Indo-Chinese meals are just scrumptious when it comes to fusion cuisine, and Dragon Chicken is at the top of the list. Thin chicken strips are battered, fried, and sautéed in a rich red sauce.
Talking about Dragon chicken, the first thought that hits our mind is fiery dragons, isn’t it? But this dish isn’t that fiery, trust me. But, once you have tried this recipe out, fiery or not, I bet you won’t be able to stop yourself from asking for more.
What is Dragon Chicken?
Dragon chicken is a famous Indo-Chinese fusion cuisine that was created very recently. It is a dish in which chicken is chopped into thin strips, fried till crispy, and coated in a sauce prepared with chilies, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.
The addition of whole red chilies and cashews gives the chicken dish a nice texture. This dry dish is typically served with soups such as chicken clear soup or chicken hot and sour soup. You can even enjoy it as a side dish if you are not fond of much gravy.
This one-of-a-kind recipe is one of those classic Indo-Chinese concoctions that have no genuine relation to India or China yet taste fantastic. To prepare the crispy batter-fried chicken, you may either deep-fry the chicken or air fry it, which I prefer. The Air Fryer chicken is crispy and considerably healthier. This dish is the ideal accompaniment to a cold beer on a hot sunny day!
Notable Ingredients at a Glance
Chicken: Using boneless and skinless thighs is most desirable because they can survive the high cooking temperatures without drying out. However, you can also use breasts but cut them somewhat thicker.
Egg: The egg creates a crispy outer coating on the chicken.
Garlic & Ginger Paste: This is a very key ingredient in any Chinese recipe. The authentic aroma of the dish is mostly obtained from ginger and garlic. I personally like a lot of garlic.
Onion Paste: Onion paste is optional. But if you add, the sweetness of the onions will balance out the flavors.
Cornflour: Cornflour is used as a binding agent. I have used cornflour because it is gluten-free. You can also use all-purpose flour.
Sauces: Red chili sauce, dark soy sauce, ketchup, and vinegar are needed for this recipe. The choice of dressing is very crucial in this recipe. So, ensure you get the best quality sauces available in the market.
Cooking oil: You can use any neutral oils like sunflower oil, castor oil, sesame oil, olive oil, or any other oil you choose.
Vegetables: Cubed onions and bell peppers add spiciness without increasing the heat.
Garlic & Ginger Paste: As mentioned earlier, ginger and garlic add layers and layers of authentic Indo-Chinese flavors.
For the sauce, you will need hot & sweet tomato ketchup, red chili sauce, and soy sauce.
Capsicum: For the added crunch
Cashew nuts: Cashew nut is mostly added for the texture. You can totally skip it if you wish.
Spring onions: This is optional, but it will be a good addition if added.
Honey: I have used honey as the sweetener. You can also use sugar.
How to prepare Dragon Chicken?
I will start with the marination. In a mixing bowl, add the chicken pieces, egg, garlic-ginger paste, soy sauce, ketchup, red chili powder, cornflour, onion paste, and some oil to prevent the chicken from sticking to each other. Mix thoroughly so that the chickens are evenly coated.
Now keep it for marination in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.
Then, heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the chicken for 5-7 mins and keep aside once cooked through. You can use an air fryer for frying the chicken. It will be a lot healthier.
Once the chicken is fried, heat oil in another pan. To it, add onions, garlic-ginger paste, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and soy sauce.
Stir fry at high temperature for 2-3 minutes, retaining the crunchy texture of the bell peppers and onions.
Now add the ketchup, honey, and cashews and stir for another 1 min.
Add the fried chicken to the saute and coat it evenly with the sauce.
Garnish with some spring onions, and enjoy.
Some Expert Tips for Preparing Dragon Chicken
- For chicken that stays juicy till the finish, use thighs rather than breasts. Breasts tend to dry out more quickly.
- If feasible, make your own red chili paste. It’s simple: soak dried red chilies in boiling water for 10-15 minutes before grinding them into a thick paste. Homemade is more potent!
- Marinate the chicken for at least 10-15 minutes and up to 2 hours if time allows. This imparts flavor from within.
- To keep the chicken crisp, toss it immediately before serving. The longer it sits in the sauce, the softer it will become, and we all want lovely, crispy chicken!
Dragon Chicken is a tasty appetizer for your holiday table! It is very flavorful and does not take much time to prepare.
Marinating the Chicken
- 2 Chicken breasts – sliced into 2.5cm cubes
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Garlic ginger paste
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
- 2 tsp Red Chilli powder
- 2 tbsp Cornflour
- ½ cup Onion paste
- 1 tbsp Cooking oil
Frying the Chicken
- 6 tbsp Cooking oil
- ½ tbsp Cooking oil
- 1 Large Onion – Chopped
- 2 tsp Garlic ginger paste –
- 1 Red bell pepper – cut in 1cm squares
- 1 Green bell pepper – cut in small squares
- 2 tbsp Hot & Sweet Tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 tbsp Soy sauce
- ¼ cup Cashew nuts
- 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp Spring onions chopped
- In a mixing bowl add the chicken pieces, egg, garlic ginger paste, soy sauce, red chilli powder, cornflour, onion paste and vegetable oil.
- Mix it and coat every chicken properly.
- Now keep it in your fridge for 30-40
- Heat oil in a pan and fry the chicken for 5-7 mins and keep it aside once cooked through.
- Heat oil in another pan.
- Add onions, garlic ginger paste, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and soy sauce.
- Stir fry at high for 3 mins, keeping the crunchy texture of the bell peppers.
- Now add the ketchup,honey, cashew and stir for another 1 min.
- Add the chicken now to coat.
- Add the spring onions and mix it.
- Garnish with some additional spring onions.
- Enjoy !