I ordered belacan chicken wings in a restaurant in Singapore a couple of months back. Which clearly upset the lady who owned the restaurant. She said that not one single tourist had ever liked this belacan dish before. But I insisted on trying it and eventually she gave in.
So we were sitting at a wobbly plastic table outside in the shade and ordered a few other things to munch on. And then, le moment supreme. The lady comes out of the tiny kitchen with a plate of golden fried chicken wings. Followed by that sharp fishy smell.
I didn’t hesitate though.
I sank my teeth in one of the wings as soon as I could touch them without burning my fingers. And I just kept on devouring the whole plate of fried wings. You should have seen the lady’s face light up. She was so relieved to hear that I loved it! All the time she stood outside watching me from a distance. Probably afraid and waiting for the moment when I push the whole lot aside and ask for my money back.
I even ordered a second portion of these belacan wings! It might be hard to believe but I honestly adore belacan. The husband is less impressed, he’s not a fan of that smelly stuff. I love it with clams as well!
Belacan Chicken Wings
Belacan is a tacky shrimp paste, it’s very popular in Malaysian cuisine. I brought back a jar of the pungent paste. Believe me, it tastes much better than it smells!
So how many entire chicken wings can you eat for dinner? I find pretty thick and fatty whole wings at my local supermarket. They look small but boy, there’s so much meat on those bones! So after munching and gnawing my way through my wing dinner I always throw in the towel after 5 or 6.
Do you love intriguing flavors and unusual combos?
Then also try this Malaysian dish: Nynonya fried eggs belanda in a sweet and sour sauce! Finger licking good.
- 8 chicken wings
- 3 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp shrimp paste
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp tamarind juice
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp hot chili sauce
- olive oil
- In a large baking dish or mixing bowl combine the shrimp paste, lime juice, tamarind juice, brown sugar, hot chili sauce and the fish sauce.
- Stir well into a sticky marinade. Then add the chicken wings.
- With a soft brush or with your hands start rubbing the marinade all over the chicken wings. Make sure they are entirely coated.
- Then cover the chicken wings and the dish or bowl with a piece of cling film and place it in the fridge for an hour to marinate so all the lovely flavors can develop. Then remove the chicken wings from the fridge again, get rid of the cling film and sprinkle the wings with the corn starch or tapioca flour.
- Rub the chicken wings all over with the starch or flour. This will add extra crunch to them while grilling. Then place the chicken wings neatly on a large baking tray. Sprinkle lightly with some olive oil.
- Grill the marinated chicken wings under a hot grill for 30 minutes. Halfway through cooking time turn the wings over and grill them on their uncooked side. In the end the wings will look golden brown, crunchy on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Then remove the wings from the grill and place them on a large serving tray. Serve hot with extra chili sauce.