Delivering a serious umami punch, a little of this meat cooked to a texture of coarse cotton transforms a simple bowl of rice or makes a great side dish to an otherwise vegetarian meal. In Muslim majority Indonesia, beef floss is the most popular, though it can also be made from pork, chicken or tuna. Most people don’t make it at home nowadays, but my friend
Poach the chicken breast in simmering water for 15 minutes, or until cooked through - don’t worry about overcooking as that will be happening anyway soon enough. Leave to cool a little, then shred very finely to get a tangle of fibres.
Make a spice paste in a food processor or pestle and mortar, grinding together all the remaining ingredients. Mix the chicken with the spice paste to coat well.
Coat the bottom of a frying pan generously with a layer of oil and stir-fry the chicken mixture until everything is fragrant, dried out and well browned. Remove from the pan, leaving behind the excess oil, and lay out on paper towels to drain away any residual oiliness. Allow to cool, then tease into shreds once more.
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