When I was at a friend’s house a while ago, I spied a cookbook on her shelf titled (rather quirkily), ‘My Favourite Chicken Wings‘. I had to borrow it and found it was filled with a range of Asian recipes for preparing chicken wings, with instructions in both Chinese and English. The English explanations are in dire need of proofreading and the ingredients lists are often a little confusing, however, once you can figure them out, the dishes are actually really nice.
A little while later, my mother went back to Malaysia and I asked her if she could find the book for me. She did, so now I often find myself turning to it whenever wings or nibbles are on special and I need some inspiration. I really love cooking and eating chicken nibbles (not terribly healthy, I know) – they are inexpensive and quick to cook.
So this recipe is adapted from one in the book – it’s spicy, sweet and salty and has an almost Thai flavour with the addition of basil. If you want to try it, but don’t like things too spicy, just use less chilli. I served this with white rice and stir fried choysum and mushrooms.
Drunken chicken nibbles with basil
1kg chicken nibbles
10 slices of ginger (about 3-5mm slices)
3 crushed garlic cloves
a generous handful of basil leaves
5 bird’s eye chillies (flattened with the side of a knife)
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 Tbsp oil (vegetable or peanut)
120 mL Shaoxing wine
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
100 – 150 mL water
Combine the seasoning ingredients and mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
In a wok, boil some water and then blanch the chicken nibbles. This will allow your final sauce to be clear from any impurities and blood. Remove the nibbles and set aside.
Pour the water out of the wok, give it a wipe with a paper towel and then place it on a high heat. Add the oil, and then the ginger, garlic and chillies and fry for about a minute until fragrant.
Add the seasoning mixture and bring to a boil. Return the chicken nibbles to the wok and stir well. Lower the heat and simmer.
Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened (about 15 minutes), turn off the heat. Stir through the basil and final tablespoon of Shaoxing wine and then serve.