This is a firm family favourite, of course it is, it involves deep frying, but the chicken is so so tasty I can see past the painfulness of cleaning up post fry.
Although, I read it somewhere that the trick with deep frying at home is to do it in a really deep saucepan so your stovetop and surrounds don’t end up slicked with oil and they were right! You still get splatter but nothing like what I was getting using a wok.
So my main suggestions here are to make sure you use the right flour for dusting – sweet potato/potato/tapioca flour is what you’re looking for. Keep the bits of chicken nice and small so you can pop them in your mouth. Marinate the chicken for as long as possible. And don’t think of bypassing the spice salt, it, like a good salad dressing, makes the dish.
Delicious little bite-sized pieces of fried chicken with an earthy five-spice salt
For the chicken
1kg boneless chicken thighs cut into small bite-sized pieces
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp shaoxing wine
2 tsp sugar
scant tsp of Chinese five spice powder
Sweet potato flour (also known as tapioca flour, I often use straight potato flour)
Five spice salt
1 tbsp salt
¼ tsp five spice
¼ tsp white pepper
pinch of chilli powder
Toss the chicken with the marinade and set aside for as long as you've got
Toss the chicken in the potato flour - I am very gung-ho at this step, I'm sure you're meant to go gently and toss a few bits at a time but I chuck the whole bag of flour in a large bowl and dump the chicken in and toss to thoroughly coat
Heat the oil and then fry the chicken in batches for about 3 minutes until nice and golden. Again, I know the cardinal rule of not overcrowding the fry but last time I did the whole 1kg of chicken in just three batches and guess what, it worked! I will leave this to your better judgement and patience
Skim out any bits between batches and secretly eat
Drain on paper towel
For the salt
Combine all the ingredients and then scatter over the cooked chicken.
A fantastic vegetarian dinner option, zucchini and haloumi fritters with mint and dill.
Remember the time-consuming but delicious zucchini gratin? Jasper has been requesting it with increasing desperation over the last few weeks but I just didn’t have the emotional fortitude or stamina to go there. I’m blaming the relentless heat and humidity over these past months.
So when I saw a Neil Perry recipe for zucchini fritters on the SMH website I hoped I’d struck a middle ground. I’ve added some mint to my recipe and would encourage you to do the same.
These were an absolute sensation, heading straight to the pool room of family dinner winners. You could even make smaller ones as a finger food option. Don’t think the yoghurt sauce is optional – as is always the case when there’s a sauce on the side it lifts the meal from yum to YUM!
So I made these a year ago and then promptly forgot I had ever done such a thing. Bizarrely last week Felix said, remember when you made spring rolls, and I was all, NEVER! Then, serendipitously I fell upon the very post where I talked about them.
These are easily vegetarian – just omit the chicken mince (derr) – or turned into a pork version by using pork instead of chicken mince (double derr).
Yes, rolling 40 spring rolls is painful but this is where having 100 kids becomes useful. Sure they might not look perfect (there are spring roll perfectionists who insist they must be tighly and very evenly rolled – no hanging over the edges – so they don’t absorb too much oil) but I only shallow fry them and they sure turned out a treat.
Quick and easy steamed buns to serve with pork or stir-fries
The first time I saw this recipe I refused to believe it was so easy. It comes from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals book and I’ve used it time and time again. He creates a great chicken dim sum recipe with them but the buns were a bigger hit than the chicken in my house. There’s a great cucumber pickle he served with it though which I’ve put below.
The main thing to remember with these is to not over mix them. Jamie does it in a food processor (for speed basically) but I generally do it by hand because washing a food processor is a bastard of a thing I actively try to avoid.
Think of it – loosely – like a scone dough. Bring it together, form a log, portion it and voila!
An easy recipe for dongpo pork, pork belly slowly cooked in soy, rice wine and ginger
I have a group of friends that range from school days, through university and up to Twitter who try to get together once every four to six weeks to have dumplings. We call ourselves the Twitter Lunch Club, TLC for short, which is appropriate because sometimes emergency dumpling summits are held if one of us is in crisis.
One of the dishes we have at our favourite dumpling establishment is this pork dish, served at room temperature which is covered in this thick, sweet, addictive sauce. I can’t recall what it’s called on the menu, we sit there and reel off dish numbers to minimise delay in getting food on the table.
But I’m here to tell you I have replicated it. I’m certain it will take me a couple more goes to perfect it but sweet LORD it is good.
As with basically everything I cook it is not technically hard but this one does take time. I actually did it over two days because I realised after I’d started I’d really left my run too late.
This recipe for dongo pork (best name ever) comes from my current favourite cookbook, Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School. He won Australian Masterchef a few years back and has done so much to make Asian cookery more accessible to those of us wary of the wok.
I bought my pork belly from an Asian butcher, their pork is always far superior to what you get at a skippy* one.