Arnold Myint's Thai Fried Chicken With Spicy Dipping Sauce​ ​

You may have had fried chicken before, but what about Thai fried chicken? Known as Hat Yai chicken, it's seasoned with white pepper and the beautiful soy sauce-like Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce, and dredged with rice flour. It's fried to crispy perfection and paired with a traditional and spicy Nam Jim Jaew chili dipping sauce. And of course, there's sticky rice and cucumber salad. Chef Arnold Myint's finished dish will have you feeling like the world is on your table.

INGREDIENTS

Hat Yai Chicken (Thai Fried Chicken):

  • 1 (5 pound) whole chicken (or 4 pounds chicken pieces)
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bunch cilantro stems
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
  • Neutral oil, for frying

Dry dredge:

  • 3 cups rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • Pinch of five-spice powder

Wet dredge:

  • Remaining dry dredge plus 1 to 2 cups soda water

Garnishes:

  • Fried crispy shallots (available at Asian markets), cilantro leaves

Sticky Rice

  • 2½ cup sweet glutinous rice
  • Water
  • Flour sack towel or cheesecloth
  • Steamer

Cucumber Salad

  • 1 English Cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Nam Jim Jaew Dipping Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1½ tablespoons chili flakes
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped shallot or red onion
  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder
  • 1 teaspoon Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
  • Dash of fish sauce or a pinch of salt

STEPS

Make the Hat Yai Chicken:

Break down the chicken into 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, and 2 skin-on boneless breasts. Splitting boneless breasts in half if they are too large.

In a mortar, pestle or crush garlic cloves and cilantro stems with sugar, salt, and white pepper until a paste is formed.

Incorporate remaining ingredients into the paste. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, finely chop the garlic and cilantro stems and mix with the remaining ingredients.

Place chicken in a gallon freezer bag with all the marinade. For best results, marinate chicken in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Heat oil to 325 F.

Mix rice flour, cornstarch, and five-spice powder in a large bowl. Dredge marinated chicken in the dry mixture until fully coated. Dust off excess flour. Place dredged chicken into hot oil and pan-fry for 6 minutes.

Remove from oil and rest on a wire rack for about 5 minutes.

Take remaining dry dredge and gradually whisk in soda water until the consistency is similar to milk.

Take the rested chicken and lightly coat with wet dredge and return to fry oil. Cook until done; an internal temperature of 165 F; about 6 minutes.

Garnish with a generous portion of fried crispy shallots and cilantro leaves. Serve hot with sticky rice, Nam Jim Jaew dipping sauce, and cucumber salad.

Make the Rice:

Soak rice in water for 24 hours.

Lay a flour sack towel at the bottom of your steaming surface. Scoop rice directly onto the towel and arrange evenly.

Dump any excess water from your soaked rice.

Fold your rice up in the towel and place the lid on the steamer. Allow to steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Grains should be sticking to one another and not be overcooked.

Make the Cucumber Salad:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Allow flavors to marry for about 30 minutes before serving.

This can be made a day in advance—the cucumber will slightly pickle, adding a great texture.

Make the Nam Jim Jaew Dipping Sauce:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

For the toasted rice powder, lightly toast raw uncooked rice grains until golden in color (like you would toast dried whole spices in an oven or over a flame in a sauté pan).

Once cool, grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until the texture is that of coarse sand or grits. This can be made in advance and stored for quite some time.

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