It sounds like a wonderful, out on the grill preparation. The setup takes a while, but the cooking is fast
Enter the cheat. Use scallops instead. Or, as the hip-hoppish chef Eddie Huang is doing at Xiao Ye, his new Taiwanese restaurant in the East Village, use prawns. Neither will flake when cooked, and can hold up both to the frying process and to the saucing one. The light, firm texture of a fresh sea scallop mimics chicken, of course, but the flavor brings a fine taste of the Atlantic as well. They are the perfect starter protein for anyone interested in making a high-end, wild-food version of Chinese-American takeout from scratch, food that tastes about 1,000 times better than you might imagine it tasting, in perfect balance of flavor, texture, heat, sweetness and salt.
Simply set up your stations carefully — chili peppers and other aromatics ready to deploy; sauce and starch at hand — and keep a close eye on the heat of your oil. Schoenfeld’s suggestion of a triple fry sounds complicated, of course, but in practice it is merely a chore, one that yields a perfect crust. Move quickly, deliberately, with the confidence that you will end up in the right place. (You will.)
Recipe is here