This famous dish from Penang, Malaysia, is a typical Nonya taste experience. The recipe is from Carol SelvaRajah's engaging food memoir, Dining with Dragons.
Nonya cuisine is fusion cuisine at its best, a mingling of food styles of the descendants of Chinese traders who arrived in Malaysia six centuries ago from Fukien in China with those of the indigenous Malays along with earlier Indian traders and later Portuguese conquerors. The flavours and spicy scents of Nonya and the copious use of ground onion and garlic cooked in conjunction with chilli or pepper, or chilli and belacan, is what distinguishes Nonya from other South East Asian cuisines.
It' a good one to welcome in the Year of the Rooster during Chinese New Year. Kong Hee Fatt Choy!
- chicken wings and drumsticks, bone-in - 1.5kg, sliced into bite-sized pieces
- Spice Paste
- small eschalots - 5, pounded
- chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
- ground cumin - 2 teaspoons
- ground coriander - 1 teaspoon
- ground fennel, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground turmeric, ground black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon each
- salt and sugar - 1 teaspoon each, or to taste
- thick coconut milk - 100ml
- oil - for frying (such as coconut oil or rice bran oil)
- Dipping Sauce
- Dijon mustard - 1 teaspoon
- Worcester sauce - 1 tablespoon
- fresh lime juice, light soy sauce and chilli sauce - 2 teaspoons each
Look for small drumsticks and chicken wings - keep whole if small or slice into bite-size pieces if you can't find small pieces.
Combine the spice paste ingredients in a bowl; add the chicken pieces and mix well. Allow to marinate in this paste for 4 -5 hours, covered, in the refrigerator.
Heat the oil in a wok and deep-fry chicken in batches until almost cooked. Remove pieces and drain well on paper towels.
Reheat the oil and deep-fry the chicken until golden and brown. Pieces have to be crisp and hot.
Mix together the sauce ingredients for dipping. Serve the chicken pieces with a bowl of the sauce on the side.