What is a spice box?
So the next big thing in Dublin at the moment is the almighty spice box! Also know as a spice bag, munchy box or megabox. Available from most fast food Chinese Takeaways, a spice box typically consists of chips, chicken balls, shredded chicken and chicken wings. All topped with chillis and chilli salt loaded into a pizza box and served with a large helping of curry sauce in a tray. There are different varieties that you can get which include the likes of fried rice, chow mein, ribs and spring rolls. Every Chinese takeaway will have their own version but every one of them are delicious. I strongly recommend you get one the next time if you haven’t tried one. But be warned, one spice box will easily feed 4 to 5 hungry adults.
The spice bag or a munchy box is a smaller version, normally consisting of just salt and chilli chips and salt and chilli chicken strips served in a bag or a box.
We’ve sampled a few spice boxes from different takeaways and have enjoyed every one of them (as well as putting on a few extra pounds each time!) We had a big group over for drinks before Christmas and ordered 2 spice boxes from our local Chinese which managed to feed 10 hungry adults. It went down a treat and is definitely the easiest and most delicious party food for a big group. Here’s a thread on Reddit which that list’s a few places to get one!
So here at the insane kitchen we decided to make our own, just for fun. I thought it would be fun to try it ourselves as it is quite a simple dish to put together if you have the ingredients and the preparation done.
We kept it simple and stuck to a spice box that consisted of chips, chicken balls, shredded chicken and chicken wings. All fried in chilli salt and chillies and served with a simple curry sauce.
It’s relatively simple, prepare your chicken and chips, deep fry in a deep fat fryer then throw it into a wok and lace it with fresh chillies, chilli salt and serve with some curry sauce!
Here’s how we made it, the below has enough to feed 4 to 6 adults. If you don’t have a large deep fat fryer or a wok, you may need to do it in batches!
For the Chips
- 3 to 4 large potatoes cut into chips (or use frozen chips if you prefer)
For the Chicken Balls
- 3 x large chicken breasts (this should be enough to make 10 to 15 chicken balls)
- Salt and Pepper
- 250 grams of plain flour
- 250 ml of beer or ale or water
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
For the Chicken Wings
- 5 to 10 chicken wings
For the Curry Sauce
- McDonnells curry sauce – We were lazy and just made it with McDonnells curry powder, just add to water and bring to the boil in a pan
For the salt and chilli mix
- Chilli salt (You can get this in any Asian supermarket)
- Fresh chillies finally chopped
- Boil the chicken breasts whole in boiling hot water for at least 25 minutes until they are cooked through. Make sure there is no pink left in the centre of the chicken
- Set aside and leave to cool and start making the batter
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper, the flour, beer, ale or water and baking powder into a food processor
- Blend until the texture is like a thick cream. If the mixture is too thick, add more beer/water, if it’s too runny, then add a bit more flour
- Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before using (For more details, check out my beer batter recipe here)
- Cut each of the breasts into similar sized cubes or square chunks
- Dip the cubes of chicken into your batter mix and fry in a deep fat fryer until golden brown
- Set aside on greaseproof paper
- You can marinade the chicken wings with soy sauce and 5 spice before using if you wish but we didn’t bother
- Shallow fry or deep fat fry the chicken wings until they are cooked through to the middle and there is no pink left
- Set aside on greaseproof paper
- If you’re making fresh chips, peel the spuds, cut into batons and leave them submerged in water until you are ready to fry. This will remove some the starch
- Fry the chips in a deep fryer until they are golden brown
- Follow the ingredients on a packet! We used McDonnells curry sauce, just add water and bring to the boil in a sauce pan. Simmer until you’re ready to serve
Putting it altogether
- Heat a wok and add some oil
- Add in the chicken wings, chicken wings, a few chillies and throw in the chilli salt to your liking. Toss the ingredients in the wok to make sure that they are fully covered
- Put onto a plate or a box and then add more oil and the chips to your wok and repeat the process, add a few chillies, throw in the chilli salt and toss the chips until they are fully covered
- Put onto the same container as the chicken and put the curry sauce on the side for everyone to enjoy. It’s that simple!
You can also make and add salt and chilli chicken to the mix. Here’s my recipe for my salt and chilli chicken.
Unfortunately, my cameras SD card was corrupt when I went to take the photos off but the next time I make this, I’ll take photos and update this post.
Have you tried the spice box? What did you think of it? Which Chinese takeaways would you recommend for one? Leave a post in the comments section!