Pickled Chicken Feet

Chicken feet is one of those foods that you either love or hate. Many are put off by the slimy texture that chicken feet has when steamed and served hot but these pickled chicken feet are different. Since they are served cold, they have a more springy and rubber like texture instead. They are sweet, tangy, and are one of my favorite snack to have while watching TV.

Where can I buy chicken feet?

Chicken feet is a very popular ingredient in Chinese cooking which you can find at most Chinese/Asian grocery stores. Other than cooking them to eat, you can also use them to make stock. The bones, skin and cartilage in chicken feet bring an incredible amount of flavor. They are also relatively cheap at 2.99/lb.

Chicken feet package

Important steps for pickled chicken feet

Chicken pedicure

Clipping the nails of our chicken feet is important for a couple reasons. The first being that the nails make it look unappetizing and disgusting to be honest. The second reason is that you do not want to end up eating the nails. They don’t feel or taste good so you are better off getting rid of them. Also, clipping them off was actually quite fun for some reason lol.

Ice bath for pickled chicken feet

An ice bath is incredibly important to ensure the chicken feet are the correct texture. Without the ice bath, they would stay soft, mushy, and not very fun to eat. The ice bath tightens the skin and give it a rubber-like texture which is what we want.

Pickling process

  1. Dissolve 500g rice vinegar with 100g white sugar. No need to heat up the vinegar too much, only until the sugar has fully dissolved. You will want to make sure the vinegar mixture is at room temperature before adding it to the chicken feet.
  2. Pour the vinegar mixture into a bowl along with the chicken feet. Use a bowl that will maximize the amount of vinegar that is in contact with the chicken feet.
  3. I cover with a paper towel that has been drenched in the vinegar mixture so that the pieces on top still get the vinegar. I like to leave mine in the fridge overnight and half way through, I will mix up the chicken feet so that they have been evenly coated in vinegar.
Pickling with damp paper towel

Why boil pickled chicken feet?

There are a few important reasons why we must boil the chicken feet. Firstly, that is how we are going to be cooking it. 8 minutes is enough and you can tell they are finished when the skin is soft and is separating.

The second reason why we boil the chicken feet is to remove all the scum from the chicken feet. As you can see in this picture, there is a lot of sediment that comes out which we do not want to eat.

Boiled chicken feet

Thai sweet chili sauce

After the pickling process is complete, we drench the chicken feet in sweet chili sauce and green onions. The sweet chili sauce is sweet and slightly spicy. You can find this at most grocery stores. Here is the brand I used.

Sweet chili sauce

Pickled Chicken Feet

These pickled chicken feet are the perfect movie time snack.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
pickling time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese


  • 2.5 lbs chicken feet
  • 500 g rice vinegar
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 3 bunches green onion
  • ice water


  • Using a pair of scissors, clip off the nails of the chicken feet.
    2.5 lbs chicken feet
  • In a large pot, boil the chicken feet for 8 minutes.
    2.5 lbs chicken feet
  • Strain the chicken feet then immediately place into an ice bath for 10 minutes
    ice water
  • Dissolve the rice vinegar with sugar over medium heat until you don't see any more sugar. Let it cool down to room temperature.
    100 g sugar, 500 g rice vinegar
  • Pat dry the chicken feet then pour in the vinegar mixture.
  • Cover with paper towel that is soaked and let it pickle in the fridge overnight. or at least 4 hours.
  • Strain (no need to pat dry) then cover with sweet chili sauce and chopped green onions.
    1 cup sweet chili sauce, 3 bunches green onion
Keyword chicken, chicken feet, feet, pickled

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