4 Top Tips for Making Amazing Chinese-Style Fried Chicken
It's time to spice up your (fried chicken's) life.
There's no denying the special draw of really good fried chicken. It's familiar and comforting, something to look forward to after a long, hard day. When traditional fried chicken just won't do, though, you can spice things up by making the classic Chinese-style fried chicken!
Many Filipinos grew up loving this sweetly-spiced version of the classic fried bird, so it should come as no surprise that so many restaurants serve it! If you want to tackle making the dish yourself, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your fried chicken.
1 Five Spice is Required.
The ingredient that gives Chinese-Style fried chicken its distinct flavor is the classic Chinese spice blend popularly known as five spice. Five spice is composed of a combination of ground star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds. Each of the spices have a naturally sweet and warm tone that lend certain Chinese dishes a distinct flavor and aroma. Using five spice to season your Chinese-style fried chicken is practically a non-negotiable, especially if you want that unique, distinct flavor.
2 Steam it Good.
The trick to getting super juicy Chinese-style fried chicken is to actually steam it before the big deep fry. Steaming helps to cook the chicken through and also keeps it nice and juicy. That way, when you deep fry, all you need to really look for is a deep brown color to know that your chicken's ready.
3 Breading Need Not Apply.
Unlike the American-style fried chicken that many people know and love, Chinese-style fried chicken doesn't require any breading. Keep it simple by letting your steamed chicken sit out for a while to let the skin dry out a bit before frying. This will keep the skin nice and crispy and will also minimize splattering, without the aid of flour or batter.
4 The Darker, The Better.
Don't be afraid if your chicken turns out a little dark. The chicken's marinade and seasonings, which include the aforementioned five spice blend, soy sauce and brown sugar, lend the bird a bit of naturally dark color. The chicken's skin should come out a deep caramel color instead of the standard golden brown. That way, you'll know that the skin has really caramelized and developed flavor in the oil.
After reading these tips, make sure to check out our recipe for Chinese-Style Fried Chicken!