Chicken Cracklings with Torch Ginger Flower Rojak Dressing Recipe Inspired By Black Nut
Jake invited Paul and I to Black Nut Bar. We had a table groaning with comestibles like “Awesome Threesome”, nothing kinky here, just the name for a skinny pizza with 3 al funghi that’s all, but I was particularly charmed by the Rojak Chicken Cracklins with Torch Flower marinade.
“Simi si torch frau-er?”
“Aiyah! Rujak eh huay, la!”
Torch Ginger Flowers, a.k.a. Bunga Kantan, are related to ginger, cardamom and turmeric, although they do not produce the same edible roots. Due to its peregrine, stimulating piquant flavour and spicy sweet flowery fragrance, this bud is often minced/sliced thinly and used either as raw spice or as a garnish. It is an indispensable ingredient in the Malay and Peranakan (Nonya – Straits Chinese) cuisines, essential to dishes like Penang Assam Laksa (noodles in a spicy fish broth), Nasi Kerabu (herbed rice) and Rojak (fruit and vegetable salad). Bunga Kantan is quite rare and expensive in our local markets.
I was still thinking of it when I got home, so I decided to ride on its inspiration and come up with a “recipe”, actually a cut-and-paste of, well, the Chicken Cracklings and the Rojak Sauce.
Here’s my version of Chicken Cracklings with Torch Ginger Flower Rojak Dressing Recipe inspired by Black Nut:
Recipe for Chicken Cracklings:
Chicken Skin, amount to your desire.
Salt & Spices, to taste (optional, not necessary if serving with the rojak sauce).
Method for Chicken Cracklings:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper and have another piece of parchment paper ready to cover the chicken skins.
2. Scrape off excess fats, wash and roughly cut the chicken skin to size according to your desire. Pat dry the chicken skins with paper kitchen towels and season with salt and spices to taste.
3. Lay the skins on the parchment paper in a single layer, top with another piece of parchment paper. This will help the skins get crispy without burning. Place in the middle rack of oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
“Rujak” or “Rojak” is a Malay word used to describe “a mixture” or “a melting pot”. Rojak is also the name of a popular fruit and vegetable salad in Singapore.
The recipe for the Rojak Sauce below is a guidance because some ingredients are pungent. The beauty of Asian cooking is the “agak agak” or “guess-timation” system. Guess you can adjust the amount of seasoning according to your desire 🙂
Recipe for Rojak Sauce: (Black Nut’s version is runnier and you may want to thin down with more assam water)
Remember, everything here can be adjusted according to taste!
4-6 tbsp Prawn Paste (this is quite pungent and is black treacle like).
60g (4 tbsp) Assam (Tamarind Paste), add 3 tbsp hot water and sift through a tea strainer or colander.
1½ tbsp Calamansi Lime Juice.
½ Calamansi Lime Rind (skin only), grated or sliced very thinly.
4-5 tbsp Sugar (white, fine crystals).
1 tbsp Chilli Paste (blend fresh red chilli peppers).
1 tbsp Torch Ginger Flower, finely minced.
80g (½ cup) Ground Peanuts (unsalted, dry roasted).
Method for Rojak Sauce:
1. Mix all ingredients (except the ground peanuts) together in a bowl with a spoon.
2. When sugar has dissolved, add in the ground peanuts and stir till evenly mixed, like a very dense cake batter.
3. Taste and adjust seasonings i.e. salt, if necessary.
You can plate the Chicken Cracklings as seen in the photo, garnished with julienne carrots, cucumber, jicama (a.k.a. turnip, yam bean), and onion rings OR serve with the Rojak Sauce at the side for dipping.
* This Rojak Sauce recipe is originally for our fruit and vegetable salad for for this dish, we need a runnier version so thin down according to your desire with more assam water, if necessary.
Happy cooking, eating and bonding!
Black Nut Bar
Address: 2 Emerald Hill Road,
Tel: (+65) 6738 8818
Opening hours: Daily
5pm – 2am