Monday, February 18, 2013

Ginger Chilli Chicken

Happy (belated) Chinese New Year's everyone! Gong Hey Fat Choy!

Ever since I was really young, I've been fascinated with all aspects of Asian culture. Growing up in a neighborhood that was 90% Asian only helped in fueling that interest. Listening to conversations in Mandarin, watching the Korean moms haggle in the stores, and hanging out with the elderly ladies who practiced tai chi in the park was the norm for me. It was also inevitable that I started to love Chinese food.

In honor of the Chinese celebration last week, I decided to cook a Chinese meal. One thing that stumped me was that S didn't share the same love for Asian cuisine that I did, mainly because of lack of exposure to it. Keeping that in mind, I decided to cook a different cuisine that day - Indo-Chinese. A cross cultural cuisine mixing Indian and Chinese aspects of cooking to create delicious food that would satisfy both of us.

So today, I'm sharing one of those items with you - Ginger Chilli Chicken. I got this recipe from another blog, eCurry. This Indian blogger is definitely an inspiration for me in the kitchen and I have to say I was not disappointed with this recipe. Here goes!

Ginger Chilli Chicken
(from the eCurry blog)

Ingredients: (serves 2-4 as side)
  1. 1 lb chicken (1.5 chicken breast ) cube them in 3/4 -1 inch
  2. 1 tablespoon vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon red chili powder/or cayenne
  4. 1.5 tablespoon ginger paste
  5. 3/4 tablespoon garlic paste (or chili garlic paste)
  6. 1.5 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  7. 2 – 3 tablespoon all purpose flour
  8. 4-5 tablespoon corn starch/flour + 1 tablespoon corn starch/flour
  9. enough oil to deep fry the chicken 
For the sauce:
  1. 3 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  3. 3/4 cup chopped onion
  4. 4-6 green hot chili pepper, some sliced and some finely chopped
  5. 3 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh ginger (first julienne them and then chop)
  6. 4-6 stalks of green onion, finely chopped
  7. 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup (or 1 tablespoon canned tomato paste + 1/2 tablespoon chili garlic paste) + 4 tablespoon of Sriracha/or Sambal Oelek or any similar hot sauce
  8. 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  9. salt to taste
  10. 1.5 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (the Asian kind) - Optional

(The chicken once added to the sauce will slowly lose the crispiness. So add the fried chicken to the sauce only when ready to serve. The chicken may be fried and the sauce prepared a few hours before putting them together.)

Cut each chicken breast in half crosswise; then slice in strips and chop in 3/4 – 1 inch pieces. Wash and pat dry chicken pieces.

Add vinegar, some salt and the red chili powder in a non reactive bowl or a ziploc bag and add the chicken to it. Toss for the vinegar and chili powder to coat the chicken and allow it to it for about 15 – 30 minutes.

Add the ginger and garlic paste, and soy sauce to the chicken and let it marinate for about 3 hours. Overnight is good.

If the chicken was refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature. When ready to cook, add the flour and the corn starch/flout to the chicken and toss for the flour to combine all the chicken pieces as evenly as possible.

The liquid from the marinade should be enough to make paste like coating, but if there is still some dry powder left, feel free to add a splash of water, just enough to make a paste like coating.

Heat oil in a wok/kadai. Test the oil by dropping a little piece of chicken in.

When the oil shimmers, add the chicken pieces in batches (in a single layer), and cook in medium to high heat until the chicken is golden brown. Since the pieces are small in size they will be cooked through. If you have the chicken in bigger pieces, they will take longer to cook.

Remove cooked chicken and drain on paper towels. Complete cooking the rest of the chicken in the same way.

Remove crumbs from the oil if any, and remove all oil but 3 tablespoon. (or you may discard this oil and use fresh oil to cook the sauce). Add crushed pepper to the oil and then add a teaspoon of chopped ginger and allow the oil to heat up. As the oil heats up, it will be flavored with the ginger. Now add the chopped onions and the sliced green chili peppers. Cook until the onions soften – about 3-4 minutes.

Combine ketcup, hot sauce and soy sauce in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add it to the pan. Add salt and toss everything together.

Cook at high heat for a minute and then add all the chicken pieces. Stir fry quickly for all the sauce to coat the chicken pieces. In another bowl, combine one tablespoon of corn flour/starch with a few tablespoon of cold water. Add to the pan and cook for a minute or two until the amount reduces enough to just coat the chicken.

Switch off the heat. Add the finely chopped ginger and green onions (both green and the white parts). Add the sesame oil (if using) and toss. Serve immediately as a side or as appetizer.

Enjoy! Next time, I'll be showing you how to make the yummy vegetable fried rice also pictured above.

Ayesha said...

Omg dude that looks amazing. Just had dinner and saw your blog post, yet I'm drooling at the pics. Great job :)

T said...

love ur food photography & recipes

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Chinese Chilli Chicken

Mehwish said...

Dude this looks so good! I'm gonna try making it today :D

hospitality management courses in kolkata said...

I came across your blog while looking for some chilli chicken recipes and liked a lot. How amazing! I will keep an eye on your post.

Unknown said...

Wow The Ginger Chilli Chicken is mouthwatering Thumbs Up. Have you tried Pakistani Cooking Recipes I love all Pakistani Recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes

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