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Prawn Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Gai)

Prawn Paste (Shrimp Paste)

Prawn Paste (Shrimp Paste) 虾酱

Prawn Paste Chicken Recipe

For best results, marinade the chicken wings over night in the fridge for the chicken to fully absorb the marinade.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins


  • 500 grams chicken wings cut at the joint (or use drumlettes/mid-joints)
  • 1/2 cup corn flour (corn starch)
  • vegetable oil (for deep frying) enough to submerge the chicken

Marinade (A)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp prawn/shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger juice grate some ginger & squeeze the pulp
  • 1/4 tsp oyster sauce (or light soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp Chinese cooking wine (Hua Tiao/Shao Hsing)


  1. In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients (A) until a paste is formed. Marinade the chicken with the sauce for at least an hour or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Just before deep-frying, add corn flour to the marinade chicken. Stir to coat evenly, until the flour is dissolved completely into the marinade and forms a sticky coat on the chicken.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or pot to about 180°C (356°F). Deep fry in batches for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown, turning once half way. During the last minute of deep-frying, turn the heat up slightly to allow the chicken to crisp well. Drain excess oil on paper towels before serving.

Leave a Comment

11 Responses to “Prawn Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Gai)”

  1. B — July 31, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

    Tasty and fragrant, just like at a zichar restaurant!


  2. Alice — July 31, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

    Delicious! I love this version of chicken!


  3. Lizzie — July 31, 2013 @ 11:46 pm

    This looks delicious! What else do you use the shrimp paste for?


    • wiffy replied: — August 1st, 2013 @ 12:31 am

      As mentioned in my post, pineapple rice, and basically many Asian stir-fries esp those involving seafood and poultry.


  4. jonie — August 1, 2013 @ 12:33 am

    What is the difference between this shrimp sauce and belachan?

    Can I use it to fry kangkong, long beans etc?

    Like Lizzie, I would like to know what are the other uses of this shrimp sauce.




  5. tigerfish — August 1, 2013 @ 11:08 am

    Wow, they are fried to perfection!

    Not many stalls can master this – sometimes, supposed to be Har Cheo Gai but taste more like fried chicken.


    • wiffy replied: — August 1st, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

      agree with you. without the sharp aroma of shrimp paste, it will just taste like five-spiced chicken like those from the economical bee hoon stalls.


  6. Felicia — August 1, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

    Hi Wiffy

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, I will give a try this weekend. Do you think grilling this wings will taste as good as frying?

    Thanks for suggesting other dishes which the shrimp paste can be used. After cooking your delicious pineapple fried rice recipe, I was wondering what to do with it ;o).



    • wiffy replied: — August 2nd, 2013 @ 11:06 am

      I honestly don’t think har cheong gai will be same without deepfrying, but if you do give it a try, let me know. I do have a local-style baked wings recipe at


      • Felicia Ng replied: — September 23rd, 2013 @ 9:18 am

        Hi Wiffy

        Sorry for my late update, I tried your recipe 3 weeks ago.

        Unfortunately, mine did not turn out well … very salty. I am not sure if it is due to the long duration of marinading, mine was more than 24 hours. Would you recommend me to remove the oyster sauce?


        • wiffy replied: — September 23rd, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

          Hi Felicia, sorry to hear that. Did you measure the quantities? Yes, reduce the oyster sauce next time, and/or the shrimp sauce (maybe half it).

  7. CSoon — August 6, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    anyone tried this on Philips air fryer?


  8. Lynn — September 21, 2013 @ 8:41 am

    Wiffy, yours have a very nice redness. Mine turned out abit floury white.
    What could have been the cause? How do we get the redness?


    • wiffy replied: — September 23rd, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

      Hi Lynn, it sounds like you may have coated your wings with too much flour. The flour, when added to batter, must be dissolved completely into the marinade and form a sticky coat on the chicken. If you see dry white flour on it, they will turn out floury white when deep fried.


  9. Quek Pauline — September 27, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

    Guess you are right! I basically coated the marinated chicken with flour and straight into the wok!
    Taste a bit salty too, I will add less shrimp paste. Overall, I got a nod from family.
    Hopefully next attempt would be a better success! Thanks for sharing.


  10. Sharon — November 13, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    Thank you for this great recipe Noobcook. Tried it and tasted delicious!