Sam Leong's Batter

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

It was about two years ago when Sam Leong, celebrity chef and kitchen honcho of the Tung Lok group of restaurants, showed off his batter recipe on a local TV program. I got round to testing the recipe recently – better late than never, right? – and I must say it worked very well. I made a pile of fried onion rings for a group of professional judges – my 11 nieces and nephews – who showed universal approval by polishing off everything in five minutes. They even ate the bits of batter that had broken off. That’s gotta mean they really liked it!

Sam Leong delivered on his promise but the batter was only half the battle. PhotobucketTemperature was the other half. When the oil wasn't hot enough, the batter was soggy because there wasn’t enough heat to drive out the moisture in the batter. The batter was also soggy when the oil was too hot because there wasn’t enough time to drive out the moisture before it turned brown.

At the right temperature, the oil bubbled rapidly on contact with raw batter but didn’t smoke. The bubbling slowed down as the onion rings turned crispy and a lovely shade of golden brown. I fished them out at the point of perfection and my nieces and nephews dug in straight away. Drain them first? Sorry, that was overruled. They couldn't wait that long.

(Recipe for 10 persons)
Batter (Source: Sam Leong)
200 g plain flour
20 g glutinous rice flour
20 g potato flour
16 g baking powder
3 g baking soda
2 tsp salt
310 ml water

7 white onions
vegetable oil for deep-frying

Slice onions into rings about 5 mm thick. Mix ingredients for batter. Heat oil in a pan or wok till hot. Dip onion rings in batter. Let excess batter drip off. Fry till golden brown on both sides and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.


ame said...


May i ask if this batter recipe can be used for meat (eg chicken) or seafood (eg prawns)items?? Thks

KT said...

Oh dear, I'm so sorry I didn't see your query earlier. Yes, the batter can be used for prawns, fish and squids (calamari). It's not so suitable for chicken, I think, which needs something thicker (like KFC) or loose cornflour.

Genevieve Ngui said...

hi KT...just made this first mum used to make this for my boys...i never bothered to see how she did them cos i thought she would be around forever...thanks for this...they are easy to make.i substituted glutinous rice flour and potato flour with rice flour and tapioca cos none in the larder.turned out crispy and nice...that's impt right?

KT said...

Woman, you are on a roll! Keep going!

Thanks for the tip on substitutes. That's quite handy 'cause who on earth has all the different types of flour needed for the recipe? And yes, the batter on onion rings should be crispy and, ideally, thin.

Genevieve Ngui said...

hey KT...hahaha...i will...besides your recipes work!!do u have one with minced pork and chai poh..i dont know if it an omelette but i like the smell...brings back childhood memories:)

KT said...

Minced pork and chai poh together or separately? If the latter, you can try these:

Chai Poh Omelette – this smells very good when you're frying the chai poh.

Minced Pork Omelette

Vian said...

Hi kt, can I know how to know the oil is hot enough to fry the onion rings? What is the right temperature? Thanks!

kt said...

If you have a thermometer, it should read about 180°C. Or you could test by putting a wooden/bamboo chopstick or small piece of onion ring in the oil. If the oil bubbles rapidly, it's good. If the oil is smoking, it's too hot.

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