Prawn Paste Chicken Yishun Recipe: A Delicious Singaporean Dish – Seaco Online
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Prawn Paste Chicken Yishun Recipe: A Delicious Singaporean Dish

If you're a fan of Singaporean cuisine, you've probably heard of prawn paste chicken, also known as har cheong gai. This dish is a staple in zi char restaurants and hawker centres all over Singapore. It's a simple yet flavourful dish that's perfect for sharing with friends and family.

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

One of the best places to try prawn paste chicken in Singapore is Yishun. This neighbourhood is home to some of the best zi char restaurants in the city, and their prawn paste chicken is no exception.

If you're looking to recreate this dish at home, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll show you how to make prawn paste chicken Yishun style, so you can enjoy this delicious dish anytime you want.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn how to prepare the prawn paste marinade for the perfect flavour
  • Follow our frying and serving tips for crispy and juicy chicken
  • Get answers to frequently asked questions about making prawn paste chicken at home

Preparing the Prawn Paste Marinade

A bowl of prawn paste marinade sits next to raw chicken pieces, surrounded by ingredients like garlic, ginger, and soy sauce

Ingredients Selection

To prepare the prawn paste marinade for your har cheong gai, you will need a few key ingredients. Firstly, you will need prawn paste (also known as fermented shrimp paste), which is the star of the show. You can find this ingredient at most Asian supermarkets or online.

In addition to the prawn paste, you will need some chicken mid wings. It's important to use mid wings as opposed to drumettes or wingettes, as they have more surface area for the marinade to cling onto.

Other ingredients you will need include salt, sugar, pepper, sesame oil, Chinese wine, egg and water. You can use any brand of sesame oil and Chinese wine that you prefer, but Lee Kum Kee is a popular choice for many home cooks.

Marinating Process

To marinate the chicken wings, start by washing them thoroughly and patting them dry with a paper towel. In a mixing bowl, combine the prawn paste, salt, sugar, pepper, sesame oil, Chinese wine, egg and water. Mix everything together until it forms a smooth paste.

Add the chicken mid wings to the bowl and mix until every piece is coated evenly with the prawn paste marinade. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it to marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or overnight in the fridge for a more intense flavour.

When you are ready to cook the chicken wings, preheat your oil to 180°C. Remove the chicken wings from the marinade and shake off any excess. Fry the chicken wings in small batches until they are golden brown and crispy.

Frying and Serving

Prawn paste chicken sizzling in hot oil, then plated with garnish and served

Batter Preparation

Now that you have marinated the chicken wings, it's time to prepare the batter. In a mixing bowl, combine plain flour, corn flour, crispy flour, potato starch, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Next, add water to the dry mixture and whisk until you get a smooth batter. The batter should be thick enough to coat the chicken wings, but not too thick that it becomes clumpy.

Deep Frying Technique

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 170°C. Make sure not to overcrowd the wok with too many chicken wings at once as this will lower the oil temperature and result in soggy chicken.

Dip the marinated chicken wings in the batter, making sure that they are evenly coated. Gently place them in the hot oil and fry for about 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.

Once cooked, remove the chicken wings from the oil and place them on a wire rack to cool down. This will help to keep the chicken crispy by preventing it from getting soggy due to trapped steam.

Presentation and Accompaniments

To serve, arrange the crispy chicken wings on a plate and drizzle some lime juice over them for an extra zing. You can also serve them with some chilli sauce or hainanese chicken rice for a complete meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Prawn paste chicken being prepared in a bustling kitchen, with ingredients and utensils laid out on a clean counter

What's the secret to a crispy prawn paste chicken?

The secret to a crispy prawn paste chicken lies in the coating. To get that perfect crunch, you need to use a mixture of cornflour and rice flour. The prawn paste marinade also helps to lock in moisture, resulting in juicy chicken with a crispy exterior.

Can you make prawn paste chicken in an air fryer?

Yes, you can make prawn paste chicken in an air fryer. Simply coat the chicken in the prawn paste mixture and then coat it in a mixture of cornflour and rice flour. Place the chicken in the air fryer and cook for 20-25 minutes at 180°C, or until the chicken is cooked through and crispy.

What are the essential ingredients for a traditional Yishun-style prawn paste chicken?

The essential ingredients for a traditional Yishun-style prawn paste chicken include prawn paste, garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, cornflour, rice flour, and chicken wings. Some recipes may also include sesame oil, oyster sauce, and Shaoxing wine.

How do you balance the flavours in a prawn paste chicken recipe?

To balance the flavours in a prawn paste chicken recipe, you need to get the right mix of sweet, salty, and savoury. Start with a base of prawn paste, garlic, and ginger, and then add sugar, salt, and other seasonings to taste. Be sure to taste the marinade before adding the chicken, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

What's the best way to marinate chicken for prawn paste chicken?

The best way to marinate chicken for prawn paste chicken is to mix the prawn paste, garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, and other seasonings together in a bowl. Add the chicken wings and mix well, making sure that each wing is coated in the marinade. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results.

Are there any quick and easy methods for making prawn paste chicken at home?

Yes, there are quick and easy methods for making prawn paste chicken at home. One method is to use pre-made prawn paste and coat the chicken wings in a mixture of cornflour and rice flour. Another method is to marinate the chicken in a mixture of prawn paste, garlic, and ginger for just 30 minutes, then coat in flour and fry until crispy.