RECIPE

Taiwanese-Style Fried Chicken

In the coating for the chicken I used ground Szechuan pepper, that’s what makes your lips numb . . . it makes your lips really tingly and numb. I think this would also be a good recipe to try with red snapper cut into strips—then it would be Taiwanese-Style Fish Sticks: Snappy Snapper.

Ingredients

CHICKEN & MARINADE

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 large organic egg yolk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • Ground white pepper

COATING

  • 1 cup sweet potato flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground Szechuan pepper
  • 1 teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Thai basil leaves
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Preparation

Prepare the chicken: Slice the chicken breasts horizontally into thin cutlets, then slice the cutlets into long strips. Pound the strips to about 1/8-inch thick to make long, flat planks. Combine the tamari, rice wine, egg yolk, garlic, 5-spice powder, and a little white pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

Make the coating: Combine the sweet potato flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, Szechuan pepper, 5-spice powder, garlic powder, and onion powder in a shallow container.

Fill a countertop fryer with oil or pour a few inches of oil into a large Dutch oven. Heat the oil to 365°F. (The oil is ready when a 1-inch cube of white bread cooks to golden brown in 40 seconds.)

Take the chicken out of the marinade, shaking off the excess, and coat it in the coating. Add the chicken to the fryer in batches and cook until golden brown (by the time the chicken is golden, it will be cooked through). Drain on paper towels.

Add the basil leaves to the oil after the chicken comes out and fry them until crisp, 30 seconds to a minute. They will pop a little—that’s just the water coming out of them.

Serve with lime wedges.

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