We are a Singaporean-Straits-Chinese family, cozying between California and our native island Singapore! We recreate heritage recipes passed between family, friends and generations, and some of our own. Our flavors are mostly South-East Asian. Our recipes are easy to follow and we use only the basic utensils. Nothing fancy, just good food.
Recipe by Ginger and Cilantro
Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
- 1 Tbsp chinese cooking wine
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp ginger chopped or grated with juice
- 2 tsp garlic chopped
- ½ tsp 5-spice powder
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 8 oz skinless chicken breast pierced a few time with a fork & cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup sweet potato flour
- 2 cups basil leaves
- 1 tsp cayenne and white pepper each mixed in a small bowl
- Slices lemon/lime
- Marinade: Combine cooking wine, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, 5-spice powder and white pepper in a bowl.
- Work the marinade well into the chicken a few times, using your hands. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
- When you are ready to cook, toss and coat the chicken pieces in flour, making sure to cover all the sides and any folds. Shake off excess flour and set aside in a separate bowl.
- Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (or an oil with a high smoking poinin a pan/wok. When a drop of water tossed in the oil dances, carefully put basil leaves into the oil. Using a splatter guard if necessary. Turn it 2-3 times, no more than 6-7 seconds, and remove using a slotted spatula or a ‘spider’ utensil. Place leaves on paper towels to drain. The leaves should still hold their shape but crispy, even breaking into pieces when touched.
- Add another 1 Tbsp oil to the pan/wok.
- When the oil is hot again, fry the chicken. Do not overcrowd as the oil must remain hot. You may have to do this in 2-3 batches. Turn it a few times until they turn a light golden color. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Assembly: Place the chicken in a mixing bowl. Add pepper mixture and toss well. Add some basil leaves and give it a quick shake. You can also crush the basil leaves with fingers and mix that instead.
- Serve immediately with slices of lemon/lime and extra basil.