Chicken in Salt and Chilli has become increasingly popular in Chinese takeaways and restaurants across Scotland over the last decade and for good reason. Descended perhaps from Chinese Jill Yuen dishes, the aromatic aroma and feel good factor provided by the classic mix of garlic and chilli combines perfectly with onions, spring onions, green pepper, rice wine and a sweet but hot and spicy salt mix to produce a dish bursting with flavour.
There are various ways to make the spicy salt mix and most Chinese supermarkets also now stock commercial brands. Szechuan pepper, black pepper or even a little msg can be added to the salt mix for a bit of variety. Some Chinese takeaway restaurants toast the salt in a dry wok and allow it to cool before combining it with the other ingredients, adding an extra depth of flavour from the cooking flavours drawn out of the wok by the salt. In all cases, some sugar is included in the salt mix.
The salt and chilli finish can be applied to various different dishes, from ribs and chicken wings to chips, mini spring rolls and even pizza crunch. My personal favourite and arguably the original and best is chicken breast, deep fried in potato flour until crispy and then flash fried with the vegetables and spicy salt mix . Deliciously addictive, devilishly spicy and definitely one to try.
- 113 g chicken breast 1 large fillet
- 1 large egg whisked
- 6 tablespoons potato flour or corn flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion finely sliced
- 1/2 green pepper finely sliced
- 2 spring onions finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
- 1 red chilli finely sliced
- 1 green chilli finely sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt & chilli mix see recipe notes
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
Trim any excess fat from the chicken breast and cut into bite sized pieces or thin strips. Add a little of the whisked egg, just enough to coat the chicken pieces. Add the potato flour or corn flour and mix well until all of the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
Heat oil for deep frying to 190c. When the oil is hot, carefully place the floured chicken pieces into the pan. Fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through, golden and crispy. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan, drain off any excess oil and set aside.
Heat 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sliced onions, green pepper, spring onions, garlic, red & green chilli and dark soy sauce. Mix well and stir-fry for 30 seconds.Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Season with around 1/2 teaspoon - 1 teaspoon of the salt & chilli mix (or to taste) and stir-fry for 30-40 seconds until all of the chicken pieces and vegetables are seasoned. Finish with rice wine, stir once more and serve.
Salt & Chilli Mix