To me, Crispy Salted Chicken Bites 盐酥鸡, had always been a cafe type of dishes. That simple yet costly dish. Then one day, I saw this recipe at Min’s Blog and couldn’t believe it! The recipe seems manageable, so I saved the recipe immediately. But I never though I will really cook it.  

I didn’t have everything required on hand so I modified it slightly.

What you need (seen at Min’s Blog, from 小小米桶的写食厨房)

200g – 250g Chicken Breast Meat
some 带颗粒的地瓜粉 (i’m not sure what is this, but i used normal tapioca flour)
some basil leaves (i didn’t use)
some white pepper powder (i used 1/4 tsp, a bit spicy)
some chilli powder (i didn’t use)

1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine (i used 1/2 tbsp chinese cooking wine)
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp sugar
a bit five spice powder
a bit cinnamon powder
1 egg yolk
1 tsp potato starch flour

1. Wash chicken meat, cut to 1.5cm size and marinate for at least 30mins
2. Coat chicken meat with tapioca flour and let it rest for 3 – 5 min, let the flour be wet before deep drying in medium fire, remove when crispy
3. Using big fire, return the chicken bites into the wok for 30sec – 1min
4. Add 九层塔 for quick frying and remove everything from oil
5. Sprinkle with pepper powder, chilli powder and serve (instead of sprinkling, i stir-fry the pepper powder and some salt in a heated wok without oil and mix with the chicken bites and some dried parsley)

I must confess, my chicken bites did not come out crispy enough so I threw them into the air-fryer for 5mins. That saved this dish!

The end result was a plateful of juicy and soft chicken bites that are both salty and spicy. Could have go a bit more gentle on the salt and pepper though. But regardless, this is really a delicious dish – be it a snack or a dish as part of a meal. It’s amazing to recreate this at home. p.s. the marinate is really good too. I can taste the marinate in the chicken meat itself even with the saltiness on the outer layer, light but distinct.

Yet another amazing journey on the taste buds