I suffered from “grab-a-phobia” when I was young. It’s a condition in which the sufferer has a fear of the claws of a chicken feet clamping the face when attempts are made to eat the fleshy palm part. At least, that’s what I named my phobia 😂😂😂 I got over it some years later and after that, dimsum wasn’t dimsum without an order of “feng zhao” or “Phoenix Claws” (it’s the romanticised name for steamed chicken feet).
However, the tastiest version for me, isn’t found in a Chinese restaurant but at a humble hawker stall that happens to also be one of my all-time favourites for wanton mee.
“Joo Chiat Ah Huat Wanton Noodle”, stall #01-04 at Dunman Food Centre, does one that’s terrifically delicious. I have witnessed customers ordering only that to enjoy on the spot or as takeaway.
The style of preparation at this stall involves frying the chicken feet before braising which makes the skin flavourful and puffs it up for extra texture. The sauce is thinner than the usual thick, unctuous sort of midnight-coloured braising liquid but it is wonderfully aromatic with garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Shown above is the $3 serving and it is good for two persons to share. There is the option to have it with noodles too.