The Fried Chili Pepper Chicken as Served at Saimin Dojo in Kapaa, Hawaii, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Season 30.
Recipe courtesy of Saimin Dojo

Fried Chili Pepper Chicken

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 day 3 hr 55 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 1 hr 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Chicken Marinade:


Chili Paste:

Chili Pepper Sauce:

Chili Pepper Chicken:


Special equipment:
a deep-fryer
  1. For the chicken marinade: Dissolve the sugar in 3 cups warm water. Add the garlic, fish sauce and salt and mix well. Cool completely. Add the chicken to the marinade and refrigerate for 1 day.
  2. For the sofrito: Place the apples, onions, ginger and garlic in a pot, then add just enough oil so that everything is submerged. Cook on low heat until everything is brown, 2 1/2 hours.
  3. For the chili paste: Cook the tomato paste and 3 cups sofrito in a pan until it develops a deep red color. Add the chipotles, sambal, chile flakes and salt and pepper. Puree the mixture in a food processor.
  4. For the chili pepper sauce: Add the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sambal, chile flakes, garlic, ginger, 3 cups water and 2 cups chili paste to the pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch together with 1 tablespoon water in a bowl.
  6. When the pot comes to a boil, add the cornstarch mixture and cook until thickened, 3 more minutes.
  7. For the chili pepper chicken: Preheat the oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
  8. Remove the chicken from the marinade and coat in the flour. Dust off any excess and fry in batches until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 1 cup chili pepper sauce until thoroughly coated.
  9. Plate with rice and finish by sprinkling with green onions and furikake.