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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.


  • 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. 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.
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31 comments on “Prawn Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Gai)”

  1. Hi wiffy,

    Is it possible to use belacan block, instead of the paste? I’ve a block but dunno how to make the paste. Dun want to waste it. :)

    • for this recipe, I would recommend shrimp paste and not substituting with the belacan block, because you do need it in the liquid state to form the coating for the chicken before deep-frying. For other uses of shrimp paste, I frequently add it to my stir-fries and especially fried rice (just a small tsp will do) as a secret ingredient to jazz up a dish. Get the shrimp paste tag at the end of the recipe to see what other recipes it appear in :)

  2. Hi, I was just wondering if potato starch can be used instead of adding corn flour to the batter before frying? What I understood from reading some recipe books/websites, corn flour will produce the fried texture of tortilla chips and potato starch… the texture of potato chips which means it’s crispier. Is that right?

  3. HiHi! Can Prawn Paste Chicken be cooked in the AirFryer? If so, what do I need to take note, and for how long on what temperature? Thankyou for inspiring all of us home cooks!

  4. Just wanted to share that i followed your recipe but baked in an oven toaster and it tasted yummy!! I placed the wings on a wire rack, baked at 200 degrees before cranking up to 250 degrees to get the crispy skin. No oily stove/kitchen to clean. Yeh!!

  5. I have a bottle of prawn paste instead of shrimp paste. Can I used this? This prawn paste I have seen ppl using it for penang rojak.

    Thanks for time n advice

    • If it’s black colour sauce, it’s not the same one. The sauce colour should look like the one shown in page 2 of the recipe.

  6. Hi Wiffy,
    Instead of shrimp paste, can I use Sing Long shrimp paste powder? Dad initially told me he can’t find the shrimp paste at NTUC and bought the powder and we’ve been using it for the last couple of fried chicken wings batches,

  7. Is it compulsory to add 1 tsp Shaoxing wine. What is the purpose of this wine in Shrimp Paste chicken. Does the wine enhance the taste or whatever?

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