Recipe Photo Recipe Title

Japanese naganegi and ginger give this Chinese classic a different taste. The key is achieving the right balance of sweetness (sugar), sourness (vinegar) and saltiness (soy sauce). To serve the dish in the traditional style, pour the sauce over the sizzling-hot chicken and serve immediately. As an alternative, serve the aromatic sauce on strong tasting fried fish or boiled pork. But note: the aroma of the sauce diminishes soon after it is made, so don't save any that's leftover. Make it fresh each time.

2 chicken legs or thighs
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Chinese rice wine, to taste
(may substitute Japanese sake)
Oil for deep-frying

[Sweet and sour sauce]
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 clove ginger-grated
4-inch piece of Japanese naganegi-minced

Potato starch, as needed
1 tomato

・ Mince naganegi and grate ginger.
process photo ・ Mix together all ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce.

・ Thinly slice the tomato into half moon shapes.

・ Cut lettuce into thin strips and place in cold water to make crisp.

・ Wash the chicken under lukewarm water to remove oxidized fat, then pat dry. Tips Completely remove the white fat from the chicken or else it will create an unpleasant odor when cooked.

process photo [1]
Remove any tendons from the chicken. If the chicken is much thicker in one area than another, make an incision and unfold it to create uniform thickness. Cut light grid lines on the inside of the chicken so it will cook through easily.
Tips At my restaurant we fry the chicken in a single piece. At home, you may find it easier to cut the chicken in half first.

process photo [2]
Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and Chinese rice wine and set aside for 10 minutes.

process photo [3]
Lightly coat the chicken with potato starch and shake off excess.
Tips Lightly sprinkle water on the chicken before coating it with potato starch to prevent the coating from falling off during frying.

process photo [4]
Add plenty of oil to a wok and, stirring occasionally, heat to approx. 340-degrees Fahrenheit. To determine if the oil is hot enough, drop a bit of potato starch into the oil. If it bursts at the surface, the oil is ready. Put chicken in oil but do not stir right away. Deep-fry slowly, occasionally turning the chicken.

process photo [5]
The chicken is almost ready when the surface turns brown, the bubbles around the coating have shrunk and the frying sound has ceased. Raise the heat to high for a moment, then remove the chicken.
Tips Insert a bamboo skewer into the chicken and if the juice that runs out is transparent, the chicken is cooked through. If the chicken is still raw inside, the skewer will not easily pierce the meat.

Quickly cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and arrange on a platter with tomatoes and lettuce. Pour the sweet and sour sauce over it.
Tips To maximize the aroma and flavor of this dish, pour the sweet and sour sauce over the chicken while it's sizzling hot.

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