With the arrival of popular Taipei chain Hot Star Large Fried Chicken, Sydney and Melbourne are in the grip of a Taiwanese fried chicken frenzy.
Originating in Taipei’s Shilin night markets, the juicy schnitzel-style snack measures in at about 30 cm long. Its crumbly crunchy coating is generously doused in a sweet, salty and spicy seasoning with the ability to opt-in for extra chilli. Here’s our version.
- 4 chicken breasts, trimmed
- 80 ml (⅓) cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp five-spice powder
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 160 g (1 cup) sweet potato (camote) flour (see Note)
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp five-spice powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 30 minutes
To make the spiced seasoning, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Using a sharp knife, slice through chicken lengthwise, being sure not to cut all the way through, and open up to butterfly. Lightly pound chicken to 1.5cm thick. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl with soy sauce, rice vinegar, chilli powder, sugar, five-spice and ½ tsp pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Fill a large saucepan or deep-fryer one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat until it reaches 180ºC (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Place flour, eggs and sweet potato flour in separate shallow bowls. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Dust chicken in plain flour, shaking off excess, then dip in the egg and press in sweet potato flour to coat. Working in batches, cook chicken, turning halfway, for 6 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and serve sprinkled with the spiced seasoning.
• Sweet potato (camote) flour is from speciality food shops.
Photography by Brett Stevens. Food preparation by Phoebe Wood. Styling by Vivien Walsh.
As seen in Feast magazine, June 2014, Issue 32.