Deep-fried pig’s ears

Deep-fried pig’s ears

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

We make a big deal in the West about ‘nose to tail’ eating, but this is something the Chinese have practised for millennia. When you deep-fry pig’s ears, they become chewy, gelatinous and crisp all at the same time, which makes them the ultimate beer food in our book.


Quantity Ingredient
2 pig’s ears
1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine
2 tablespoons potato starch
500ml vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely sliced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Use a knife to scrape any hairs off the pig’s ears, then rinse the ears under cold water. Put the ears in a saucepan with the rice wine, add enough cold water to cover, then invert a plate over the ears to keep them submerged. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 1 hour, or until tender. Remove the pan from the heat, drain the ears and cool to room temperature.
  2. Cut the pig’s ears into 5 mm slices, put in a bowl and toss with the potato starch. Pour the oil into a large wok and heat to 180°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns deep golden in 15 seconds. Add the pig’s ears, in two batches if necessary, and deep-fry for 4–5 minutes, or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the wok. Return the wok to a medium heat, add the garlic, spring onions and chilli and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the crisp pig’s ears and toss to combine, then season with sea salt and pepper before serving.
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