On My Knees for Chicken Knees. King Hua. Alhambra, CA.

Chinese. Japanese. Chicken knees. What are these???

No, really. What the hell are these? Are these actually chicken knees? Do chickens even have knees and do people really eat them? You know I’m all for using practically every part of the chicken but this is completely el pollo loco. C’mon, chicken knees? This is either nose-to-tail eating overkill or absolute genius. It turns out chicken knee is one of the best-kept secrets in Vancouver’s dim sum scene. It’s gaining popularity in LA too.

Yes, chickens really do have knees. Jammed exactly between the chicken’s drumstick and thigh is a joint for a skilled butcher to cleanly sever. Typically tossed in the garbage, these tiny knees have been transformed by the Cantonese into fried and fragrant nuggets of crunchy, chewy cartilage and tender bits of meat. I’m telling you, the Chinese do not waste a thing. With over 1.3 billion mouths to feed, eating chicken knees doesn't sound so goofy.

King Hua in Alhambra knows good knees and serves them up in generous piles. Their knees are encased in a crispy, aromatic, garlic batter, dusted with a spicy seasoning and topped with delicate flakes of fried seaweed. Thick with flavors, it’ll be a week before your mouthwash vanishes all trace of the stuff.

Infinitely easier to eat than chicken feet dim sum (which often requires the talents of a contortionist’s tongue to eat), chicken knees, on the other hand, are completely edible — no tiny bones to spit out. Just crunch, chomp, chew, swallow and repeat.

So the next time you're in a dim sum restaurant and asked knee how? You’ll know how to answer — deep-fried. (Apologies for the bad bilingual pun but that’s how I roll.)

Coming soon: fried chicken femur. So wrong. So yum!

King Hua
2000 W Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801


Juliet said…
I liked your bad pun! LOL

I'm very curious to try chicken knees now. I wonder if any of the dim sum restaurants here serve them.
FoodieBear said…
OMG.. these look completely amazing!! Great find, great find!!
Unknown said…
If I'm eating something weird, I at least want to be able to pop and go. I don't wanna pick at what's not edible while forced to focus on the freakiness of what is edible.

My experience with chicken feet.
Anonymous said…
Chicken knees were undoubtedly the highlight at King Hua, nice crispy nuggets of salty dark meat. Some nubs of cartilage were a little too hard to chew, but otherwise, the dish worked well. Everything else at the restaurant was basically a less effective take on Sea Harbour in Rosemead. The foie gras dumplings were embarrassing, basically second-rate shrimp wontons with microscopic pinches of low-grade organ meat.