Juicy Deep-Fried Shrimp Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Gai): Shrimp Paste Chicken, more popularly known by its Cantonese name 'Har Cheong Gai', is one of Singapore's most beloved homegrown dishes that you can find at any Cze Char stall islandwide. 

Juicy Deep-Fried Prawn Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Gai) Recipe

Shrimp Paste Chicken, or 'Har Cheong Gai', is one of Singapore's most beloved dishes that you can find. Crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside, this umami-packed chicken wing is sure to win you over, so learn how to make it! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Singaporean / Malaysian
Keyword shrimp paste chicken, har cheong gai, fried shrimp paste chicken
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 358 kcal
Author Bee Leng


  • 1.2 kg Chicken Mid-Wings and Drumlets
  • 250 ml Oil For deep frying
  • 1 bundle Parsley

Marinade Ingredients for the chicken wings


PREPARATION METHOD (prepare the day before)

  1. Remove any feathers on the chicken wings and drumlets. Rub the skin of the chicken pieces with coarse salt to exfoliate the skin, then wash and drain dry.

  2. In a big bowl, place all the chicken wings in a big bowl and marinate them with the marinade ingredients until evenly coated.

  3. Wrap the bowl in cling film and place in the fridge to marinate for 4-6 hours or overnight (preferable), giving it a stir midway. After marinating, remove from the fridge and allow to stand at room temperature for half an hour.


  1. Put 250 ml of oil in a wok and turn the heat up to high. 

  2. Give the chicken mixture a stir before frying. Shake off any excess flour mixture before placing the chicken pieces in small batches into the wok.  Do not overcrowd the chicken pieces in the wok otherwise they won't be cooked uniformly.

  3. After a few mins of frying at high heat, turn the heat down to medium. You can deep fry a few pieces chicken at a time until they turn golden brown.

  4. Remove from heat and transfer on a plate lined with a kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil. Continue to fry the rest of the chicken using steps above.

  5. Once all the chicken pieces are cooked, allow the cooked chicken to cool down for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Heat up the oil again until it is hot, add the chicken pieces in batches back into the wok and fry for a second time for about 2 mins. Make sure you control the fire so that the chicken does not get burnt. This is to purge out the excess oil from the chicken.

  7. Remove from heat and transfer onto a plate lined with a kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil.

  8. Transfer the chicken onto a serving dish, and garnish with some parsley and serve hot with Thai Chilli Sauce.

Top Tips


  1. Use either chicken wings, chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks for deep-frying. These cuts of meat have more fats around them so they do not dehydrate so easily. If you use chicken breast, it tends to become dry and overcooked unless you are very good at controlling the heat.
  2. Deep fry drumstick and chicken thigh pieces (chopped into large chunks) a little longer as they are thicker, making it harder to cook the meat through.
  3. The chicken pieces will be more crispy by adding rice flour to the marinade.


  1. Allow to stand at room temperature for half an hour after taking it out of the fridge. Otherwise the inside of the chicken is still cold and will not get cooked 
  2. Deep-fry with a pair of extra long wooden chopsticks instead of a spatula, as the chopsticks give you better control and precision. You can also use it to check if the oil is hot enough when you see bubbles forming around the chopstick 
  3. When frying the chicken, the oil must be very hot so that it will instantly cook the outer surface of the chicken, thereby sealing in the juices so that the meat won't dry out during the deep frying process.
  4. You then have to turn the heat down to allow the heat to penetrate into the meat and cook it through, without the outside getting burnt.
  5. Remember to turn the heat up to high again before you start to fry each subsequent batches.
  6. Fry the chicken a second time at high heat. This helps to force out the oil from inside the chicken, so that the chicken won't be oily and greasy when you bite into it.


  1. Use Preserved Yellow Bean Curd (Fu Yu) which is less salty if you find the smell of fried prawn paste too pungent (it smells like belachan during frying), For preserved yellow bean curd, the quantity you would use is 6-7 pieces and you have to mash it up with a fork so it becomes like a paste.