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Prawn Paste Chicken a.k.a Har Cheong Gai (虾酱鸡)

The perfect recipe for making zi char style crispy prawn paste chicken (har cheong gai 虾酱鸡). (Source: ieatishootipost.sg)
Course: Chicken, Main Course, Main Dish, Meat, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 53 mins
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  • 1 kg chicken drumettes and wingettes
  • 3 tbsp shrimp sauce
  • 2 - 3 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp Chinese wine
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp MSG (optional) (I omit this entirely)

For the Batter:

  • 80 g plain flour
  • 80 g potato starch or corn flour
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder


  • In a mixing bowl, combine shrimp sauce, sugar, sesame oil, wine, and pepper. Add chicken pieces and mix till well coated with marinade.
  • In a separate bowl, mix all the batter ingredients, and stir with a spoon or whisk, until smooth and free of lumps. Add this to the chicken in marinade, and stir until well combined. Cover with clingwrap, and set aside (refrigerated) for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight, or up to 2 days.
  • Fill a wok or frying pot (with a wide surface area), one-third full with cooking oil. Heat oil to 180 deg C. Fry the chicken pieces in batches, about 4 to 5 at a time (it's a good idea to fry like pieces together). After about half a minute, separate the pieces with wooden chopsticks, to prevent pieces sticking together. After about 1 minute, the temperature should have dropped to 160 deg C, if not lower the heat. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Repeat, until all pieces have been fried. Serve immediately, with freshly squeezed lime or calamansi juice, and sweet chilli sauce, on the side (optional).
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