Popcorn Chicken

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After hot pot and barbecue, David’s favorite food is popcorn chicken – the Taiwanese-Tapioca-Express-kind. He periodically craves for this, and it’s not like we can just drive 5 minutes to Tap Ex anymore. So for his birthday, when I asked him if he wanted to go out or if he wanted me to cook, he excitedly asked for popcorn chicken. (Cooking in the house has been rare lately, as we usually eat salads now during the week.)

For majority of Taiwanese recipes – whether its chicken, pork, beef noodle soup – these ingredients are always standard: Chinese five spice, rice wine, soy sauce, garlic and star anise. I was thrilled that I already had most of the essentials at home, so my grocery total for this meal only came out to $13.

Here is the recipe I used for the popcorn chicken, and the recipe I used for the minced pork.

Sprinkle cayenne pepper on the chicken in the end if you want it spicy. David went on full force with the pepper. Good thing my toleration of spicy has foods has gone way up…but it still burned!

Needless to say, David was smiling throughout the whole meal with compliments. I made the minced pork only as an add-on, but surprisingly, he was a huge fan of that too. Next time, I’m going to add the pork to ja jiang mian (noodles with black bean sauce).

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P.S. It’s fun looking back at pictures to see that I’ve come such a long way. I thought the meal I made in 2013 was good, but now….”wifey-in-training” has turned into “wifey-can-cook!”
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