In a pot over medium heat, combine 4 cups of water, vinegar, and sugar. Bring it to a boil. Add the chicken feet and blanch for 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon or a mesh skimmer, remove them from the hot water and transfer them into a bowl of cold water to stop further cooking.
4 cups water, ¼ cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 500 grams chicken feet
Drain the water from the bowl, then add dark soy sauce and mix to coat. (This is to give them a nice color.) Pat dry the chicken feet with paper towels.
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
In a wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the chicken feet in batches until golden and crispy, about 5-8 minutes.
1-2 cups oil for frying
Plunge the freshly fried chicken feet directly into a bowl of cold water and let them soak for at least an hour or up to 4 hours. (This will make them soft and wrinkled.) Drain well and discard liquid.
2-3 cups iced or cold water
In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce except for the star anise and the chilies. Add the chicken feet and toss to coat completely.
2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon white ground pepper, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons rice wine, 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Place the chicken feet with sauce in a deep plate or bowl. Add star anise and scatter the chilies on top. Place the bowl in a steamer and steam for 30-40 minutes or until tender and wrinkled.
3 pieces star anise, 1 long green chili, 2 Thai chili pepper
Serve while hot and enjoy!