Inspired by P. F. Chang’s dynamite shrimp, this spicy, crispy and creamy dynamite chicken has cayenne-marinated fillets coated with batter, deep fried and coated in a thick sauce made with Sriracha, Japanese mayo, lemon juice, honey and sesame seed oil.
For even added crunch as well as contrast in texture and flavor, I added toasted cashew nuts. And, for color, just before serving I sprinkled in slivers of scallions. Served hot with newly-cooked rice, my dynamite chicken made a superb rainy day lunch.
Start making dynamite chicken by toasting cashew nuts in the wok before pouring in the cooking oil. You want to toast the nuts, not fry them.
Some cooks toast nuts in the oven. But, what the heck, it takes longer to preheat the oven than to toast the nuts in it. Plus, you have to open the oven door a few times to stir the nuts. Why bother with all that when you can do the toasting directly on the stovetop with a wok or frying pan?
You take your seasoned chicken fillets and dump them into a bowl. Add an egg and stir well.
Add starch (please don’t substitute flour because flour-based batter turns soggy faster as it cools) and toss to coat each piece of chicken well.
Fry the chicken in plenty of hot oil. Five minutes should do it unless your wok is rather small, in which case, you’ll have to fry the chicken in batches.
As the chicken fries, make the sauce by stirring together Sriracha, Japanese mayo, honey and sesame seed oil. If you want a little tang, add a squirt of lemon or lime juice.
Take your chicken chicken and dump into the sauce. Stir and toss until each piece of chicken is coated with sauce.
After that, it’s just a matter of plating. Scoop the sauce-covered chicken onto a serving plate, sprinkle the toasted cashew nuts around the chicken then top with slivers of scallion.
Explosive Dynamite Chicken
- 500 grams chicken thigh fillets
To marinate the chicken
To batter and fry the chicken
- cooking oil for frying
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup corn starch
To make the sauce
Season and marinate the chicken
Pat the chicken fillets with paper towels then cut into one-inch cubes.
Plate the cubed chicken in a bowl. Add the salt, sugar, black pepper and cayenne. Mix well.
Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Batter and fry the chicken
Start heating enough oil in the wok or frying pan to reach a depth of at least two inches.
Take the chicken fillets out of fridge and crack the egg directly over them. Mix well.
Dump in the starch and mix to make a pasty batter.
Fry the battered chicken at 350F, in batches if necessary, until lightly browned, crisp and cooked through. It shouldn't take more than five minutes per batch.
Mix the sauce
In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the sauce. Taste. If you want a spicier sauce, add more Sriracha.
Add the fried battered chicken to the sauce and toss to coat each piece.
Assemble your explosive dynamite chicken
Transfer the sauce coated chicken to a serving plate. Sprinkle the cashew nuts all over them. Top with sliced scallions.