A fried coating of sweet potato starch gives this chicken its uniquely chewy yet crispy texture. Sweet potato starch is a specialty product in Taiwanese and Fujian cooking. It is available in fine and coarse grind; coarse is best for frying. Buy it at a Chinese or Korean grocer. No other starch produces the same texture, but if it's unavailable, you can use cornstarch.
- Portion size 4 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: September 2009
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 teaspoons light coloured soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine sake or dry sherry
- 1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated gingerroot
- 1 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 sweet potato starch
- vegetable oil (enough for deep frying)
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh Thai basil
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pinch pepper
MethodCut chicken into 2- x 1-inch (5 x 2.5 cm) pieces. In bowl, toss together chicken, soy sauce, wine, ginger, sugar, five-spice powder and cinnamon; let marinate for at least 10 minutes or for up to 30 minutes.
Press chicken, 1 piece at a time, into starch to coat; let stand for 10 minutes.
In wok or skillet, heat about 3 cups (750 mL) oil over medium heat just until surface shimmers (or deep-fry thermometer reads 275 to 300°F /135 to 149°C). Add chicken, separating pieces to prevent sticking; fry until coloured, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to high; fry until golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add basil; fry until crispy, 40 to 60 seconds. With slotted spatula or spoon, scoop out chicken mixture; drain well and transfer to serving dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Nutritional facts Per serving: about
- Sodium 445 mg
- Protein 20 g
- Calories 260.0
- Total fat 15 g
- Potassium 318 mg
- Cholesterol 49 mg
- Saturated fat 1 g
- Total carbohydrate 10 g
- Iron 9.0
- Folate 4.0
- Calcium 3.0
- Vitamin A 5.0
- Vitamin C 3.0