Hand-Pulled Chicken

手撕雞

The Chinese literally translates to “Hand-Pulled Chicken”. I’m not sure if this is Cantonese cuisine because I’ve had it in so many different Chinese restaurants; Shanghai, Hangzhou, Hunan, and Sichuan to name a few.

When I was in Yangzhou and Shanghai last week, I can’t say how many times I’ve had this with relatives at home and in restaurants.

[100% organic]

  • 3 chicken drumsticks
  • 3 scallions, julienned
  • 2-inch ginger block, julienned
  • 1 cucumber *
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt (for marinading cucumber)
  • 2 TBS juice from grated ginger
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
  • Corn starch
  • Canola oil
  • Big bowl of ice water & ice cubes
  • 1 TBS sesame oil
  • 1 TBS chili sauce
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS Shaoxing wine

Marinade the chicken drumsticks with the 2 TBS of ginger juice, 1 tsp Shaoxing wine, ½ tsp salt, and white pepper for 30 minutes.

Before cutting the cucumber, slice off half an inch on both ends of the cucumber and then rub them against the stem in circular motions for about half a minute. You’ll see white foam. This makes the cucumber less bitter to the taste. Rinse off the foam and cut cucumber into thin strips. Marinade the cucumber strips for 5 minutes in the coarse sea salt. Then rinse off with clean water and pat dry.

In a steamer**, oil a plate for steaming the drumsticks. Before steaming the chicken, coat them with corn starch. Place drumsticks flat on the oiled plate and then cover them with the julienned ginger and scallions. Steam for 15 minutes over high heat.

After steaming, drown the chicken in the ice water for 5 minutes. This stops cooking the chicken and it seals the juices in the chicken. Pull the meat like long shreds from the chicken.

Put cucumber strips on a plate, then place the chicken shreds on top. Chill them for 3 hours. When ready to eat, mix the sesame oil, chili sauce, soy sauce, and 1 TBS Shaoxing wine and then pour over chicken.

*Use a bigger cucumber for bigger drumsticks, and a smaller cucumber for smaller drumsticks.

**My steamer is a huge wok.

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