Monday, 22 January 2018

Mother of Taiwan Chicken Chops. The Stall that Created the Taiwan Food Icon 鄭姑媽小吃店

Restaurant name: 鄭姑媽小吃店
Address: No. 13, Alley 25, Lane 790, Section 5, Zhongxiao East Road, Xinyi District Taipei City, Taiwan 110 | 台北市信義區忠孝東路五段790巷25弄13號1樓
GPS25°02'34.1"N 121°34'59.5"E | 25.042818, 121.583180
Nearest MRT: Houshanpi 後山埤站
Tel: 02-2726-9150
Hours: 6:00am - 2:00pm | 4:00pm - 6:00pm (Sunday off)

Over thirty years ago (in 1986), Mdm 李秀卿's family video tape business failed and they ran into huge debts. In dire financial straits, 李秀卿 and family had to find a way to settle their debts and to put food on the table.

They came upon the idea of fried chicken chops. Chicken chops weren't a big thing then in Taiwan but desperate times call for desperate measures.

李秀卿 used breast meat from battery raised chicken for her chicken chops. That's the cheapest cut of chicken in Taiwan as Taiwanese (or Chinese generally) do not like chicken breast meat as they tend to be dry and fibrous.Taiwanese also prefer free range chicken (kampung chicken), shunting battery raised chicken.

Mdm 李 devised a technique to cut the fresh chicken breast, marinate it overnight, batter it and deep fry it so that it is tender, juicy and sweet (instead of dry, stiff and tasteless). Mdm 李 sold her creation cheaply to students and office workers.

It's the hallmark of great street food - how to turn something cheap into a delicious meal which most people can enjoy and afford.

李秀卿's cheap and good fried chicken chops turned out to be a huge success. Her fans liked her Taiwan fried chicken chops because they were crispy outside, and inside they were tender, juicy and sweet. They were also affordable to students and young office workers.

Mdm 李秀卿's stall is now run by her daughter 鄭慧怡 and grandson 鄭一達, and is known as 鄭姑媽小吃店 (Auntie Liu's Food Stall).

Thanks to 李秀卿's innovation, today there are thousands of Taiwan style fried chicken chop shops and stalls everywhere you turn in Taiwan (and many around the world).

Mdm 李秀卿's brand may not be the biggest now but it holds the honour of creating this Taiwan food icon. In 2006, Taiwan's Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan declared 鄭姑媽小吃店 as the founding stall of Taiwan fried chicken chops 台灣雞排始祖 based on original, decades old sales records of chicken suppliers. 

While there may be people who dispute that 李秀卿's stall is the creator of Taiwan fried chicken chop, there is no denying that she was the pioneer and longest surviving Taiwanese chicken chop stall today.

You may be interested in Taiwan's biggest fried chicken chop chain Hotstar 👈 click

More Johor Kaki posts on Taipei 👈 click

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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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