Deep-fried ginger and five-spice chicken

Deep-fried ginger and five-spice chicken

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

We were taken by friends to a Sichuan countryside wedding outside of Chengdu and the food, all cooked outside in scorching heat over big fires, was incredible. The guests tucked into chunky pieces of fried chicken like there was no tomorrow — they told us it was a relatively new addition to the local menu. Deep-frying need not mean greasy food either; the trick is in keeping your oil at a constant temperature and not crowding the wok.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 1.8kg chicken
2 spring onions, sliced
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
60ml light soy sauce
80ml shaoxing rice wine
1 teaspoon five-spice
3 teaspoons sugar
2.5 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
potato flour, for dusting


  1. Cut the chicken into eight pieces. To do this, place the chicken, breast side up, on a chopping board and remove both leg quarters (marylands) by cutting through the thigh joint nearest the body. Cut each leg quarter in half by cutting through the joint between the drumstick and thigh. Cut down either side of the backbone and discard the backbone (or save it for stock). Place the chicken breast side down, then cut lengthwise through the centre of the breastbone. Cut each breast in half on a slight diagonal just under the wing.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spring onions, soy sauces, rice wine, five-spice, sugar and ginger and mix well. Add the chicken and turn to evenly coat in the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Fill a wok one-third full of oil and heat to 170°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns deep golden in 20 seconds. While the oil is heating, remove the chicken from the marinade and drain well. Discard the marinade. Dust the chicken pieces in the potato flour, shaking off the excess. Add the chicken to the wok in two batches and deep-fry for 12–15 minutes, or until the chicken is deep golden and cooked through. Remove and drain on paper towel, then serve hot.
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