Chicken Feet

by | Jan 9, 2009 | Ingredients | 2 comments

Ingredient Name:

Chicken Feet

Traditional Chinese Name: 雞腳 (jī jiǎo)

Nature:  Slightly warm

I know!  I know!  It’s the feet of CHICKEN!  Like the feet they walk on.  Yah, trust me.  Being Canadian born, I had some issues reconciling this when I was a child, but once you taste all the tastiness that chicken feet can come with and you get over the weirdness of it, it’s an amazing delicacy and ingredient to be used in dishes, dim sum, soups, stews, and all sorts of Chinese cooking.  The best part, this ingredient is packed with a healthy amount of collagen.  Case in point when you use this in soups for a long boil, the soup actually thickens! 

And I get this question quite a bit: “How do you eat chicken feet?”  You basically have to take bites out between the bones, clean off the skin and cartilage and whatever little meat there is and spit out the bones.  There’s really no other way to eat this.  🙂

What is chicken feet?

Literally, the feet of the chicken.  They are usually sold in bulk at the supermarkets or wet marts and can buy the amount you’d like.  

My mom told me a story about being an immigrant Chinese back in the 1970’s that chicken feet were almost unwanted parts of the chicken in the supermarkets (unlike chicken breast) and she could buy them by the pound for pennies.  It’s since the Chinese have come in droves that the demand for chicken feet have gone up and well, now, it’s still cheap, but not for pennies.  Gotta love economics.

 

How do you prepare them?

For use in soups, I will usually blanch ALL and ANY meats in a pot of slightly salted water.

For chicken feet, I will rinse in cold running water first and it’s your choice whether you want to chop off the nails or not.  Apparently, if you chop off the first nail (at the first knuckle), some of the oils inside the feet are easily released into the blanching so that it doesn’t go into the soup. 

I leave chicken nail care to you to experiment with 🙂

And when your soup water boils, just drop in the blanched chicken feet.  Depending on how soft you like them will then dictate how long you boil them for.  On average, I boil them for about 2 hours to really soften them (I like them falling off the bone!).

Where can I buy it and cost?

      • You can purchase these from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged or in bulk
      • They are usually purchased fresh
      • And of course, they usually come with your whole chicken (in Chinese supermarkets)

Any benefits?

        • Chicken feet are an amazing source of collagen!!  
        • They are slightly warming because chicken is, but the amount is almost insignificant (unless the whole soup is just full of chicken feet!)
        • They make a delicious chicken broth (due to the bones)

    Any precautions?

        • Chicken feet have a lot of small bones and cartilage pieces.  So just be careful when eating them or serving them to children

        • Do use an oil scooper if you’re noticing that oil has been released from the meat during boiling

    Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?

    Check it out in my video to learn more!

     

    EXPLORE MORE

    What to eat in Taiwan… here’s to cycling and eating my way through Taiwan!

    If you're planning to visit Taiwan, here are a few key things you should look for during your visit.  I've been to Taiwan many times and every time, it feels like the first time!  The food options are many and continue to evolve and change with every visit! For...

    How to soothe a cough with this Chinese orange monk fruit herbal tea!

    Tea Name: Chinese orange monk fruit herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 止咳茶 (zhǐké chá) – direct translation here is “anti-cough” tea.  There are many teas that have earned the right to this label, so it’s just easier to use it as such instead of labeling all the...

    How to make a warming and healing red roses, red dates, cinnamon and honey herbal tea

    Tea Name: Warming and healing red roses and dried red dates with cinnamon and honey Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 玫瑰红枣茶 (méi guī hóng zǎochá) Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet  (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)...

    How to make a simple, delicious radish seaweed soup!

    Soup Name: Radish (Kombu) Seaweed Soup (vegetarian) Chinese Name: 白蘿蔔海藻湯 (bái luóbo hǎi zǎo tāng).  This isn't really a Chinese soup.  It's more a blend of using Japanese and Korean radish and kombu (seaweed) components. Nature: This is a cooling soup.  By design, the...

    How to make a Chicken and Coconut Chinese Herbal Soup (as frozen packs)

    Soup Name: Warming Chicken and Coconut Chinese Healing Soup (as frozen soup packs) Traditional Chinese Name: 椰子雞湯 (yē zi jī tāng) Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet You can follow this video first on "How to make Frozen Chinese Soups in bulk".  The business case for...

    What to eat in Taiwan… here’s to cycling and eating my way through Taiwan!

    If you're planning to visit Taiwan, here are a few key things you should look for during your visit.  I've been to Taiwan many times and every time, it feels like the first time!  The food options are many and continue to evolve and change with every visit! For...

    How to soothe a cough with this Chinese orange monk fruit herbal tea!

    Tea Name: Chinese orange monk fruit herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 止咳茶 (zhǐké chá) – direct translation here is “anti-cough” tea.  There are many teas that have earned the right to this label, so it’s just easier to use it as such instead of labeling all the...

    How to make a simple, delicious radish seaweed soup!

    Soup Name: Radish (Kombu) Seaweed Soup (vegetarian) Chinese Name: 白蘿蔔海藻湯 (bái luóbo hǎi zǎo tāng).  This isn't really a Chinese soup.  It's more a blend of using Japanese and Korean radish and kombu (seaweed) components. Nature: This is a cooling soup.  By design, the...

    Why foot soaks (foot baths) are good for you?

    Don't know where to start? Don't know why you should start? Here are some answers to get you started from: WHY you should do hot foot soaks WHAT equipment you'll need HOW to do a foot soak The BENEFITs of hot foot soaks TIPs and TRICKs of hot foot soaks This post...

    How to make a Japanese-inspired Pork Meatball in Miso One Pot Dinner Soup

    Soup Name: Delicious One Pot Vegetable Vermicelli Soup for Dinner.  Literal translation from Chinese is "Mixed vegetables vermicelli pot soup".  For this one, I went with pork meatballs and a Miso butter soup base. Traditional Chinese Name: 雜菜粉絲鍋湯 (zá cài fěnsī guō...

    GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

    FOLLOW US AND SHARE.