(click to enlarge)
Chicken Feet in Bean Sauce
China - Southeast
A standard in Chinese dim sum tea houses. This dish is better suited
to parties or restaurants than to regular home use because the hassle and
clean-up is as much trouble for a small batch as for a large batch. Deep
frying is necessary to achieve the desirable puffy
texture. The Chinese would have them with tea, but they go fine with
Chicken Feet (1)
Soy Sauce, Dark
Oil for deep fry (2)
Chili fresh (3)
Black Bean Sauce (4)
Rice Wine (5)
Soy Sauce (6)
Sesame Oil, dark
- Clean and rinse CHICKEN FEET. Cut off the toenails with your
kitchen shears and pick off any fragments of the yellow outer skin that
may be found. Blanch 3 minutes in boiling water and quench in cold
water. Drain thoroughly.
- Brush Chicken Feet all over with Dark Soy Sauce (the
sugar in dark soy sauce is needed). Drain the feet well, then let them
dry thoroughly - this is important to minimize oil splatter. Either
spread on a baking sheet or in the tray they came in, overnight in the
refrigerator, covered with just a paper towel. If refrigerated allow
them to come to room temperature before frying.
- Heat Oil to 350°F/175°C in a spacious fryer. I use an
Indian kadhai which contains splattering better than a wok or pan. Cover
your kitchen floor with newspapers for a distance of about 4 feet.
Fry Chicken Feet in batches until lightly browned (not easy
to tell with the dark soy on them but they'll start to feel just a bit
crispy as you push them around). Drain well
- Slice GINGER and place in a pot with Water, Star
Anise and Scallions. Stir in Chicken Feet and bring
to a boil. Simmer 1-1/2 hours, no more and no less.
- Sort out Chicken Feet and discard other solids keeping 1-1/2
cup of the simmering liquid.
- Crush GARLIC, slice and chop fine. Seed Chilis and
chop fine. Mix both with Black Bean Sauce.
- In a spacious sauté pan Heat 1T Oil and fry Bean
Sauce mix until fragrant. Stir in Chicken Feet and fry
stirring gently until well coated.
- Stir in all Sauce Items and simmer 10 minutes.
- Make a slurry of Cornstarch and Water. Stir into the
pan to thicken the sauce.
- Serve warm with tea, warm or cold with beer. These are properly eaten
by picking up with chopsticks (chopstick skills needed) and start eating
at the toes, one joint at a time, spitting out the bones when stripped of
the edible part.
- Chicken Feet: Purchase thoroughly clean
with the yellow scaly outer skin removed. For details see our
Chicken Feet page.
- Oil You need enough oil to submerge the
feet well or they will tend to spit oil all about. Use a stable, high
temperature frying oil (Olive Pomace, Peanut, Rice Bran).
- Chili: Fresnos are fine, or Serranos if you
want to go hotter. See my Chili Page
- Black Bean Sauce: A commercial sauce can
be used if you can find it, or make it at home by our recipe
Black Bean Sauce
- Soy Sauce: Chinese usually use dark soy
sauce which results in a darker color and sweeter flavor. I usually use
regular soy sauce as in the photo.
- Rice Wine: Use a good drinkable Chinese
rice wine, lacking that use a dry Sherry. For details see our
Rice Wine page.
- U.S. measure: t=teaspoon,
T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce,
#=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required
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