Approx. 8 pieces (serves 4) | mains | with meals
Belacan Fried Chicken brings for me, images of hawkers deep-frying densely marinated chicken in huge vats of boiling oil.
It’s pungent, wonderfully aromatic smell permeating the atmosphere, mixed in with the tropical heat.
Belacan (pronounced be-la-chan), like the infamous and notorious Durian, is another of South East Asia’s wonderfully aromatic (read: smelly) secrets. Unlike the durian, belacan is not eaten on it’s own, but is often used as an added flavouring or seasoning to some of the regions best foods. Similar, but stronger in aroma to the Thai fish sauce, belacan is made from tiny shrimp, dried and compacted in to cake blocks. Ranging from reddish brown to dark brown in colour, belacan is rarely used raw, but is typically roasted or pan fried to a dry powdery form.
Terribly pungent, belacan (to those unfamiliar with it) smells of something the cat dragged in, and yet throughout most of South East Asia, its smell is reminiscent of the very best of home-made food.
Taste-wise, belacan is almost just a block of salt, and yet combined with it’s aroma, gives it an intriguingly tantalising taste. It is as if a whole multitude of senses are bombarded at the same time, and with those smells combined with the salty aftermath, taste buds explode.
15 mins waiting
from 60 mins
- 1kg chicken parts (drumsticks and thighs work best)
- 5 tbs flour
- 1 1/2 tsp belacan
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius
- Clean and dry all chicken parts, removing extra fat is desired. Leave skin on as it works best to hold the flour coating in place.
- Place all dry ingredients in a food bag large enough to hold all the chicken.
- Twist the bag shut with some air in it and give all the dry ingredients a good shake to mix well.
- Place the half the chicken in the bag and shake about to mix well.
- Place the rest of the chicken in and mix well.
- Once the chicken is thoroughly coated, lay out the individual pieces on a baking tray.
- Bake for 45 mins – 1 hour. Ensure that the chicken thighs at the thickest parts are cooked through.
Serve immediately with a bowl of steamed fragrant rice as a course or on its own with dip of your choice as a side. Sweet chilli sauce is recommended.