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War Su Gai

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War Su Gai is a Chinese-American dish consisting of deep-fried chicken that is coated with a flavorful gravy and garnished with almonds. Although not widely available, it's a specialty in Detroit, Michigan, Columbus, Ohio, and no doubt a few other areas. In this version I've used oyster sauce in the marinade to lend extra flavor to the cooked chicken. Feel free to vary the vegetables, for example replacing half the mushrooms with water chestnuts.

Yield: Serves 3 - 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • .
  • Marinade:
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • .
  • Batter:
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced green onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons water, or as needed to form a smooth batter
  • .
  • Gravy:
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms (1 – 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with enough water to make a slurry
  • .
  • Other:
  • Oil as needed for deep-frying
  • 2 leaves Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced, or as desired
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, or to taste

Preparation:

Directions for Making War Su Gai:
1. Rinse the chicken breasts halves and pat dry. Rub the salt, pepper and oyster sauce over the chicken. Place in the refrigerator to marinate while preparing the other ingredients.

2. To make the batter, combine the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a bowl, stirring to make sure the baking powder is mixed in evenly. Stir in the chopped green onion. Add the egg, then enough water to make a smooth batter.

3. To deep-fry the chicken: Heat the oil in a wok or electric wok to 375 C. Coat a chicken breast in the batter, and then carefully add to the deep-fry oil. Cook for 6 - 7 minutes on one side, then turn over and deep-fry on the other side until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through - 10 - 15 minutes total. (You will probably need to cook the chicken in batches). Drain the deep-fried chicken on paper towels or on a tempura rack.

4. To make the sauce: bring the chicken broth to a boil on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and chopped celery. Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice wine or sherry. Give the cornstarch slurry a quick re-stir, then pour it in and stir quickly until the sauce thickens.

5. To serve, cut the chicken into thin slices and arrange on the lettuce. Pour the sauce over and garnish with the almonds.

More Chinese Poultry Recipes
Chinese Food Recipe File

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