Chef May Chow made a big splash on the Hong Kong culinary scene in 2013 with her tiny restaurant, Little Bao, a counter seating-only, no-reservations shop in the SoHo district. She’s since moved the restaurant to larger premises in Causeway Bay, where she continues to serve up a menu of bao (steamed buns with a variety of fillings) and other crowd-pleasing dishes, such as this yuzu fried chicken rice bowl.
Chow, who was voted Asia’s best female chef for 2017 by more than 300 culinary experts in the Asia's 50 Best list published by William Reed Business Media, says the dish is composed of flavours she likes: fried chicken seasoned with chillies and yuzu (a Japanese citrus), with vegetables and Japanese rice.
The quality of the main elements is important to the success of the dish: Chow uses fresh “three yellow chicken” drumsticks (although you can use whatever good, fresh birds are available) and Koshihikari rice (again, you can substitute another high-quality rice). To balance the fried chicken, Chow serves cucumber pickles and a crunchy salad made with Chinese cabbage, takuan (pickled daikon) and watermelon radish, but says you can use your own combination of fresh and pickled vegetables.
Chow fries the chicken for three minutes, lets the pieces rest for three minutes, then fries them again for three more minutes. She says this ensures the chicken gets cooked through while remaining juicy.
White soy sauce isn’t actually white; instead, it’s a pale amber, with a lighter, more delicate flavour than regular or light soy sauce. There isn’t a substitute for it, but if you can’t find it at your local Japanese market (where you can also buy bottled yuzu juice), use light soy sauce diluted with some water to taste.