Crispy Spatchcock with Pineapple & Capsicum in Shaoxing

Photo By Jun Pang

When I was a kid, I used to eat a lot of Filipino food.  I found that they used to fry a lot of food like pork belly, fish and chicken until it was really crispy, so crispy that you can eat the entire thing, bones and all.

There is nothing like eating crispy fried fish heads and fish bones, seasoned nicely with a little salt and a dipping sauce made with crushed garlic, chilli and cane vinegar and eaten with hot, gluggy steamed jasmine rice.  Top that off with some chopped, ripe tomatoes, red onions and fresh coriander dressed with a little lime juice and fish sauce and boy, I’m in heaven.

In the Philippines we have a dish called lechon kawali.  Simply put, it’s pork belly that has been boiled in aromatic stock then deep fried for a long time until its slightly browned and really really crispy.  Served with a similar cane vinegar dressing and gluggy steamed jasmine rice and the same tomato salsa but this time add a little crumbled, hard boiled Chinese salted egg and again, I bet no one would complain about this meal (except, of course, if you can’t pork for what ever unfortunate reason)

This chicken dish has similar flavours.  I love using spatchcocks for this dish.  The bones are not so dense and when fried, you can really get everything so crispy that you can eat the bones as well as everything else.  Flattening out the bird also helps because one, you don’t have to use so much oil and secondly you can the get the bones crispy.  Don’t be afraid to try new things.  You can eat bones, get it so crispy and you can eat the entire thing, it truly is a flavour sensation.

The capsicum braise is fantastic with this dish because you do need a  little moisture and the sweet and sour tones to capsicum braise is fantastic.  Similar to the Filipino dishes I mentioned prior, it really cleans up the palate, allowing you to enjoy or in my case devour the entire dish with absolute ease and yes, this capsicum braise does go with the pork and fish dish mentioned before hand.

Then all you need is the San Miguel beer and life would be bliss!

Photo by Jun Pang

Crispy  Spatchcock with Pineapple & Capsicum in Shoaxing

Serve 4

4 Spatchcock

1 Bunch Spring Onions

1 Thumb of Ginger

1 Cup Light Soy

½ Cup Dark Soy

¼ Cup Chinese Black Vinegar

10gr Liquorice Stick – form Asian grocer

2 Cinnamon Quills

5 Star Anise

2 Tspn Chinese Five Spice

2 Sea Salt

1 Litre Vegetable Oil – for frying


For the Pineapple & Capsicum

¼ Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Red Onion – peeled & finely sliced

6 Cloves Garlic – crushed and finely chopped

1 Red Capsicum – deseeded & sliced 2mm thick

1 Green Capsicum – deseeded & sliced 2mm thick

1 Yellow Capsicum– deseeded & sliced 2mm thick

2 Large Carrots – peeled & sliced into 2mm thick, 4cm long batons

I Bunch Spring Onions – cut whites into 2cm long stems & greens into fine long strips iin ice water until it curls

¾ Cup Shaoxing – Chinese cooking wine

1 Cup Light Soy

¼ Cup Rice Vinegar

½ Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cinamon Stick

3 Star Anise

1 Acid Free Pineapple – cored, peeled & cut into 1mm thick, 4cm long wedges

1 Bunch Coriander – leaves picked


For the Crispy Chicken

  1. Using scissors, cut the spine out of the spatchcock allowing you to “open” the chicken out and flat.  Do this by cutting on both sides of the chicken’s spine using scissors.  Start from the tail end and work your way toward the head
  2. For the Marinade, pound the ginger and spring onion in a mortar and pestle until it forms a paste
  3. Add the light soy, dark soy, black vinegar, Liquorice, cinnamon and star anise to the paste and stir through
  4. Marinate the chicken in the soy mixture for at least one day, but 2 days is best, making sure the chicken is fully sub merged in the liquid
  5. Heat the oil in a large pot to 180 degrees Celsius using a thermometer
  6. Drain the chicken and pat dry.  If you have a fan, place the chicken on a wire rack with the fan on right on it to dry it right out for about 2 hours but patting it dry with a paper towel really well would be ok
  7. Shallow fry the chickens in the hot oil for about 8 minutes on each side at 180 degrees Celsius or until evenly browned and crispy on both sides
  8. Strain and allow to drain on paper towels
  9. Make a seasoning with salt and five spice and sprinkle it on the chicken whilst it’s still hot.

For the Pineapple & Capsicum

  1. Heat up a large pot on high heat for one minute then add the oil
  2. Sauté the onions stirring at all times, try not to colour it
  3. Add the garlic and sauté with out colour, stirring at all times
  4. Still at high heat, add the all the capsicums, carrots and spring onion stems and sauté for about 4 minutes on high heat, still with no colour
  5. Add the shaoxing, soy, rice vinegar, brown sugar and cinnamon sticks and reduce the liquid by half on high heat, stirring at all times
  6. Finish with pineapple wedges and turn heat off, check seasoning
  7. Place the capsicum on the plate, followed by the crispy chicken then garnished with spring onion curls and picked coriander

Photo by Jun Pang

6 thoughts on “Crispy Spatchcock with Pineapple & Capsicum in Shaoxing”

      1. No worries. Just googled about it, some ppl write as shoaxing …… I am now confused ~~ LOL but I am pretty sure the place where the rice liquor was born is Shaoxing. Anyway, I’ll sink into your blog now Dennis and get as many recipes as I can LOL 😀

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