Apr 6, 2021 • 28M

XO Soused - techniques for the cooking and eating of chicken feet

Andrew Wong and Mukta Das
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A fortnightly chat about techniques and dishes from a professional Chinese kitchen, their history and their cultural setting
Episode details

A star-player in Chinese nose-to-tail (or beak-to-claw) cooking, chicken feet have been a long-term staple in dim sum restaurants. In what solution do you blanch chicken feet to cleanse them? How does deep-frying improve the falling-off-the-bone quality of the cut and its absorption of steamed aromatics and flavourings?

And why does Andrew cook it so infrequently? Why is does the dish have an alternative name of ‘Pheonix claw’ (or Fèng zhuǎ, [鳯爪], if you want to find it on the menu once Chinese restaurants reopen after lockdown)? What is the difference between British and European dish naming conventions and Chinese approaches? What do chefs have to think about when naming their dishes?

A pile of six braised chicken feet in a small white dish patterned with blue flowers around its rim
This dish of cold chicken feet (to be eaten with beer) has been cleansed in freshly boiled water and then braised in a stock of water, black vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and chillies before bottling with the thickened sauce to allow it to pickle further. Source: Chen Shu Ting - insta @shushu.c

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