Nobody can really say no to fried chicken and while there are many options for delivery, I personally like the traditional shrimp paste fried chicken which can be found in many Chinese restaurants. For those who love shrimp paste chicken as much as me, you will find that this recipe taste just as good as the shrimp paste versions and is not expensive to replicate.
I am using chicken drumsticks for this but you can also use chicken chunks, chicken wings or mid joints for this.
The main seasoning needed for this chicken is fermented beancurd, sugar and red fermented beancurd. (the one in the box is the red fermented beancurd). The 2 beancurd is slightly different in taste as the red one has red rice added for fermentation.
You can find this red fermented beancurd from traditional provision shops as they sell them in blocks. One block will cost about SGD 1. You can find the white fermented beancurd in any supermarket for SGD 2 -3 per bottle.
For this recipe, you need 2 small cubes of the white fermented beancurd and 3/4 of the block of red fermented beancurd.
Add 2 heaped teaspoons of sugar to balance out the saltiness of the beancurd
Next, you have to massage these seasoning into the chicken skin and meat with your hands. You have to make sure that all areas of the chicken are being coated evenly with the beancurd and sugar. You can make cuts in the chicken for the marinade to infused into the meat better.
The chicken should look like this once it has been well coated
Leave the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour in a ziplock bag
Prepare the flour for frying the chicken. I am using this Korean Ottogi frying mix flour as I have used it for some other dishes and I absolutely love the crispiness of the skin. You can buy this at any Korean supermarket
Coat each chicken evenly with a thin layer of the dry flour. You can dust them lightly to make sure that there are no chunky flour bits stuck on the chicken.
Fry them in oil that is hot. Do not put the chicken into the cold oil as the chicken will be soaking up oil. Make sure the oil is hot enough by dropping flour into the oil and if it bubbles, the oil is hot enough for frying. Once you put in the chicken, you can turn the heat down to low medium heat to ensure the chicken is cooked throughout and the skin is not burnt. Each chicken requires 5-8 mins of cooking and you can test if the chicken is cooked by poking the meat with chopsticks. If no blood seeps out, the chicken is well cooked. Before removing the chicken, turn the heat to high to force out additional oil from the chicken.
The chicken should have a thin crust as we used a dry flour instead of a batter and it should be crispy and not too oily
The chicken remains tender and juicy as you cooked them within 8 mins. The flavours of the beancurd are well marinated within the chicken with nice umami flavour but are well balanced with the natural taste of the chicken. My nephew doubted that this would taste like shrimp paste chicken sold at restaurants when I was marinating the chicken but when he ate them, he could not stop.