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Photograph: Mei Mei
Photograph: Mei Mei

Mei Mei has revealed the recipe for its deep-fried chicken sando

The poshest sarnie you’ll eat all lockdown

Kate Lloyd

Mei Mei is known for its Singaporean comfort food. (In fact, the Borough restaurant has just brought out a range of Singapore curry powder and meat rendang powder.) If you want something that tastes comforting but looks fancy as hell, look no further than its deep-fried chicken and caviar sando – and weve bagged the recipe so you can make it at home. 

The first thing you need to know about making this extremely indulgent butty is that you should avoid using sourdough. You want the soft milk bread of a sandwich-tin loaf – even sliced white works. Oh, and while you could put proper posho caviar in it, go for arenkha/avruga caviar. Its cheaper and has a very nice smoky flavour. 

Deep fried chicken and caviar sando 

What you need to buy

For the sandwich

Two large boneless chicken thighs.

Four slices of thick white bread.

Caviar to garnish.

For the egg mix

Two eggs.

125ml whole milk.

Pinch of ground white pepper.

Pinch of salt.

For the dredge

100g plain flour.

50g cornflour.

One teaspoon of garlic powder.

Half a tablespoon of ground white pepper.

One teaspoon of chilli powder.

Two teaspoons of fine sea salt.

For the sando tonkotsu sauce 

Four teaspoons of umami paste.

Four teaspoons of mirin.

Four tablespoons of runny honey.

Eight teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Four teaspoons of English mustard.

Ten tablespoons of ketchup.

Four teaspoons of soy sauce.

For the miso mayonnaise

Two tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Half a tablespoon of white miso.

Dash of lemon juice to taste.

What you need to do

1. Heat up the vegetable oil in a fryer, or very carefully in a heavy-based saucepan, until it reaches 180C.

2. While the oil is heating up, make the sandwich tonkotsu sauce by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl. Mix the miso mayonnaise ingredients together in a separate bowl.

3. Blend the egg milk mix together with a whisk or hand blender, then add the boneless chicken thighs into the egg mixture.

4. Combine all the dredge flour and spices together in a bowl and set aside. Get a bowl of cold water, around 500ml, and set aside.

5. Test the oil is ready by placing a couple of breadcrumbs into the oil and see if they sizzle quickly. If they brown too quickly then the oil may be too hot, if they don’t fry at all, then your oil isn’t hot enough. Best to use a probe thermometer here to be sure.

6. Using tongs, grab the chicken thighs out of the egg mix, one by one, and place them into the flour mixture, making sure each side is well coated. Next, dunk the floured chicken thighs into the cold water very quickly, then back into the flour mixture. Continue until both chicken thighs are coated.

7. When the oil is ready, gently lower the chicken into the fryer then fry until golden for around five to eight minutes, depending on the temperature of your oil and the size of your chicken. Use a temperature probe to check the chicken is cooked. You want anything above 73C. Rest the chicken on paper or absorbent towel to remove excess oil. Season with salt.

8. Now construct the sando. Spread the miso mayonnaise on each inner side of the bread, along with the tonkotsu sauce. Place the chicken thighs in, one per sandwich, then cover with caviar. Sandwich the chicken and caviar then cut the crusts off and cut in half. Serve immediately.

More iconic London recipes:

Dishoom’s chai

Padella’s pici cacio e pepe

Gloria’s lemon meringue pie

Eggslut’s Fairfax sandwich 

Berber & Q’s cauliflower shawarma

Bao’s braised pork buns


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