Thursday, January 6, 2011

Belacan "Popcorn" Chicken, Two-Ways

I call these popcorn chicken because they look like the ones sold in KFC, except that my version is slightly bigger (and meatier) and not just morsels of deep fried flour like KFC's. Z saw these on the kitchen counter as I was frying them and immediately asked for some. I guess he must have known that anything deep-fried  must be good. These are perfectly bite-sized, so they are easy on little hands and little mouths. Both Z and H loved them and kept coming back for more.

In making these, I used chicken breast fillets as I find that they are easier to cut into neat little cubes. I used bottled fine shrimp paste and peanut butter (yes!) as a base for the marinade, and then dusted them in potato flour to give it a "karaage-like" effect when deep-fried. You can substitute with cornflour but I think the results may be slightly different.

I also switched it up to make a spicy adult version for our dinner, and I did this by frying some chopped garlic, chillies, spring onions and curry leaves in a little oil, and then tossed in the fried chicken pieces together with some salt and pepper (white/black/szechuan pepper will do, or try paprika or chilli flakes).

Here is the recipe for "Popcorn" Chicken:


500g chicken breast fillet, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
About 1 cup potato flour/starch (or substitute with cornflour)
Oil for deep-frying

1 heaped tbsp Lee Kum Kee Fine Shrimp Sauce
1 heaped tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Shao Hsing chinese cooking wine
Dash of pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp cornflour


  1. Combine marinade (except cornflour) in a bowl and mix it thoroughly with the chicken. Then add cornflour and mix again. Leave in fridge to marinade for 3-4 hours.
  2. Heat up oil in a wok. Coat the chicken pieces in potato flour and fry them in batches, for about 4-5 minutes each time until lightly golden and cooked. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. You can refry them a second time for a crispier coating. Enjoy these little chicken poppers!

"Popcorn" Chicken Nuggets for the kids

Deep-fried salt and pepper chicken


Roxan said...

Oh, these look amazing! They look like the popcorn chicken from this boba chain called Lollicup - not sure if you're familiar with it.

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Thanks! Never tried Lollicup ones before. Are they salty and spicy?