Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

10 Jun

Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

I  seldom make fried chicken. Not because I don’t like it (I do), and not for health reasons either. It’s the time it takes, the mess it makes (all that spattering oil)… The end result never seemed to justify the hassle.

But that was before I encountered Vietnamese fried chicken (or VFC as we now call it) at a music festival.

Maybe I was influenced by the band that was playing (Noah and the Whale), or the unexpected blessing of sunshine, or the mellow party atmosphere, but that chicken was just about the best thing I’d ever tasted.

The moist and flavourful meat, the growing kick of chilli heat, the coating that was more crackle than crumb. Fried chicken this good was definitely worth the hassle.

Since that weekend, I’ve had a few goes at recreating Vietnamese fried chicken at home. This version comes pretty close…

Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)
(serves 4)

  • 1 kg chicken pieces (I use drumsticks)
  • 3 Tb sunflower oil
  • 3 Tb fish sauce
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • a thumb of ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp sriracha sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • oil for deep-frying
  • fresh coriander and sweet chilli sauce, to serve
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sunflower oil, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and sriracha.
  2. Add the chicken pieces, toss to coat, and leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and chilli powder.
  4. Dip the each chicken piece in egg, then roll in the flour mixture to coat.
  5. Add about 2cm of oil to a large, heavy frying pan over a medium flame. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C).
  6. Fry the chicken for 10-15 minutes until they are crispy, golden and cooked through. (I do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.)
  7. Serve with sweet chilli sauce for dipping, if desired.

4 Responses to “Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)”

  1. Shanthini June 10, 2017 at 8:21 am #

    Looks delicious!

    • Andrea June 10, 2017 at 9:28 am #

      Thanks, Shanthini!

  2. chefkreso June 10, 2017 at 11:43 am #

    I also don’t prepare it as often but when I do I can’t stop eating, so delicious 😀

    • Andrea June 10, 2017 at 11:54 am #

      I agree!

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