Yam Basket with Stir Fried Chicken 佛砵鸡丁

Yam Basket_2

I finally attempted this !! And it’s such a rewarding feat when my 3rd yam basket finally succeeded. Luckily I prepared extras of it, otherwise I think I would really be crying my hearts out.

Yam Basket_8

My first 2 yam baskets actually broke off in the hot oil and became crumbs. Maybe I try and explain how that happened. Initially I thought I could save on some cooking oil by doing shallow deep frying, that’s half of the yam basket submerged into the hot oil and thereafter tried to flip it over and deep fried on the other half. Apparently I was very wrong. That’s no way to flip the yam basket at all as it will just break away into pieces.

Yam Basket_4

So I transferred the cooking oil into a smaller but deeper pot so that I could fully submerged the yam basket into the oil but at the same time, need not use so much oil as compared to deep frying in a wok. Erm, maybe I was too anxious. I had the yam basket placed on a ladle and I would bring it out of the oil to take a look every now and then. Eventually the yam basket give way and break into crumbs again.

Yam Basket_3

Finally, on the 3rd attempt, I placed the yam basket on a bigger ladle, a stainless steel one this time, and surround the basket with aluminium foil as you can see from the picture below. Fully submerged into the oil, I hold on to the ladle and did not bring it out of the oil till it is fully and completely cooked till golden brown. And this time it works ! The yam basket stayed its shape and was deep fried to a nice golden brown.

Yam Basket_9

Best of it all, although it appears as if a lot of oil is used but the yam basket doesn’t feel oily at all. Best of it all, the exterior stayed very crispy even when it has cooled down. And when you bite onto it, you can feel the crispiness on the outside and bustling rich of the yam-ness within it.

Yam Basket_7

If you managed to get the yam basket successfully done, I would say you are 95% there already. The rest are really quite miscellaneous and straightforward. You can have anything you want for the basket filling and I make do with a simple stir fried chicken in oyster sauce, chilies and carrots. Had planned to include cashew nuts too, but somehow it just slipped my mind completely during the cooking !!

Yam Basket_5

And I used rice vermicelli that has been soaked in water, softened and drained well, for the bottom of the yam basket. Using the same oil that you used to deep fry the yam basket, blanch the rice vermicelli in it. Now be careful when going through this process as the even though the rice vermicelli has been drained, they aren’t really 100% dry as rice vermicelli would still absorb some moisture by itself. Hence, you might experience some oil spurting over. But as they tend to turn brown easily too, the oil would need to be very hot and once they hardened, to remove immediately before they browned. As you can see from mine, it has turned slightly browned too. But otherwise, you can always exclude this portion from the dish. The main lead of the dish is the yam basket and for me, the rice vermicelli is more of a “décor” purposes only. Although some people do eat them, but they are quite tasteless by itself. So it is really optional to include this.

Yam Basket_6

This is definitely a challenging dish to attempt but the end results is very satisfying when you know you have gotten it right. But no pain, no gain, right ? Hehehe !! Enjoy !!

Yam Basket_1

Yam Basket with Stir Fried Chicken 佛砵鸡丁
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 3
Ingredients
For the Yam Basket:
  • 500g yam
  • 70g wheat starch
  • 75ml hot water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • some cooking oil, for deep frying
  • some rice vermicelli, soaked and softened in water and drained dry

For the Chicken Marinade:
  • 300g chicken boneless leg, diced
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp sweet rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sweet soya sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • dash of pepper

For the Stir Fried Chicken:
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • ½ chilli, sliced
  • 5-6 slices of carrots
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sweet soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Microwave or steam the yam until soft. Combine the softened yam, wheat starch, hot water, sugar and salt in a food processor till a soft dough is formed.
  2. Depending on how big you want the yam ring to be, for this recipe, 4 yam rings of 125g each can be made. Flatten the dough and form into rings.
  3. Heat up some cooking oil (height of the oil used has to fully cover the height of the yam ring) till very hot. Test it by using a chopstick slightly submerged into the oil and when bubbles start to sizzle around the chopstick, the oil is ready.
  4. Carefully placing the yam basket onto a big ladle with holes and using some aluminium foil, surround them around walls of the yam ring (picture as above) and fully submerge it into the hot oil. Deep fried till golden brown and drain on paper towel. Set aside.
  5. Using the same hot oil, add the rice vermicelli and blanched them in the hot oil quickly till crispy.
  6. Using the same hot oil, add in the chicken dices and blanched them in the hot oil for approximately 15 seconds. Remove, drain on paper towels and set aside.
  7. Heat up one tbsp of cooking oil and stir fried the garlic, shallots and chillies together till fragrant. Add in the carrots or any other vegetables using and stir fried till they turned soft. Add in the chicken dices from the previous step and the oyster sauce, sweet rice vinegar, sweet soya sauce and water. Stir slightly to mix well.
  8. Place the yam basket on top of the crispy rice vermicelli, and add the stir fried chicken dices into the yam basket. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.

 

 

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