Lately I’ve been craving Chinese food, specifically Dim Sum food. I know, I know, I’m Chinese but I don’t always cook Chinese food and rarely do I crave Chinese food. So, this past Monday I bought some chicken feet. Its one of those dim sum dishes that you either LOVE or you don’t. My sons and I happen to fall into the LOVE category. Anyways, for those of you who are also in the “LOVE” category, Here is how to make them yourself. For the others, browse my other recipes, I’m sure there is something there that you’ll like.
Be forewarned, its not an instant gratification kind of recipe. But the reward is well worth the wait!
Dim Sum Style Pheonix Feet
1 lb chicken feet
oil for deep frying
3 slices of ginger
a handful of Cilantro with stems and/or roots (optional)
2 pieces of star anise
1 tsp black bean
1 tbsp cooking wine (or sherry)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy (for colour)
1 chile serano sliced (optional)
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp water
Wash the chicken feet, chop off the nails if your butcher haven’t already done this for you. Thoroughly dry the feet. Meanwhile, pour a couple of inches of oil into a dutch oven or pot with high sides or in your wok. Heat the oil to about 350 to 375. Carefully and slowly add your chicken feet into the hot oil. Using tongs or long wooden chopsticks, give the feet a slow stir to ensure that they are not sticking together. Fry the feet for about 5 minutes, giving them an occasional stir. Turn of heat and remove the feet into a metal strainer. Then soak chicken feet in cold water for 30 minutes.
Put the chicken feet into a pressure cooker and add enough water to cover the chicken feet. Add the ginger, star anise and cilantro root. Close and secure the pressure cooker, bring the cooker to pressure (when the regulator on top starts whistling and twirling), reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes. At the end of the 20 minutes, let the pressure cooker cool and depressurize. You can also do this step in a regular pot, but cover the chicken feet with at least a couple of inches of water, bring to boil then simmer on medium-low for 1 hour.
Remove chicken feet from the boiling water and let cool 10 – 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, soak your black beans in a little water for about 5 minutes then drain. Add the minced garlic and cooking wine (sherry) and mash the beans with the garlic with the back of a teaspoon. Add the marinade ingredients to the black bean paste stir to incorporate.
Put the boiled chicken feet into a ziplock bag (or plastic container) add the marinade and zip close. Turn and massage the bag to distribute the marinade. Let the Chicken feet marinade for a minimum of 4 hours, better if left overnight in the refrigerator.
Bring a pot of water to boil (I have a large pot with a double steamer that I use. If you don’t have such a pot, you can use your wok and place an upside down bowl to elevate the plate. If you don’t have a wok, go out and buy one!). Meanwhile, remove the chicken feet from the ziplock bag and arrange onto a plate that can go into the steamer. Make a slurry with the corn starch and water. Add to the marinade liquid in the bag, mix thoroughly then add to the chicken feet.
Place plate into the steamer and let steam for 15 – 20 minutes.
Carefully remove from steamer and enjoy!