The first time I had chicken chop was in Serenitea, a small tea place in San Juan that serves some of the best milk teas in the city. It also has great chicken chop. The battered and deep fried strips of chicken fillet were salty, peppery and addicting. Since I don’t get to go to San Juan often and we usually have chicken fillets stored in the fridge, which I often just fry after rolling them into flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, I thought I would just recreate this popular Taiwanese snack at home. I just needed to know what mixture of marinade to use.
I forgot all about it until a few weeks ago, P and I and some friends got to eat in Shi Lin, a Taiwanese restaurant in Podium in Ortigas Center. When I saw that they had Chicken Chop Rice, I immediately knew what I wanted to order. It was served on top of a generous bowl of fried rice with pepper and (I think) a bit of chili powder shaken over it. I preferred the Serenitea chicken chop more, but this one was also tasty though the saltiness and the crispy batter were different. Two versions of chicken chop tasted, I really had to make my own.
While I usually just rub the chicken fillets with salt and pepper before coating them with flour-egg-breadcrumbs and frying them, chicken chop definitely had more than these two seasoning staples. I went online and searched for a couple of recipes and found that the marinade typically calls for soy sauce, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. I ended up using this recipe from Allrecipes.com (also see below). In terms of flavor, I think it is as peppery as Shi Lin’s chicken chop, but not as salty (I only used a few drops of Worcestershire because I was afraid it would get too salty; will add more next time and use a bit of chili powder as well). For the breadcrumbs, I used Japanese breadcrumbs. I still want to figure out the kind of batter combination Serenitea uses for its chicken chop because it’s really good. Anyway, P was happy with the result and he got to bring some of it for his lunch in the office. I feel such a homemaker today. 🙂
2 chicken thighs, deboned and pounded to medium thickness (I used chicken breast fillet; the thighs might have been more flavorful)
Flour, for dusting
2 eggs, beaten
Oil for cooking
Marinade: soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper
There was a recipe for mushroom sauce that you can pour over the chicken, but I decided to just stick with the fried chicken chop.
1. Marinate the chicken thighs in soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper for 3 hours or overnight. (I made it overnight, so the flavors can really seep in there.) Remove from marinade and pat dry.
2. Dust the thighs in some flour, shaking off the excess flour. Dip in a bowl of beaten egg and then roll in breadcrumbs.
3. Heat some oil in pan and fry the chicken thighs on both sides until brown.
I’ll update this recipe if I get the right combination of the spices and the batter. In any case, should want your chicken chop fix from the pros, you can go to Serenitea at J. Abad Santos corner V. Cruz, San Juan City (tel: 379-4166) or Shi Lin at 3/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City (tel: 477-4108).