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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kam Heong Chicken...Golden Fragrant deliciousness

There's nothing like the feeling of accomplishment, for a foodie, when you have tasted a dish at a restaurant and been able to replicate back in your own kitchen.  This was definitely the case for Kam Heong Chicken, a Little Nyonya specialty that I had ordered and tasted for the first time some weeks back in Docklands.  This dish really explodes as a fusion of Chinese, Malay and Indian flavours - which is the very foundation of the Peranakan settlers to the straits of Malacca, who are credited with the creation of Nyonya cuisine.
Kam Heong translates to "golden fragrant", and this in itself sums this dish right up as it went down a treat, deliciously, and definitely had a very inviting aroma that made you feel you were right in the thick of it...Malacca that is!
The paste base for Kam Heong is surprisingly simple to make and I recommend bottling some away in the fridge, to use with other proteins like fish or even tofu.
Ingredients, to serve 4
4 x Chicken thigh fillets, skinned and cut into three portions
Oil for shallow frying
1 x Egg white
2 tsp x Light soy sauce
2 tsp x Oyster sauce
2 tsp x Sesame oil
1 tbsp x Shao Xing wine
2 tbsp x Cornflour
3 tbsp x Cooking oil
100g x Dried prawns, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, then rinsed and drained
6 x Shallots, diced finely
4 x Garlic cloves, chopped finely
4-5 sprigs x Curry leaves, picked
4 x Red Chilli, chopped (deseed if you prefer a milder dish)
4 tbsp x Curry powder (I use a Malaysian meat curry powder which is more fragrant)
6 tbsp x Oyster sauce
2 tbsp x Light soy
1 tbsp x Dark soy 
2 tsp x Sugar
100ml water, plus extra to liquify
Combine all marinade ingredients, except the cornflour, with the chicken pieces
Allow to stand in the fridge for at least an hour
Dust in the cornflour and mix through with a spoon

Heat enough oil in a large frypan for shallow frying
Fry chicken in batches on each side for 3 minutes then again for a final minute
Set aside to stand while you prepare the sauce

To make the sauce heat the oil in a wok and add the prawns garlic and shallots
Saute for 2 minutes then add the curry leaves and chilli, fry for a further 2 minutes
Add the curry powder and stir through to lightly toast, do not allow to burn
 Combine the oyster and soy sauces with the sugar and stir into the dry ingredients
Pour in the water a little at a time mixing to combine
Taste the sauce and adjust for sweetness or saltiness
At this point you can remove about a third of the sauce and bottle it for another dish
Use a little extra water to bring the sauce to a thick consistency and a slow boil
Add the cooked chicken to the sauce folding through to coat and combine
Allow the chicken to heat through for about 4 minutes 
Serve with steamed rice and cucumber slices


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