Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to raise Phoenix from its ashes ...

Whenever we have visitors from Japan or England, we would insist that they try the yummy dish of "phoenix feet" at our favourite dim sum restaurant. It always present a surprise to our visitors when the bamboo container's lid is lifted to reveal the dish of chicken feet. Well, last weekend, I decided that if I could cook this dish at home. I did a good job of of raising the phoenix from its ashes but my wife was not impressed with the splatter of oil on the splashback and the floor of the kitchen.

Spicy Chicken Feet aka Phoenix Feet Recipe:
2kg of chicken feet
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine
4 cups of water
2 spring onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 pieces of star anise
4 slices of ginger
2tbsp of black bean paste
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp sugar
Dash of sesame oil

First clean your (chicken) feet and clip their nails. Dry them thoroughly.
Deep fry chicken feet until golden brown. Be very careful with the oil splatter when the chicken is lower into the oil. Drain them well from the oil.
Prepare your stewing sauce. To begin, smash the garlic and ginger, chop the spring onions into 2 inch lengths, then combine all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a simmer. You can save the liquid for weeks and stew just about any kind of meat (or eggs!) in it. It gets better as you use it more.
Put the chicken feet into the stewing sauce and simmer for 45 minutes. Alternatively you can pressure cook them for 15 minutes - this will give a stronger flavor. Drain the chicken feet from the stewing sauce.
To prepare the glazing sauce for the chicken feet. Mince the garlic and chilies. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok to high heat, and add the garlic and chilies, cook until fragrant. Add the black bean paste. Stir it so that it starts to get really really fragrant. Add the wine, sugar, soy, water and sesame oil, stir. You have just raise the phoenix from its ashes.


  1. Another great recipe, I am thinking of eating this with wontan noodle..thanks for the recipe Phil.

  2. nice! but i dun eat..hehe

  3. phil, are you running a restaurant in sydney? if you are not already doing so, you should consider it.

  4. I'll take it as a compliment.I'm still keeping my day job. Haha.It was not our intention to start another makan blog but we later found that the young ones should know how some of the basic traditional recipes are prepared before they are endangered and lost into oblivion. hehe.


  5. Furthermore, if we are in the food industry, we won't be sharing the trade secrets. Haha.

  6. I grill the chicken feet in oven instead of deep fried them, which is less of a mess.

  7. Wow this looks really yummy!!! I love "kai keok" as the Cantonese call it! Stewed with mushrooms they are doubly yum!

  8. Hi Lady Lavender,
    We would love to try it! Yes, it is known as "kai keok" at our home but the restauranteurs prefer to use the polite term and have them written in their menu as "Phoenix feet"

  9. Why eat feet when you can eat meat instead? I always have this argument with my dad when he "attacks" the chicken feet!

    Yek! "its heavenly son", he would say. I suppose after surviving on basic foodstuff during the war, he is not as fussy as me when it comes to food.

    Keep blogging, love some of the recipes. Make me want to experiment with it.

  10. Hi Anonymous,
    Next time please offer him the chicken drumstick instead. You eat the feet for a change and you will realise how much he loves you.Like all good parents, your father gives the best to you.
    Thanks for your visit to my blog. Please share your cooking experience with us. We look forwards to your comments.

  11. Uncle Phil, i did something with the chicken feet i found in my freezer, i supposedly wanting to braise it as a sesame fong-jwa SNACK. It turned out different thou, BUT DELICIOUS, somewhat similar to the taste i had in taiwan pasar malaam. I have no proper receipe to share, but i can show you what sort of conditment i used. My receipe for chinese food is my tongue..... can u sms me ur number?

  12. Hi I>S>
    I couldn't wait for your recipe. Could you email me so that I can let you have my phone numbers.