Updated: Apr 18, 2020
When America is famous for its hot wings or buffalo wings, Singapore is famous for our Har Cheong Gai aka Shrimp Paste Chicken. I dedicate this burger to a chef whom I have learned so much from, Chef Loh Mun Hon. Sadly, he passed in 2009. He is one of the members who put the famous Singapore Hong Kong Street Chun Kee on the map. What kinda turns me off is those other eateries who spun out using and claiming the sacred Chun Kee. To make matters worse, the dishes aren't even on par.
Rants aside, Har Cheong Gai is Cantonese for Shrimp Paste Chicken. It is rumored that Chef Loh is one of the co-founders of this famous. He not only co-founded this dish, but he also perfected it. Rumors even have it that Chef Loh made his own shrimp paste. But Lee Kum Kee's is close. Har Cheong Gai is usually deep fried wings, but I decided to make it into a burger instead.
I don't wanna go too over the top with this burger. I just wanna keep things simple as just the shrimp paste chicken patty is enuff. I used Sriracha-Mayo as the sauce with some caramelized onion and fresh coriander. I also drizzle the marinade over the chicken while it is frying to create a crispy skirt. There are no better burger buns than the soft steamed bao. In closing, thank you Chef Loh Mun Hon for your culinary and cultural contributions. I hope you will give this recipe a try.
(Make 4 burgers)
Skinless Boneless Chicken Thigh, 300g
Granulated Sugar, 1.5 TBSP
Shrimp Paste Preferably Lee Kum Kee, 1 TBSP
Tapioca Starch, 4 TBSP
Rice Flour, 1 TBSP
Shao Xing / Hua Diao Wine, 1 TBSP
Oyster Sauce, 1 TBSP
Light Soy Sauce, 1 TBSP
Egg Lightly Beaten, 1
Sea Salt, Pinch
White Pepper, Pinch
Dried Mushroom Powder, Pinch
Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, For Frying
Red Onion Finely Sliced, 1
Granulated Sugar, Pinch
Sea Salt, Pinch
Black Pepper, Pinch
Fresh Coriander Coarsely Chopped, A Handful
Sriracha, 3 TBSP
Kewpie Mayo, 3 TBSP
Steamed Bao, 4
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Please visit my “How To Make Mantou / Bao / Turnover Bao” page for the bao recipe.
Prepare the chicken patties.
Slice the chicken thigh into 4 equal pieces.
In a shallow bowl, add the rest of the ingredients.
Stir to combine well and until the sugar has dissolved.
Add in the chicken.
Coat the chicken well with the batter.
Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge overnight.
Prepare a dutch oven with 2 inches of oil over medium heat.
*To check the temperature of the oil, insert a wooden chopstick. If bubbles start to form around the chopstick, the temperature of the oil is ready for frying.*
Using a pair of tongs, gently drop the chicken into the oil away from you.
*Do not discard the marinade.*
Spoon some of the marinades over the chicken to create a crispy skirt.
Deep fried until golden brown on both sides.
Remove from heat and drain off excess oil on a wire cooling rack or on a plate lined with parchment paper.
Assemble the burger.
In a skillet over medium heat, add in about 2 TBSP of oil.
Once the oil is heated up, add in the onion.
Season with sugar, salt and pepper.
Saute to combine well.
Turn the heat down to low.
Saute constantly until the onions are caramelized, about 30 mins.
Transfer into a bowl.
Add in coriander.
Toss to combine well.
In a small bowl, add Sriracha and mayo.
Stir to combine well.
Slice the bao into halves lengthwise.
Spread the Sriracha mayo sauce on all halves.
Place the chicken patties on the bottom bao.
Top it off with the caramelized onion mixture.
Close the burger with the top bao.