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Simple Prawn Paste Chicken Recipe (Har Cheong Gai)

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
500g Chicken Wings Mid joint
800-1000ml Olive Oil
Marinade
1 1/2 tbsp Prawn Paste
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Hua Diao Wine
1 tsp Ginger Juice Or grated ginger juice
1/4 tsp Mushroom sauce Or oyster sauce
Batter
50g All Purpose Flour
50g Potato Flour / Starch
100ml Water
1 Egg
1/4 tsp Baking Soda Sodium Bicarbonate
1/4 tsp Baking Powder

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Simple Prawn Paste Chicken Recipe (Har Cheong Gai)

So easy and tasty, everyone will think you got this from the famous stall!

  • 25m
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Ingredients

  • Marinade

  • Batter

Directions

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Prawn Paste Chicken is one of the all time tze char dishes for many, myself included. But I try not to have it often because well, it is after all fried food. However, everything in moderation… And if you want to eat fried food, might as well eat them at home (unless you rather keep your kitchen pristine) because at least I know the quality of oils being used. I weight good food over health (in moderation) over clean kitchen. Hehe… In any case, with a good hood and some care, it is not that messy. So today, I am sharing a prawn paste chicken recipe. Not healthier, but less oily.

So I basically reviewed 2 recipes and combined them based on my own preferences and experience. I decided to use the marinade adapted from Noobcook because we both use the same prawn paste. However, I felt that IeatIshootIpost’s coating sounded more professional and I do know that potato flour is a great choice for clean frying with a light, crispy texture. So I decided to adapt his recipe for the batter. I liked that he also experimented on different frying temperatures and shared his findings.

I must say the final wings were super flavourful and addictive. Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and not oily!!!

MARINADE

First thing is to wash and marinade the wings.  Simply combine the marinade ingredients, stir to combine all evenly then slip in the wings and mix well. Use a container that allows the wings to be submerged or coated with the marinade.

prawn paste chicken recipe paste
I used LKK PRawn paste sauce because it has only 2 ingredients… Fermented prawn and salt.No other additives.
ginger juice
Handy to have in the kitchen

Cover and store in fridge for the next 1.5-2 days. If you are pressed for time, the least is to marinate for at last 2 hours. The chicken was so well marinated, the boys were sucking on the chicken bones. =P

BATTER

Unlike other fried food, you are basically using the marinade to form the batter, IeatIshootIpost recommends marinating the chicken with the batter (flour and all). I feel that if you are marinating for less than a day, it is best that you add the flour before frying. The flour does not need to be marinated but I worry may make the marination slower because the batter will absorb the flavours first and the bigger molecules will then take longer to penetrate the chicken. Maybe it is just my imagination, but I still prefer to prepare my batter about 30 minutes before frying.

As I mentioned, potato starch / flour is great for frying as it does not leave a dirty oil with loads of burnt specks behind. It also allows for a lighter crispy coating. In this case, we did not want something too light and feathery, so a combination of AP or Bread flour with potato flour works great.

Instead of using half an egg for my 500g wings, I used 1 egg since mine was not a big egg anyway. Don’t worry about being super precise. The chicken will still turn out fine.

FRYING

I liked that he did an experiment on the frying temperature and shared his findings and this is the secret to a not-oily fried chicken, and also to not-oily fried food for that matter. When the oil is sufficiently hot, instantly removes moisture from the batter causing the constantly moving bubbles in the oil that prevents the oil from residing in the food. He recommended that we fry the chicken at 180-190C. So it is key that you get a cooking thermometer to monitor the temperature. This is what I use and it is very handy as it is a timer and long thermometer probe in one and comes with a magnet that I can stick on the oven or fridge. I use this for baking chicken, checking oil temperature and cooking sugar for candy making.

Another thing IeatIshootIpost pointed out was not to use too little oil thinking you will save some oil. I agree on that too little oil will allow the temperature to drop too quickly, leading to oily wings. Unless you have the patience to fry 1-2 wings at a time only…. And always ensure the items you are deep frying is fully submerged in the oil.

In any case, you have only used the oil to fry maybe 2-3 batches of wings, they are still perfectly fine to be reused once you sieve through it. Use a fine sift that you can pick up from Daiso and store the oil in a capped container. That way, it will not oxidise as quickly. Use this oil in blanching your vegetables, stir fries or if you have any deep frying project. Unless your finished oil is 3-4 shades darker than the original and still dirty after filtering, it is fine to reuse.

A lot of people wonder what is the best oil to use for frying stuff. If you can splurge, Avocado oil is a good choice. Otherwise, go for Olive Oil (not extra virgin, but extra light). You can refer to my other post on breaded pork cheese rolls for tips on choosing oils to fry with.

AIR FRYING

As this has a wet batter, I don’t recommend using AF. unless you get rid of the marinade, coat with potato and regular flour mixture 30minutes before and spray on or brush on some oil before frying. Even then the end result will not have a crispy batter like mine in the photo.

In conclusion, go for oil fry, but make sure u fry at 180-190C so that you final product will not be oily, thus this is healthier too!

One thing IeatIshoot shared on his prawn paste chicken recipe too was how to do double frying and storing the wings for later consumption. I have not tried it. To me the single fry is good enough and if I want to eat it again, I fry it fresh. I mean if I still need to heat up the oil, this does not save me any trouble. Probably a little bit of time, but not worth the trouble. Of course unless for the second fry, I do AF, but then dun expect this to be healthier, just less hassle.

SERVING

We served it with waffles and honey as our local answer to Chicken and Waffles and it is simply delicious! A definite must try. But if you cannot get your hands on a waffle machine, it goes well with rice, noodles, or on it’s own and makes for great finger food. I love to garnish with some coriander leaves as they give a fresh taste to the crispy, fried chicken.

I hope you enjoy this prawn paste chicken recipe as much as we did. This is definitely a keeper and something I will be making especially for foreign friends visiting next time.

 

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Steps

1
Done
5 min

Marinate wings

Wash and pat dry wings.
Mix all ingredients in marinade together, stirring to combine all uniformly.
Pour over wings and coat evenly.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to ideally 1.5 days, maximum 2 days.

2
Done
5 min

Add in batter

Mix all ingredients for batter stirring to combine evenly.
Pour into the container with wings and stir to combine evenly, coating the wings evenly.
The wings should each have a thin coating of batter on it when lifted from the container.

3
Done
15-20m

Fry wings

Heat oil to 190-195C.
Place wings one at a time into the pot or wok. Be careful not to overcrowd and ensure chicken is totally submerged in oil.
After about half minute, once the outer crust is formed, separate any wings that are stuck together gently with a long pair of chopsticks. Monitor the temperature to make sure it does not fall below 160C.
Fry the wings till golden brown, remove from oil onto a plate lined with absorbent paper towels.
If frying in batches, make sure the oil rises back to 180C before adding the next batch.
Refer to post for extra notes.

4
Done

Garnish (optional)

Add some coriander leaves and serve with lime.

BluRain

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