The first time I tried this amazing Taiwanese chicken steak was at a night market called Shilin in Taipei, Taiwan. I was fascinated by the insane size of the steaks, which the local described by comparing to the dimension of the face. It is thin and large, look-alike schnitzel snack with a crumbly, crispy and crunchy coating. The surface is dusted liberally with a mix of chili powder and pepper.
This delightful Taiwanese chicken steak has slowly entered into other countries. One successful chains store from Taiwan is Hot Star, with outlets across Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Canada, Hong Kong, China, and Thailand. The main cities of these countries are now in the grip of this Taiwanese chicken streak frenzy from the Hot Star fried chicken chain. We can also find it at street stores and night markets in Malaysia. They serve this enormous size chicken steak among the array of other local sumptuous delights.
However, there is little information about how to prepare this finger-licking street food. There is only some sporadic information about Taiwanese chicken steak written in the native language. Therefore, I have decided to take on this recipe and explain how to make it in English.
Huge size chicken steaks
The size of the Taiwanese chicken steak is about 30cm long, which is even unable to achieve by butterflying just once. That is why I did it by butterflying twice to form a larger piece with a sharp knife and pound it with a meat mallet. The purpose is to create a thin piece of chicken which is the secret of success to replicate this recipe.
What the major difference of this oriental style chicken steak compares with the traditional schnitzel is the coating of the chicken. Sweet potato flour is used in this recipe to render the crunchiness. Other oriental foods such as the Japanese karaage include this type of flour for the crunchiness and crispness. If sweet potato flour is unavailable, the closest substitute you can reply on is cornflour.
Try this Taiwanese chicken steak recipe for your next culinary adventure in your kitchen. This recipe is the closest copy of the Hot Star fried chicken as the recipe is a trade secret. However, I guarantee that this will be a total crowd pleaser.
Watch this Taiwanese chicken steak recipe video ( 3.06 minutes)
Here is my Taiwanese chicken steak recipe (closest copy to the Hot Star fried chicken)
- 600 g chicken breast
- 1 stalk scallion
- 30 g ginger
- 20 g garlic ,minced
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
- 1 tablespoon cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon water
Remove the skin of the chicken breast.
Butterfly the chicken breast twice with a sharp knife.
Flatten the chicken breast with the back of the knife.
Put the chicken into the mixture of ingredient A and mix well.
Put the chicken to a bed of the mixture of ingredients B. Make sure it fully covered with flour.
Shake off the excess flour.
Deep fried the chicken immediately in hot oil over high heat (above 180°C/ 350°F) until golden brown.
Remove the chicken with tongs and chopsticks.
Place it on a kitchen towel or a metal rack.
Mix all the ingredients C.
Sprinkle the seasoning mixture onto the chicken.
Serve with rice or coleslaw.
10 Tips to prepare a perfect Taiwanese chicken steak
- Baking soda help to make the coating crunchy and crispy.
- The purpose of adding some water to the marinade is to keep the thin slices of chicken moist. However, Do not use too much soy sauce and water in the marinate mixture. The chicken will turn out to be gooey and not crispy it contains too much moisture.
- Some recipe suggests marinating the chicken for a few hours. It is not necessary as the chicken steak is thin can absorb the flavor in a very short time.
- Getting sweet potato flour in some countries may be difficult. You can use cornstarch as the substitute when necessary.
- Some people likes to have a chicken with a more crunchy coating. To do this, set the chicken aside for half a minute and double coat it by putting into the bed of sweet potato flour for the second time.
- Taiwanese use white pepper to prepare the chicken, but black pepper is an adequate substitute. However, it just won’t give you the taste of the authentic Taiwanese chicken steak that you get at the night market in Taiwan.
The deep-frying process
- Deep fried the chicken immediately after dipping it into the mixture of rice and potato flour. If you set it aside for too long, the chicken will absorb the flour coating and it will not longer turns out crunchy and crispy.
- Use a large wok or pan to deep fried the chicken steaks. You may face the situation where there is insufficient space to deep fried the chicken without curling it up to the edge of the wok.
- Deep fried the chicken at or above 180°C/350°F to make it crispy. The chicken should be sizzling, and even popping.
- The composition of the seasoning sprinkled on the surface of the chicken steaks can be modified according to your preference. You can start with the standard formula by mixing some fine salt, white pepper, and chili powder. You can add a small amount of five-spice powder or ground Szechuan peppercorn.
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