Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Dim-Sum-Style Chicken Feet

Chicken feet. Can you imagine every eating such a thing? I used to be appalled at people eating and sucking on chicken feet served in Chinese restaurants. However, after some pressure from my husband during our dating days, I managed to finally give dim sum chicken feet a try…with my eyes closed of course. And guess what? They are freakin’ delicious. So the lesson here? Don’t knock it before you try it.

 Dim-Sum-Style Chicken Feet

Dim-Sum-Style Chicken Feet

Dim-Sum-Style Chicken Feet Recipe


  • 1 lb chicken feet, toe nails removed
  • 2 quarts oil
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 large piece of fresh ginger, unpeeled and sliced
  • 3 pieces star anise


  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black bean sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil

The secret to a great-tasting dim-sum-style chicken feet is to deep fry it first. This technique not only gives the chicken feet its golden brown color, but causes the skin to puff away from the bone to allow the marinade to seep through all its nooks and crannies. Also, it allows for easy eating.

After cleaning the chicken feet and removing the toe nails, make sure to paper towel them dry! Otherwise, you will end like me, suffering from third-degree burns from oil splatter.

Heat up the two quarts of oil, and drop in the chicken feet. Remove and drain on paper towels.

The next step is to tenderize the chicken feet by simmering. Bring the water to a boil, and toss in the ginger slices, star anise, and the golden brown chicken feet. Let it simmer for approximately one and a half hours.  At this point, your simmered pot should smell very close to the dim sum chicken feet found in Chinese restaurants and to think, you have yet to add the marinade!

After simmering, drain the chicken feet and combine it with the marinade. Allow it to sit for at least one hour. The longer, the better. Overnight is best.

When you are ready to serve, simply steam the marinaded chicken feet. If you are too lazy to steam, popping it in the microwave would do as well.

And there you have it. Dim-sum-style chicken feet! Simple and de-lish!