Parchment Chicken

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About



  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Scallion-Ginger-Garlic Marinade
  • Parchment or cellophane cut into 30 to 40 6-by-6-inch squares


  • 2 fresh red peppers (hot or sweet), shredded
  • 1 bunch Chinese parsley, stemmed
  • 4 large pieces bamboo shoot, thinly sliced
  • ¼ pound Smithfield ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch (5 or 6) scallions, shredded
  • 8 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups peanut oil for deep-frying


Cooking in paper, deep-frying

  1. Place a piece of parchment on the work surface, point toward you. In the center, pile up the following, one atop the other, in this order:

    A sliver of red pepper

    A Chinese parsley leaf, light side up

    A slice of bamboo shoot

    A slice of marinated chicken

    A slice of Smithfield ham

    A few slivers of scallion

    A slice of water chestnut

    A Chinese parsley leaf, dark side up

  2. To fold the package, first fold up the point facing you.

  3. Then fold in the sides.

  4. Fold the entire package in half, leaving a flap at the point away from you.

  5. Tuck the flap in to secure the package. Repeat the procedure until all the parchment and ingredients are used up.

  6. Heat the oil in a wok to 350 to 375 degrees, and deep-fry the packages about a dozen at a time. The chicken is so thin that it cooks almost instantaneously. After a minute or so, when the packages begin to brown, remove them from the oil and drain them, open side up.

  7. To eat them, unfold the paper at the table and pick up the contents with chopsticks.

  • Marinate the chicken breast 1 hour or more; remove and drain.