The marination, the herbal benefits, and the perfect deep-frying technique[With 2-min Video]
Watching the game and eating wings after wings can be the best moment on a relaxing day but not anymore for me.
The crunchy sound when biting the fried chicken not only tells how freshness is, but it also wakes my taste buds ready to perceive the earthen aroma from the perfect marination. Cumin and coriander seeds play a huge role in delivering the cooling sensation while you’re biting a hot fresh Gai Tod Hat Yai.
Eating chicken wings with the game of super bowl can be a fun activity to do in the U.S., but whenever I recall the fried chicken wings, I always think of sticky rice, spicy plum sauce, papaya salad, warm beaches, tropical breeze, family, good friends, and no TV.
Hat Yai is the name of a city of the southern island. Honestly, I’ve never been there but the reputation of the fried wings is extensive, so I can’t resist to try and copy the recipe someday.
Yes, right! I’ve copied the recipe of Gai Tod Hat Yai(ไก่ทอดหาดใหญ่) directly from one of the secret Thai cookbooks that I’ve held for a decade, and I still trust.
Let’s give the publisher credit. Thank you. Reference: “step-by-step Home Cooking Recipes ไทยจานโปรด,” สำนักพิมพ์แสงแดด Publisher, 2012.
I fall in love with this style of marination rather than other fried wings out there because the characteristic aroma of the herbs is authentic, which are from cumin and coriander seeds.
Cumins And Coriander Seeds
Cumin, Thais say Yee Rah(ยี่หร่า), has a strong smell coming out from the tiny seeds. They create cooling touch(similar to mint) and reduce the unpleasant smell on the chicken skin as well.
The wellness of the cumin:
- Increase antioxidant intake
- Promote digestion
- Provide iron
- May improve blood sugar control
- May reduce food-borne illnesses
Coriander seeds, Luk Pak Chee(ลูกผักชี) in Thai, has a similar smell to cumin and both make the cooling sensation to the marinade. But, the only difference is coriander seeds have a sweet hint like cinnamon, and that’s why you will see the aromatic seeds in almost everywhere in Asian-Thai marination. Refer: Pork Satay
The benefits of the coriander seeds:
- Improve the skin
- Help Tackle Diabetes
- Reduce Cholesterol level
- Contain vitamin C and A to cure cold and flu
Let’s take a peek in our 2-min cooking clip:
- 6 cloves Garlic, no-peeled
- ½ tsp Black peppercorns, roasted
- ½ tsp Cumin, roasted
- 2 tsp Coriander seeds, roasted
- 2 tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Seasoning sauce
- 1 tsp Salt
- 4 Whole chicken wings or 2.5 lbs quarter legs
I prefer to start pan roasting the herbs(black peppercorns, cumin, coriander seeds) first to enhance their fragrance. Simply, using medium-high heat to warm the pan and stirring until you smell them and a little smoke coming out.
Then, crush them in a mortar with a pestle. You might want them coarsely or finely, no restriction here. And then, pound the garlic (with or without peel). Mix the rest of the ingredient and marinate on the wings for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Get the rice flour on flatware ready to mix to cover.
Now, let’s preheat the oil for deep-frying.
The perfect deep-frying
Use: 10 cups frying shortening or canola oil
Ok, if you think I have a deep-fryer to make a perfect fried chicken in my cozy little apartment room, I don’t.
Instead, I manually control the heat when frying things with limited space.
If you don’t plan to buy one, I have some tips to use your pot or pan to perform a deep-frying method.
Here are things you should know:
- Using a frying shortening or high smoking-point oil
- Adding oil at least 2 times above the thickness of your food and not over ¾ of the pan or pot. In this case, I use a deep wide pan to fry the 2-inch wings. I pour the oil up to 4 inches(to cover the wings and have room to float) in the 7-inch pan deep(to prevent over bubbling)
- Waiting for the oil to reach 350F or 180C measured by a thermometer—just like preheating on the deep-fryer
- Turning food frequency and lower the heat to medium-high when smoke occurs
- Filtering the residue each round and make up the oil if necessary(make sure the temperature reached to 350F)
- Using new oil to fry every time. If you use oil to deep fry longer than 45 mins or it has been burned out for a long period, you‘re supposed to discard it.
To check whether the wings are cooked, using a thermometer is the most effective way according to the Health Department code, https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html.
*The poultry should be cooked to 165F to prevent foodborne illness.
The Fried Onion
Use: 5 tbsp sliced shallot or red onion
To complete the fried wings, topping with fried onion is the must. If you make the fried onion yourself, you can reuse the oil to deep-fry, and that makes your Gai Tod Hat Yai even more delicious!
To fry, slice shallot crosswise and thinly. Preheat the oil up to 325-350F in a tall wide pot or pan. Fry and keep stirring until bubbling stops. Lower the heat to medium. Be patient and keep watching and stirring until the onion turning yellow-brown and reach the surface.
Transfer to a flat strainer and rest. You can use this after it’s cooled down.
Sprinkle the fried onion on top to create an oniony smell and even more crunchy texture to the wings.
The plum sauce
Gai Tod Hat Yai needs a sweet-sour-salty sauce equally balance. The recipe book recommends going with a simple plum sauce which contains only plum juice, sugar, and fresh chili.
- 1/4 cup Plum puree
- 1 1/2 cup Brown sugar
- 4 tbsp Fresh red chili
Honestly, when I first made the plum sauce without knowing my ingredients, it turns out too salty and unpleasant texture 🙁
Here, how I’ve fixed:
- Remove the seeds out from the plum, then blend it to puree.
- Take 1/4 cup plum puree and crush with 4 tbsp fresh red chili(de-stem)
- Mix all ingredient to medium heat until sugar dissolves(not to boil), then chill before serving.
In my opinion, having the plum sauce with fried food can help you feel less greasy and create flavoring balance in a meal.
Gai Tod Hat Yai
Home-cooking recipe of GAI TOD HAT YAI or Thai Southern-Style fried chicken wings. The post shows the marination, the herbal benefits, and the perfect deep-frying technique.
- 4 Whole chicken wings
- 10 cups Canola oil
- 1 cup Rice flour
- 5 tbsp Fried onions
- 6 cloves Garlic peel-on
- 1/2 tsp Black peppercorns roasted
- 2 tsp Coriander seeds roasted
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds roasted
- 1 tbsp Seasoning sauce (Healthy Boy)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Plum puree
- 1 1/2 cup Brown sugar
- 4 tbsp Fresh red Chili crushed
The Marination and Deep-frying
Pan roasting the herbs(black peppercorns, cumin, coriander seeds) to enhance their fragrance using medium-high heat.
Crush them in a mortar with a pestle. And then, pound the garlic, Mix the rest of the marinade ingredients and leave the wings for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat the canola oil to 350F or 180C (use an infrared thermometer), cover the marinated wings with rice flour.
Fry the wings and turn them frequently for about 10-15 mins or until the temperature reaches 165F from inside.
Rest the fried wings on a filter. Top with fried onions and let's make the sauce.
Mix all ingredients to medium heat until sugar dissolve(not to boil), then chill before serving.
I always imagine sitting on white sand, warm breeze, blue sea, and the skyline, then Hat Yai fried chicken wings are hot served with fresh sticky rice, also with the tangy zesty plum sauce.
No game of super bowl needed!
This recipe is good for a picnic, camping or outdoor activities. You can marinade and keep the wings cool in a box. Fry them whenever ready and prepare cooked sticky rice in a sealed container. Definitely, include the plum sauce.
The benefits of the marination are great as a seasoning because of the herbs not only making the wings yummy but they increase antioxidant intake, promotes digestion, provides iron, may improve blood sugar control, improves the skin and may reduce food-borne illnesses, according to Healtline.com and food.ndtv.com, “9 Powerful Health Benefits of Cumin” and “7 Amazing Coriander Seeds Benefits: From Tackling Diabetes to Improving the Skin”
Now, are you ready to fry?