Fried chicken made in many delicious ways | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Chicken bores the hell out of some people. It’s the lack of flavor and texture of this particular protein that has turned both customers and cooks off. But I find that absence a challenge and an opportunity to turn it into a canvas which you can paint with spices, marinades and basting oils.

Susan Jung’s cookbook “Kung Pao and Beyond: Fried Chicken Recipes from East and Southeast Asia,” published by Hardie Grant Publishing, is an immortal testament to my belief. During her post as the food and wine editor for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, the accomplished foodie got a request from a colleague to feature more chicken recipes after noticing that those attracted quite a good amount of interest online.

“I think fried chicken is popular because it’s almost universally loved,” she says. “I don’t know if it’s made in every culture because I haven’t been everywhere in the world, but I do know that all countries I have been to have their versions of fried chicken! It is a neutral ingredient that can be flavored in so many ways.”

Though she has left her post, she continues to feed people’s cravings by serving them 60 fried chicken dishes in her cookbook which was released just April of this year. In her 437-page book, she meticulously puts to print the processes needed for preparing Cashew Chicken, Nor Mai Gai, Strawberry and Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken, Sriracha Wings, and Chicken Nuggets with Sambal Belacan and Coconut Milk, among many others. The recipes derive inspiration and flavors from different Asian countries, as can be seen in Wings with Thai Red Curry Paste and Makrut Lime Leaves, Korean Fried Wings with Wilted Spring Onion Salad, and Sambal Goreng Wings.


She wanted to include a few from the Philippines but found nothing except that of a popular fast-food chain. And so she turned to chef friends.

“I didn’t want to just Google ‘Filipino fried chicken recipes’ and use what I found online to come up with recipes, so I decided to go straight to the sources for help. And who better to ask than Margarita Fores and Jordy Navarra?” she says.

“I really wish I could have gone back to the Philippines to do my own research on fried chicken, but I wrote the book during the pandemic.”

Jung shares a dish that’s found at hawker centers in Malaysia and Singapore, but which Filipinos can easily replicate using bagoong. Along with the procedure, she offers this tip: It’s a good idea to wear disposable gloves when mixing the wings, or else the smell of the shrimp paste will linger on your hands.

Shrimp Paste Wings

  • Serves 4-61 kg chicken wings, mid-joint and/or drumette portions
  • 3-5 peeled garlic cloves
  • 50 g (1 3/4 oz) fermented shrimp paste
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 5 tsp fish sauce
  • 4 tsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp finely ground white pepper
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 90 g (3 oz) coating mix, preferably potato or sweet potato flour
  • 2 Tbsp iced water
  • 120 g (4 1/4 oz) potato or sweet potato flour, for dredging
  • 3 1/4 c cooking oil

Slash the mid-joint wings twice on each side, and the drumette portions once on each side, then put them in a bowl.

Mince the garlic cloves, then mix them with the shrimp paste, sugar, fish sauce, rice wine, white pepper, sesame oil and gochugaru. Pour this over the wings and mix well. Cover the bowl tightly (to contain the smell), then marinate at room temperature for 2–3 hours (or up to 24 hours in the fridge), mixing occasionally.

Add the coating mix and the iced water to the bowl of wings and mix well to create a batter that coats the pieces lightly and evenly. If necessary, adjust the consistency by mixing in more iced water.

Dredge the battered wings in the potato or sweet potato flour and lay them on a rack placed over a tray.

Pour the cooking oil into a pan, preferably a medium wok, set over a medium heat. Fry the chicken at 160°C (320°F) in four or five batches. Fry for 5–6 minutes, then drain on the rack placed over the tray. After frying the last batch, fry the wings again, this time at 170°C (340°F) for 1½ minutes.

Serve the wings hot, warm or at room temperature.

Follow the author @fooddudeph on Instagram.

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