A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 14, 2019
Ghost Chicken (Gu Jji or Guiji)

"Ghost Chicken” (gu Jji or guiji) is a adish from China’s Yunnan province. A black-skinned chicken is selected, and the skin is left on for color and flavor. Chili, ginger, garlic cilantro and lime juice are some of the ingredients that are used. The spicy dish originally was made to mourn the dead.

“Here (Baita Daiwei Ting restaurant in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province—ed.) the Dai classic guiji, ghost chicken, turned out to be a showstopper of bright Southeast Asian flavors—tender shredded cold chicken dressed with lime, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and powerhouse quantities of hot chile” was printed in Gourmet magazine in June 2007. The dish was popularized in New York City at East Village’s Little Tong Noodle Shop in 2017.


Wikipedia: Yunnan
Yunnan (About this sound云南) is a province of the People’s Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country (Vietnamese: Vannam Province). It spans approximately 394,000 square kilometres (152,000 sq mi) and has a population of 45.7 million (as of 2009). The capital of the province is Kunming, formerly also known as Yunnan. The province borders the Chinese provinces Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, and the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the countries Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar.

Wikipedia: Yunnan cuisine
Yunnan cuisine, alternatively known as Dian cuisine, is an amalgam of the cuisines of the Han Chinese and other ethnic minority groups in Yunnan Province in southwestern China. As the province with the largest number of ethnic minority groups, Yunnan cuisine is vastly varied, and it is difficult to make generalisations. Many Yunnan dishes are quite spicy, and mushrooms are featured prominently

Google Books
Gourmet magazine
NICOLE MONES
THE ROAD TO SHANGRI-LA
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JUNE 2007
Pg. 384:
Here (Baita Daiwei Ting restaurant in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province—ed.) the Dai classic guiji, ghost chicken, turned out to be a showstopper of bright Southeast Asian flavors—tender shredded cold chicken dressed with lime, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and powerhouse quantities of hot chile.

flickr
Tracy Anderson
Taken on May 13, 2008
gui ji (ghost chicken)
This is a variation on gui ji, or ghost chicken, which is a Yunnan province dish. I originally found it on epicurious.com. This is unusual in Chinese cuisine in that it contains lime. The heat, lime, garlic, and cilantro create a quadrophonic attack on your taste buds. I love all four, which is why I like this dish. Serve it with brown or white basmati rice.

I’d give this a 4/10 for heat factor.

You’ll need a steamer rack for this one.

Ingredients
2 chicken breast halves, with skin and bone (important). ~1 1/2 pounds.
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (Huy Fong)
1 teaspoon red chili oil (I use KA-ME hot chili oil)
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh mild red chili
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs

Jasmine Tea & Jiiaozi
In & Out
Posted on July 13, 2010
(...)
We also had a plate of fried potato cake, Yunnan style which is sort of like a Chinese version of rösti, and a delicate cold dish called Jingpo guiji (ie: Jingpo ghost chicken) which was finely shredded chicken salad in a light lemon dressing tossed with chopped coriander, fresh chilli, spring onions and herbs.

WildChina
Dai food: Chinese cuisine’s best-kept secret
Posted on January 5, 2011
(...)
Ghost chicken (guiji)
Usually made with black-skinned chicken, this is a super-spicy and intensely fragrant chicken that has been roasted, chopped up and served cold. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but an amazing experience for anyone who lives for a good spice buzz.

China South of the Clouds
Recipe: Dai Lime Chicken
April 17th, 2013
This bright, spicy, herb-laden dish, sometimes called Ghost Chicken (鬼鸡, “gui ji”) comes from Yinjiang Dai Flavor Restaurant, a very popular Dai restaurant just down the street from our apartment on Luofeng Jie. In Yunnan they make this dish with black-skinned chicken and then leave the skin on for extra flavor and color. To approximate that chicken’s flavor, it’s best to use a free-range bird for this recipe.

2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
5 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp sawtooth herb, roughly chopped (optional)
2 tbsp fish mint root, cut into 1″ pieces (optional)
2-5 Thai or bird’s eye chiles, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 3 limes

GoKunming
Recipe: Dai-style lime chicken
By Georgia Freedman in Features on July 18, 2013
Editor’s note: Georgia Freedman is a freelance food and travel writer — and former resident of Kunming — who chronicles her adventures traveling and cooking in Yunnan at China South of the Clouds.

Before moving to Kunming, Freedman was the managing editor of the American food magazine Saveur. She now contributes to Saveur, The Wall Street Journal, Imbibe, The Art of Eating and other publications.


This bright, spicy, herb-laden dish, is sometimes called ‘ghost chicken’ or guiji (鬼鸡). In Yunnan the dish is made with black-skinned chicken, with the skin left on for extra flavor and color. To approximate that chicken’s flavor, it’s best to use a free-range bird for this recipe.
(The same recipe as in the website above follows.—ed.)

Google Books
Fodor’s China
By Fodor’s Travel Guides
Fodor’s Travel
2015
Pg. ?:
If you want to go straight for the heat, try the gui ji or “ghost chicken,” a cold salad that is slightly sour and extremely spicy.

The Food Dictator
THE HIRSHON DAI-STYLE YUNNAN GHOST CHICKEN – 鬼鸡
April 22, 2016 by The Generalissimo
(...)
Many of the minority peoples of Yunnan traditionally boil a chicken to show respect to their dead. Once the ceremony is finished, they shred the meat and mix it with ginger, garlic, and cilantro to make this dish, also known as Ghost Chicken (鬼鸡, “gui ji”).

The lime and herbs in this recipe, unusual for Chinese cooking, suggests the strong influence of Southeast Asia, which the province borders.

In Yunnan they make this dish with black-skinned chicken and then leave the skin on for extra flavor and color. To approximate that chicken’s flavor, it’s best to use a free-range bird for this recipe.

That’s Guangzhou
6 Must-Try Ethnic Minority Restaurants in Guangzhou
By Jocelyn Richards, February 8, 2017
(...)
Gansimiduo Yunnan Art Restaurant (Yunnan)
With the most ethnic minorities in China, it’s no wonder Yunnan’s cuisine is so delicious. We’re wild about the pineapple rice, chickpea jelly and Jingpo ‘ghost’ chicken.

The New Yorker
TABLES FOR TWO OCTOBER 9, 2017
Little Tong Noodle Shop’s Loving and Eclectic Ode to Yunnan
The restaurant offers hard-to-resist interpretations of the region’s astonishingly diverse culinary traditions.

Little Tong Noodle Shop | 177 First Ave., New York, N.Y. | 929-367-8664
By Jiayang Fan
(...)
Begin with the ghost chicken, traditionally made with black-skinned bantams that are slaughtered to mourn the dead by the ethnic minority Dai. Recently, at Little Tong, the chicken was hand-pulled, the skin was dispensed with, and mayonnaise was added to the dressing of pickled red onions, chili, and cilantro. The interpretation does not exactly resemble what the Dai had in mind, but the sweet-spicy kick, artfully subdued by the creamy mayo, is hard to resist, even by authenticity hard-liners.

Little Tong Noodle Shop (New York, NY)
GHOST CHICKEN $8
Leftovers From Offerings to Ancestors, No Ghost Peppers!

GoKunming
HOW TO COOK A SPICY YUNNAN SPECIALTY: GHOST CHICKEN
By Patrick Scally in Features May 4, 2018
Few dishes scream Yunnan province like a nice, spicy plate of ghost chicken — or guiji (鬼鸡). Simple, savory, zesty and blazingly piquant, it is a dish, like revenge, best served cold. For those familiar with Chinese cuisine served outside of the mainland, this dish’s flavor profile may come as a surprise. Citrus is a serious component, and the aromatics traditionally employed add unique Southeast Asian flavors.

This recipe is fully adaptable. Traditionalists serve ghost chicken with the skin on — feet and head included — but these can all be removed by those who dislike the texture or visuals.

MSN (from South China Morning Post)
An A-Z of national dishes, from poutine and pho to pad thai - how many have you tried?
11/10/2018
(...)
There isn’t a country beginning with an “X” but the ethnic Dai people of Xishuangbanna, in the south of China’s Yunnan province, salivate at the thought of ghost chicken. The spicy herb-infused concoction is made using black-skinned chicken and gets its name from the custom of ceremonially offering a boiled bird to ancestors.

Posted by Barry Popik
Monday, January 14, 2019 • Permalink