Not your nanna’s cold remedy. This Chinese-style chicken brings together three familiar flavours for a modern take on a Chinese restaurant classic.


4 Lilydale free range chicken thighs (around 800 g)

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup cornflour

1-2 litres vegetable oil, for deep frying

3 spring onions, finely sliced on a steep diagonal

1 rice paper sheet, to serve (optional)

lettuce leaves, to serve (optional)

Japanese mayonnaise, to serve (optional)


juice of 1 large lemon (or 2 small lemons)

100 g honey

1 tsp grated ginger

2 tbsp soy sauce

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

½ tsp sesame oil

½ tsp cornflour


½ cup plain flour

½ cup cornstarch

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp salt



Trim some of the visible fat from the chicken thighs and cut into 3cm pieces. Combine with the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, bicarbonate of soda, salt and 1 tsp of the cornflour and set aside for 15 minutes. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a separate bowl. In another bowl, combine the batter ingredients with ¾ cup of cold water and 5 ice cubes.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok to 175C. Toss the chicken in the remaining cornstarch and transfer to the batter. Fry the chicken in batches one piece at a time for 3-4 minutes. Drain on a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Heat the oil to 185C and fry the chicken again for about 1 minute until golden brown and crisp.

If using, break the rice paper sheet into large pieces and fry for about 10 seconds until puffed and crisp.

Place a wok over high heat. Stir the sauce ingredients and add to the wok. Bring to a simmer and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened to the consistency of maple syrup. Toss through the chicken and the spring onions. Transfer to a serving plate with the lettuce leaves and the rice paper crisps.