Phoenix Talons a.k.a Fenghuang Claws – For the Love of Dim Sum

Phoenix Talons

My beloved mom used to tell story on how I grew up, “when you were a baby and your teeth would grow, just like other babies, you loved to bite everything as you had an itchy gum. Instead of seeing you biting the toys, I gave you boiled chicken feet. At least, there is calcium in them.” Added chicken feet into regular vegetable soup and sayur asam (Indonesian sour vegetable soup) is also my family’s tradition.

What do I look for whenever I go to dim sum restaurants, either in Canada or in Indonesia? Phoenix Talons a.k.a Fenghuang Claws or the Indonesians call “Angsio Cakar Ayam”.

Snow has come about a week ago. It is getting cold and colder each day. Dim sum dish is one of my perfect food for the cold days. Since I have a package of red yeast rice that I bought about a month ago from one of the Asian stores in Winnipeg, I was tempting to try chicken feet with dim sum style.

The mistake that I made I didn’t follow mbak Ruri’s recipe by not soaking the chicken feet in icy cold water after deep frying. Thus, my chicken feet were not puffy enough as the dim sum style. However, I put down mbak Ruri’s recipe so you can follow it.

Phoenix Talons // Angsio Cakar Ayam
recipe by Kueh Ruri and Rossy of Rossy Kitchen, modified by me


Cakar Ayam photoset2
1 kg chicken feet, discard the nails

Ingredients A. :
5 cloves garlic, bruised
3 star anises
4 cm length ginger, thinly sliced
3 green onions, take the white part only and cut into 2 cm length
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp mushroom soy sauce
3 tsbp raw sugar
Β½ tsp ground white pepper
1.5 liter water
1 tbsp red yeast rice (Indonesian: angkak)

Ingredients B:

1 tbsp minced garlic
3 long red chilies, angle cut
3 tbsp black bean sauce (Indonesian: tausi)
2 tbsp rice wine (I don’t use this)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in a small amount of water
the green parts of green onions from ingredients A

Cakar Ayam photoset


Deep fry chicken feet until done, remove from the fryer and transfer into a big bowl fill with icy cold water. Soak for 3 hours or so.

Steps A.

1. Stir fry garlic until fragrant, add water and the rest of ingredients A.
2. Bring into a boil. Add chicken feet, cook until the chicken feet soft, the spice permeates and the water evaporates.
3. Remove from the heat.
Steps A will be faster if you use a pressure cooker.

Steps B.

1. Stir fry garlic until fragrant, add black bean sauce and long red chilies; stir evenly.
2. Transfer the cook chicken feet, rice wine and add cornstarch mixture; stir evenly.
3. Add sesame oil and green part of green onions, stir and remove from the heat.


About the Author

An Indonesian-born who lived in Winnipeg, Canada for more than a decade prior to move to Edmonton in 2017. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.