Prawn Paste Chicken: A Tasty Asian Dish You Need to Try – Seaco Online
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Prawn Paste Chicken: A Tasty Asian Dish You Need to Try

If you're a fan of fried chicken, then you'll definitely want to try prawn paste chicken, also known as har cheong gai. This popular Singaporean dish is made by marinating chicken in prawn paste, which gives it a unique and delicious flavour. The chicken is then coated in a special batter and deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.

A plate of prawn paste chicken sizzling on a hot pan, with steam rising and a golden, crispy coating

Making prawn paste chicken is surprisingly easy, and you can easily find all the ingredients you need at your local Asian grocery store. The key ingredient, of course, is the prawn paste, which is made from fermented ground shrimp. This paste is mixed with other seasonings like garlic, ginger, and soy sauce to make a flavourful marinade for the chicken. Once the chicken has marinated for a few hours, it's coated in a mixture of flour, cornstarch, and baking powder, which helps to create that crispy outer layer.

When it comes to serving and enjoying prawn paste chicken, there are many different ways to do it. Some people like to serve it with a side of rice and some vegetables, while others prefer to eat it as a snack or appetizer. You can also dip it in a variety of sauces, like sweet chilli sauce or mayonnaise. No matter how you choose to eat it, one thing's for sure – prawn paste chicken is a delicious and satisfying dish that's sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

Key Takeaways

  • Prawn paste chicken, also known as har cheong gai, is a popular Singaporean dish made by marinating chicken in prawn paste and coating it in a special batter before deep-frying.
  • Making prawn paste chicken is easy and requires only a few ingredients, including prawn paste, flour, cornstarch, and baking powder.
  • Prawn paste chicken can be served in many different ways and is a delicious and satisfying dish that's sure to please.

Making Prawn Paste Chicken

Prawn paste chicken being marinated, then fried till golden brown

Ingredients and Substitutions

To make prawn paste chicken, you will need chicken wings, prawn paste, sesame oil, sugar, Chinese wine, plain flour, corn flour, egg, baking powder, pepper, salt, potato starch, fermented shrimp paste, white pepper, oyster sauce, bicarbonate of soda, and lime juice, and Shaoxing wine.

If you cannot find prawn paste, you can use shrimp paste instead. Lee Kum Kee brand is a popular choice for prawn paste, but you can use any brand you prefer. You can also substitute chicken thighs for the wings if you prefer.

Marinating Process

To marinate the chicken, start by mixing the prawn paste, sugar, sesame oil, Chinese wine, and pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken wings and mix until they are evenly coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for a stronger flavour.

Cooking Techniques

To cook the prawn paste chicken, you can deep fry it or use an air fryer. If deep frying, heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan until it reaches 180°C. Mix crispy flour, plain flour, corn flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl. Add the marinated chicken to the flour mixture and coat well. Shake off any excess flour and carefully place the chicken in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and crispy, then remove and drain on paper towels.

If using an air fryer, preheat it to 200°C. Coat the marinated chicken in a mixture of potato starch and plain flour. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket and spray with cooking oil. Cook for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the chicken is crispy and cooked through.

Serve the prawn paste chicken hot with lime wedges and a dipping sauce made from oyster sauce, white pepper, and Shaoxing wine. The marinade gives the chicken a rich umami flavour with a hint of sweetness. Enjoy!

Serving and Enjoyment

A plate of prawn paste chicken, surrounded by vibrant vegetables and garnished with fresh herbs, is being enjoyed by a diner

Accompaniments and Dips

When it comes to serving prawn paste chicken, there are a variety of accompaniments and dips that you can enjoy it with. Some popular options include chilli sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce. You can also try dipping your chicken wings in a mixture of mayonnaise and sweet chilli sauce for a unique and delicious flavour.

If you are dining at a restaurant, wooden chopsticks and paper towels are usually provided for you to enjoy your meal. However, if you are making prawn paste chicken at home, you can use regular cutlery and napkins.

Presentation Tips

To make your dish look more appetizing, you can present your prawn paste chicken on a bed of lettuce or other greens. This will not only add colour to your plate, but it will also help to absorb any excess oil from the fried chicken.

Another presentation tip is to serve your chicken wings in a basket or on a platter, rather than on a plate. This will give your meal a more casual and relaxed feel, perfect for a family or group gathering.

Frequently Asked Questions

A plate of prawn paste chicken with a side of dipping sauce, garnished with fresh herbs and served on a wooden table

How do you make prawn paste chicken?

To make prawn paste chicken, you first need to marinate the chicken in a mixture of prawn paste, garlic, and other seasonings. Then, coat the chicken in a mixture of flour and cornstarch before deep-frying until crispy. The result is a flavourful and crispy chicken dish that is perfect for sharing with friends and family.

What's the calorie count for prawn paste chicken?

The calorie count for prawn paste chicken can vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces and the cooking method used. However, on average, a serving of prawn paste chicken contains around 250-300 calories. If you are watching your calorie intake, it's best to enjoy prawn paste chicken in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Can you cook prawn paste chicken in an air fryer?

Yes, you can definitely cook prawn paste chicken in an air fryer. Simply coat the chicken in the flour mixture as usual and then place it in the air fryer basket. Cook the chicken at 180°C for around 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the chicken is crispy and golden brown. This method is a healthier alternative to deep-frying, as it uses less oil.

Is there a traditional Singaporean recipe for prawn paste chicken?

Yes, prawn paste chicken is a traditional Singaporean dish that is commonly found in local hawker centres and zi char restaurants. The recipe typically involves marinating the chicken in a mixture of prawn paste, garlic, and other seasonings before deep-frying until crispy. Some variations may also include additional spices or herbs for added flavour.

What's the difference between shrimp paste and belacan?

Shrimp paste and belacan are both types of fermented seafood pastes that are commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. However, they are made using different types of seafood. Shrimp paste is made from ground up shrimp that has been fermented with salt, while belacan is made from small shrimp that have been dried and then fermented with salt. Belacan has a stronger and more pungent flavour than shrimp paste.

What's the texture of prawn paste like?

Prawn paste has a smooth and slightly gritty texture, with a strong and pungent flavour that is similar to shrimp paste. It is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine as a seasoning or marinade for meat and seafood dishes. When used in prawn paste chicken, it adds a unique umami flavour and aroma to the dish.