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Prawn Paste Chicken Recipe: A Delicious Twist on Classic Chicken

Are you craving a delicious and flavourful dish that will transport you to the streets of Singapore? Look no further than prawn paste chicken, also known as Har Cheong Gai.

This popular Zi Char dish is a favourite among locals and tourists alike, and for good reason.

Preparing the chicken for this dish is a simple process that involves marinating chicken wings in a mixture of prawn paste, sugar, sesame oil, wine and pepper.

Once the chicken is coated evenly with the marinade, it is deep-fried until crispy.

The result is a juicy and flavourful chicken wing that is sure to become a new favourite.

If you're looking to bring a taste of Singapore to your kitchen, prawn paste chicken is a must-try recipe.

Whether you're cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, this dish is sure to impress.

Keep reading for tips on preparing, cooking, and serving prawn paste chicken, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.

Key Takeaways

  • Prawn paste chicken, also known as Har Cheong Gai, is a popular Zi Char dish in Singapore.
  • Preparing the chicken involves marinating it in a mixture of prawn paste, sugar, sesame oil, wine and pepper before deep-frying until crispy.
  • Prawn paste chicken is a delicious and flavourful dish that is sure to impress your guests or satisfy your cravings.

Preparing the Chicken

Chicken pieces being coated in prawn paste mixture, arranged on a tray with ingredients and utensils nearby

Choosing the Right Cut

When making prawn paste chicken, you want to choose the right cut of chicken to ensure that it is juicy and flavourful.

Chicken wings and thighs are the most commonly used cuts for this dish. They have a good balance of meat and skin, which makes them perfect for absorbing the marinade and creating a crispy texture when fried.

Marinating for Flavour

Marinating the chicken is an important step in creating a delicious prawn paste chicken dish.

The marinade usually consists of shrimp paste, fermented for a unique umami flavour, sugar, salt, sesame oil, pepper, white pepper, and Chinese wine.

These ingredients work together to create a savoury and slightly sweet flavour that pairs well with the crispy texture of the chicken.

To marinate the chicken, mix the ingredients together in a bowl and add the chicken.

Make sure to coat each piece of chicken evenly with the marinade.

Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavours to develop.

Creating the Batter

The batter is what gives prawn paste chicken its signature crispy texture.

To create the batter, mix together egg, corn flour, potato starch, plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and crispy flour in a bowl.

The crispy flour is a special type of flour that helps to create a crispy texture when fried.

Before coating the chicken in the batter, make sure to remove any excess marinade to prevent the batter from becoming too wet.

Dip each piece of chicken in the batter and make sure to coat it evenly.

In summary, choosing the right cut of chicken, marinating it for flavour, and creating a crispy batter are the key steps to making delicious prawn paste chicken.

With these tips, you can create a dish that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Cooking and Serving

A chef fries marinated prawn paste chicken in a sizzling hot pan, then elegantly arranges the golden brown pieces on a white serving platter

Deep Frying Techniques

To cook your prawn paste chicken to perfection, you need to use the right deep frying technique.

Make sure that the oil is hot enough for deep frying, usually around 180°C - 190°C.

Use a deep and wide pot or wok to deep fry the chicken wings. This will help to ensure that the chicken is cooked evenly and that the oil does not splatter all over the place.

Achieving the Perfect Crispiness

The key to achieving the perfect crispiness for your prawn paste chicken is to use the right oil temperature.

If the oil is too hot, the chicken will burn and become dry. If the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will not be crispy enough.

Use a thermometer to check the oil temperature and adjust the heat accordingly.

When the chicken is cooked, drain it on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

Accompaniments and Presentation

Prawn paste chicken is best served hot and crispy, with a side of parsley and chilli sauce.

You can also squeeze some lime juice over the chicken for extra flavour. For those who like it spicy, sambal is a great accompaniment.

Serve the chicken on a platter, garnished with parsley and lime wedges for presentation.

To make your prawn paste chicken even more succulent and juicy, add a dash of MSG to the marinade. This will enhance the umami flavour of the chicken and make it even more delicious.

When making prawn paste chicken, it is important to use high-quality ingredients, such as Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce.

This will help to ensure that your chicken is pungent and flavourful.

Keep in mind that prawn paste chicken is a high-calorie dish, so it is best enjoyed in moderation.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok fries up golden prawn paste chicken, emitting a savory aroma. Ingredients and utensils are neatly arranged nearby

How do you make prawn paste chicken in an air fryer?

To make prawn paste chicken in an air fryer, you will need to marinate the chicken in a mixture of prawn paste, flour, and other seasonings.

Then, place the chicken in the air fryer basket and cook at 400°F for about 20 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through.

This will result in crispy and delicious prawn paste chicken that is healthier than traditional fried chicken.

What's the secret to the tastiest prawn paste chicken?

The secret to the tastiest prawn paste chicken is in the marinade.

You need to use high-quality prawn paste and marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavours to fully develop.

Adding a bit of sugar and sesame oil to the marinade can also enhance the taste.

Can you share a simple method for preparing prawn paste chicken?

Yes, a simple method for preparing prawn paste chicken is to marinate the chicken in a mixture of prawn paste, flour, sugar, sesame oil, and other seasonings for at least 2 hours.

Then, deep fry the chicken until crispy and golden brown. Serve hot with steamed rice and your favourite dipping sauce.

What are the main ingredients in prawn paste?

The main ingredients in prawn paste are ground fermented shrimp, salt, and sometimes sugar.

It is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine and is commonly used to flavour dishes like stir-fries, soups, and marinades.

Is there a difference between shrimp paste and belacan?

Yes, there is a difference between shrimp paste and belacan.

Shrimp paste is made from fermented ground shrimp, while belacan is made from fermented ground shrimp mixed with rice and left to dry in the sun.

Belacan has a stronger and more pungent flavour than shrimp paste and is commonly used in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine.

What should the texture of prawn paste be like?

The texture of prawn paste should be thick and slightly sticky, with a strong and pungent aroma.

It should be a dark reddish-brown colour and have a slightly salty and savoury taste.

When using prawn paste in recipes, be sure to adjust the amount to your liking, as it can be quite strong and overpowering if used in excess.