Questions: Is there anything better than fried chicken? Usually I would say “no way!” but in this case, I’ll make an exception. The thing that’s better than your regular old fried chicken is Chef Trevor Lui‘s rendition, which he calls 3 Nation Chicken.
This is a dish I can’t stop thinking about after trying it at Wok It with Trevor Lui, the Canola Connect culinary workshop that I was invited to at Dish Cooking Studio on College Street in Toronto last month. Keep reading and I promise to hand over the how-to. It’s worth it!
Chef Lui’s fried chicken is life changing to say the least, especially the way it’s prepared. For one thing, I would never have thought to use canola oil for frying, but it actually has a super high heat tolerance — as high as 242 ℃ or 468 ℉.
Usually you see peanut or vegetable oil recommended for recipes like this, but the neutral flavour and light taste of canola oil makes it the perfect choice.
We all got to try our hand at cooking with a wok as we teamed up to make our own fried rice creations. Canola is perfect for wok cooking, again, because of it’s high tolerance for heat. You want to keep your wok hot hot hot at all times as you keep your food moving, and canola oil is up to the task.
My partner and I added a bit of Sambal to our fried rice for an extra kick.
We didn’t win first place, but it disappeared at dinnertime, so we’ll call that a win! This is something I’ll absolutely make again at home too.
TIP: There are lots of ways to make fried rice, but two things that will make it amazing = day old rice and don’t forget to add a little chopped up egg.
At the event, we had the opportunity to hear from Jeannette Andrashewski, a canola farmer from Alberta. I loved hearing her story and learning about her life.
Her family is one of 43,000 who are growing canola on the Canadian Prairies — that accounts for an average of 20 million acres planted each spring.
FACT: Canola is Canadian! The plant was bred by Canadian scientists and the name itself actually comes from Canada, “Can”, and oil, “ola”. You learn something new every day!
Canola oil also has the lowest amount of saturated fats of any oil — half of what olive oil contains. It’s also a good source of vitamins E and K and is packed with omega 3 fats.
Ok, you’ve been patient. Now it’s time to check out the aforementioned friend chicken recipe that I can’t wait to replicate at home. Bust out your canola oil and get cooking! 😉
Chef Trevor Lui’s 3 Nation Chicken
Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean Style inspired Popcorn Chicken
- 10 oz of Skinless, boneless Chicken Thigh/Legs
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 table spoons of chopped ginger root
- 3 tablespoons of mirin
- 3 tablespoons of tamari (gluten free soy)
- 1 cup of potato starch
- 4 cups of canola oil
- 2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1 tbsp spoon of bean chili paste or sambal (as a substitute)
- 1 tsp chili oil
- 1 ½ tbsp of honey or agave
- Juice of half a lime
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp of tamari (gluten free soy)
- 1 stock of green onion, chopped on bias
- ½ bunch of cilantro, loose chop
- 3-4 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped
- Lemon Wedges
- Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. In a mixing bowl, add in garlic, ginger, tamari, mirin, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix ingredients together, cover and leave in fridge overnight to marinate.
- In a medium sauce pot, add canola oil and heat to high on stove top. Dredge marinated chicken pieces in potato starch. In colander, shake excess dredge.
- Add coated chicken in hot pot/pan and allow to cook approximately 10-12 minutes until golden brown. (Probe chicken to minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees.)
- Remove chicken, drain and toss in a bowl with a healthy pinch mixture of white pepper and salt.
- Add sauce and garnishes, toss and serve with side of lemon wedges.
Something Chef Trevor Lui said that really stuck with me was this:
Around the dinner table is the one place everyone can be civil and get along.
I love this. No matter what your political or cultural background is, food brings us ALL together. And that’s something I love to keep in mind when I’m cooking, even if it’s just for my own family.
Food brings us together. It brings us closer. And it gets the conversation going — with full and happy bellies, of course!
Thank you to Canola Eat Well for sponsoring this post and to Dish Cooking Studio for hosting such a fun and informative event. Dish is an incredible space — part cafe, part cooking school and event space. Check out their site to learn more. Photos courtesy of Canola Eat Well. As always, all opinions are my own.