General Tso Crocodile

INGREDIENTS:

For the Marinade:
1 egg white
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons Rice wine
2 tablespoons vodka
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 pound Crocodile eye fillet, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks

For the Dry Coating:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Sauce:
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons Rice wine
2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
3 tablespoons homemade or store-bought chicken stock
1 tablespoon Chinese chili paste
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced scallion bottoms, plus 6 to 8 scallions, white parts only, sliced thinly
8 small dried red Chinese or Arbol chilies

To Finish:
1 1/2 litres, vegetable oil for deep frying
1 package of fried rice noodle or Chinese fried noodle

METHOD:

For the Marinade: Beat egg whites in a large bowl until broken down and lightly foamy. Add soy sauce, rice wine, and vodka and whisk to combine. Add baking soda and corn starch to the large bowl and whisk to combine. Add crocodile to large bowl and turn with fingers to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

For the Dry Coat: Combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.

For the Sauce: Combine soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame seed oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set aside.
Combine oil, garlic, ginger, minced scallions, and red chilies in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are aromatic and soft, but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir sauce mixture and add to skillet, making sure to scrape out and sugar or starch that has sunk to the bottom. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Add scallion segments. Transfer sauce to a bowl to stop cooking, but don’t wipe out skillet.

To Finish: Heat 1 1/2 quarts, vegetable oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F and adjust flame to maintain temperature. Working a little bit at a time, transfer crocodile pieces from marinade to dry coat mixture, tossing in between each addition to coat the crocodile. When all croc is added to dry coat, toss with hands, pressing dry mixture onto crocodile pieces so it adheres, and making sure that every piece is coated thoroughly.
Lift Croc chunks one piece at a time, shake off excess coating, and carefully lower into hot oil (do not drop it). Once all crocodile is added, cook, agitating with long chopsticks or a metal spider, and adjusting flame to maintain a temperature of 325 to 375°F, until crocodile is cooked through and very crispy, about 4 minutes. Transfer crocodile to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain.
Add crocodile to empty skillet and return sauce to skillet. Toss the croc, folding it with a rubber spatula until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Serve immediately by placing the sauced crocodile meat on top of your fried noodles, you may garnish with sliced green scallion, cilantro and some more dried chilies.