Shrimp Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Gai)

Ultra Crispy Shrimp Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Gai)

Course: Appetizer, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Singaporean
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
marinade chicken: 8 hours
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Marvellina
Pieces of chicken are coated with shrimp paste marinade and fried! It's definitely not your ordinary fried chicken! Served with the crispy bits made from the marinade. Umami to the max!
Print Recipe


  • 500 gr chicken wings (mid sections) bones and skin intact
  • Oil for deep-frying


Marinate ingredients:

Chili sauce (optional):

  • 3-4 dried red chili such as chile Guajilo (more if you use smaller dried chili)
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Pinch of salt
  • Juice of 1 lime


Marinate the chicken:

  • Dissolve the sugar in hot water. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients
  • Clean the chicken wings by rinsing in cold running water. Cut the chicken wing into two pieces discard the wing tip. Put the chicken into the marinade you prepare above. Make sure every piece is coated and let them marinade for at least one hour if you are pressing for time, but best if you can marinate overnight for 8 hours or more

Prepare the batter:

  • Mix the cornstarch, flour, and baking powder in a bowl. Stir to mix. Crack in eggs and add water. Stir to mix until you get a smooth batter

First frying:

  • Get the chicken out from the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to start cooking. When ready to fry, in a deep pot, heat enough oil for deep-frying. If you have a deep-fry thermometer, heat the oil until it registers 300 F (150 C)
  • Coat the chicken pieces in the batter. Fry the chicken few at a time, don't overcrowd the pot or you will lower the temperature of the oil too much and your chicken will end up too greasy. Fry until the chicken pieces are golden brown and cooked through inside, about 5-8 minutes. Place on an absorbent paper towel and continue on with the rest until you are done frying all the chicken. This part is to cook the chicken but they won't be crispy. Let them rest for about 15 minutes before frying for the second time

Second frying:

  • Remove all the loose bits in the oil. Heat the oil back up to 375 F (190C) if you have a thermometer. We are going to fry them for the second time. will give the chicken a nice crispy crust and darker golden brown color to it. Do this in batches and this round will not take long, as the chicken will cook faster. Remove to an absorbent paper towel. This part is to crisp up the chicken

Preparing the chili sauce (can be made few days ahead):

  • Soak the chili in warm water for 15 minutes. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process into a smooth paste. Pour in a small saucepan and let it cook for about 5 minutes. It should have a hint of sweetness with that zing from the lime and savory at the same time