Prawn paste chicken was all the rage in Singapore a couple of years back. I never got a chance to try it until earlier this year. Boy was I in for a surprise. It taste sooo good and my husband had been asking for it although he absolutely do not like anything prawn in the first place. On the other hand, my kids are after the crunchy bits from the skin.
The Prawn Paste Story
The Prawn Paste Chicken is so popular that it has its own Wikipedia Listing (I kid you not). While doing the research for this piece is when I realised that all this while I has been using the “wrong” shrimp paste. According to Wikipedia (look under Har Cheong Gai) the shrimp paste used in the Singapore dish is pinkish to grey in colour and originates from South East of China.
I had been using the Malaysian prawn paste which is a thick, dark brown paste similar to molasses. But there was no regrets at all. My blunder turned out to be the biggest blessing because I think it tasted so great. Who would have thought the prawn paste used for “rojak” would make an equally appetising marinade for fried chicken wings!
Prawn paste is essentially fermented prawn and is widely used in many countries in Asia especially those bordering the sea such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, China and even certain parts of Bangladesh.
I believe that you can use whatever shrimp paste that you can get locally but you would have to adjust the seasonings to balance out the taste. Make sure to have both salty and sweet elements in your marinade. The prawn paste that I am using consisted of fermented prawn and sugar. So I skipped the sugar but added oyster sauce for a dose of saltiness. Please add a tablespoon of sugar into your marinade if the prawn paste you are using does not contain sugar in itself.
For this recipe, I am using air fryer for the chicken wings but feel free to deep fry as normal if that’s your preference. Check out the recipe in the next page. Bon Appétit!
Like this recipe? Share and Pin it!