Chicken Feet Dim Sum

Chicken feet are something that, I think, if you have no cultural context for, you probably won’t enjoy. I fully admit to trying these on a dare from my friend Margaret, and I don’t regret it, but I probably won’t make them again. Not because they tasted bad — they were fried in malt sugar, and then stewed in a very flavorful sauce that I would totally try again, maybe with drumstick or thighs stewed in them instead. It was the texture and the appearance, primarily. It looks like you’re eating a small, four-fingered hand, and there is no meat to speak of — the edible bits are tendons, cartilage and skin. This dish is more about social eating and ritual than sustenance, from what I understand, and those who have grown up with it, I’m sure, have a greater appreciation for it than I was able to give.


Chicken Feet Dim Sum

  • 1.5 lb raw chicken paws
  • 1/4 c. malt sugar
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp black soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger, or one large finger, roughly chopped
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 1 shot vermouth (used in place of sake, because I am cheap)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • skin from 1 orange
  • 3-4 c water
  • green onions and sesame seeds to garnish

Remove toes at first joint with a sharp knife, and discard toenails. Roll the feet in malt sugar, deep fry for 7 minutes. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients (except garnish) and add fried feet; simmer on medium-low heat for 2 hours.

Fia Marquis

Fia Marquis is a home cook who enjoys gardening, creating recipes, collecting vintage Pyrex, cooking for herself and her husband, and trying to keep up with their toddler and three cats.

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