Some delicacies just stay with you, no matter how far from the eatery you are. When I went to Singapore last year, one of the most awesomest things I tried was on the day I landed. Vikas took me to a neighbourhood café for breakfast, of which he had already heard about the popular serving of (judging by the number of people already sipping/spooning it in nearby tables) Mee Siam. So while I waited for the Mee Siam to come, he ordered a plate of toast with chicken floss and condensed milk. It sounded, to be honest, quite gross. I like my chicken with gravy and lots of taste. How does condensed milk then go with it? A sweet chicken? Yikes no! Bengalis have enough of a reputation without me dealing them this low blow.
But once that dish came to the table, along with our choice of tea and coffee, I couldn’t help but sneak a bite. And then maybe another. And another. Before I knew it, I was smacking my lips because though sweet – it had enough savoury bits to gel with the toast. And together, it made for a very satisfying and comfort food.
So it was obvious that if I had to try to make anything once I am back in Mumbai, it would be this delectable little discovery called Chicken Floss. Though time consuming, it turned out to be simple enough. And once done with the whole process, I could keep it stored for use for quite a few days- using it as toppings over just about anything, from noodles to sabji, from biscuits to even spoonfuls by itself.
So for this awesomesauce chicken floss you will need:
500 g chicken tenderloins (I used chicken breast cut into small cubes)
3 tbsp (45 g) sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ cup (60 ml) fish sauce. But I used good old soya sauce.
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped shallot. I used onions which were not extremely pungent.
¼ cup water
Next morning,(weekend mornings are the best time to cook for me, because I have all the time in the world. And if something goes wrong, I can still order in) I started with adding ¼ cup water, mixed it well and then covered the pan, while turning on the heat.
Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Remove from the heat. Take the meat out, and strain to get only the clear soup. Set the soup aside.
Now comes the more difficult part. Shred the meat. I started by tearing it with my hand and quickly realised it wasn’t the consistency I needed. So I took out the handheld shredder that I usually use for ginger or onions and spent the next half hour shredding the cooked chicken on it.
After this, heat the fry pan. Then add the meat a little bit at a time. Add in the soup to add more flavor to the meat. Stir fry under low heat.
When the meat starts to get dry, rub it on the bottom of the fry pan with a flat slotted spatula to make it fluffy. When the meat reach the level of dryness you like, remove it from the heat.
The cooking is done. All you have to do now is find a dry, clean, air-tight jar and store the magic potion! Voila!