Recipe from Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School by Adam Liaw with photography by Steve Brown- published by Hachette Australia rrp$49.99
I have been updating my blog page sand my apologies Adam Liaw I thought had posted your Popcorn Chicken recipe but it appears that I haven’t. So I will redress that immediately.
POPCORN CHICKEN WITH BASIL
Yan su ji
SERVES 2–4 PREPARATION TIME 20 MINS COOKING TIME 10 MINS
Taiwanese food is a great mix of local dishes with influences from China, Japan and Southeast Asia.
Popcorn chicken is a popular street food in Taipei, and once you try it you’ll see why. The crunchy
texture of the sweet potato flour coating is incredible.
600g boneless chicken thigh fillets,
preferably skin-on, cut into 3cm pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 cup sweet potato flour
2 litres oil, for deep-frying
1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves
1 tbsp salt
¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder
¼ tsp white pepper
A pinch chilli powder
1 Combine the chicken with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce,
Shaoxing wine, sugar and five spice powder and set aside
to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
2 Coat the chicken pieces in the sweet potato flour and
shake off any excess.
3 Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan. When the oil reaches
150°C scatter the basil leaves into the wok and stir for
about 20 seconds, or until the basil turns translucent.
Remove the basil from the wok and drain on absorbent
4 Increase the heat of the oil to 170°C and fry the chicken
in batches for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown and
cooked through, regularly skimming any floating flour bits
from the oil.
5 For the spiced salt, mix the ingredients together and
toast in a dry frypan over low–medium heat for 2 minutes,
or until fragrant. Toss the chicken with the fried basil
leaves and season with a good pinch of the spice salt.
Sweet potato flour is sometimes sold as ‘tapioca flour’. It’s available from
Asian grocers. The Taiwanese variety is a coarse-textured but light flour that
gives the characteristic crumbly texture to this dish. You could substitute
cornflour or rice flour but it won’t quite be the same.
When deep-frying, skimming oil is a really important step that many people
overlook. It preserves the oil by keeping it clear, and stops burnt flavours
creeping in to later batches.