chinese fried chicken, there are many accompaniments that you can choose from. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Fried Rice: Serve your golden, crispy chicken wings with a side of fried rice. You can use vegetable fried rice or roast pork fried rice for a more filling meal. If you want to add some extra flavour, try using scallions or green onions to garnish your rice.

  • Stir-Fried Vegetables: For a nutritious and colourful side dish, accompany your chicken with stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers. This is a great way to add some extra veggies to your meal.

  • Seafood: If you're feeling adventurous, you can add seafood to your fried chicken recipe. For example, you can add shrimp or crab meat to the marinade for an extra burst of flavour.

Presentation Tips

Presentation is key when it comes to serving your Chinese fried chicken. Here are a few tips to help you make your dish look as good as it tastes:

  • Garnish: Add some extra flavour and colour to your dish by garnishing it with scallions or green onions. This will give your dish a fresh and vibrant look.

  • Sauce: Serve your chicken wings with a dipping sauce such as ketchup or hot sauce. This will add some extra flavour and help to balance out the savoury taste of the chicken.

  • Plating: When plating your dish, try to arrange the chicken wings in a way that is visually appealing. For example, you can stack the wings on top of each other or arrange them in a circle. This will make your dish look more professional and appetising.

By following these serving suggestions and presentation tips, you can create a delicious and visually appealing Chinese fried chicken dish that is sure to impress your guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok fries crispy chicken pieces in a fragrant blend of Chinese spices, creating a mouthwatering aroma. The chef adds a final flourish of sesame seeds and scallions before serving

How do you achieve that extra crispiness in Chinese-style fried chicken?

To achieve that extra crispiness in Chinese-style fried chicken, you need to use cornstarch in the batter. The cornstarch helps to create a crispy coating that is both light and airy. You can also double-coat the chicken by dipping it in the batter twice, which will make the coating even crispier.

What's the secret ingredient in an authentic Chinese fried chicken batter?

The secret ingredient in an authentic Chinese fried chicken batter is Shaoxing wine. This type of wine is a key ingredient in many Chinese dishes, and it adds a unique flavour to the batter that cannot be replicated with any other ingredient.

What are the best tips for making Chinese fried chicken wings at home?

The best tips for making Chinese fried chicken wings at home are to use a deep fryer or a wok for frying, and to make sure that the oil is hot enough before adding the chicken. You should also use a batter that includes cornstarch, and you can add spices like garlic and ginger to the batter for extra flavour.

Can you recommend a simple method for preparing Chinese fried chicken breast?

For a simple method of preparing Chinese fried chicken breast, you can use boneless chicken breasts and cut them into strips. Marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, garlic, and ginger for at least half an hour, and then coat the chicken in a batter made from cornstarch, flour, and water. Fry the chicken in hot oil until it is crispy and golden brown.

Why does Chinese fried chicken have such a distinctive and delicious flavour?

Chinese fried chicken has a distinctive and delicious flavour because of the combination of spices and ingredients used in the batter and marinade. The use of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger creates a flavour that is both savoury and slightly sweet, with a hint of spice.

What's the proper way to marinate chicken wings for that classic Chinese taste?

To marinate chicken wings for that classic Chinese taste, you should use a mixture of soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, garlic, and ginger. You can also add spices like five-spice powder or Sichuan peppercorns for extra flavour. Marinate the chicken wings for at least half an hour, or overnight for a more intense flavour. If you want to add seafood to the marinade, you can use shrimp paste or fish sauce for an authentic taste.