Friday, 17 February 2017

Air Fried Fermented Tofu Chicken 气炸腐乳鸡块

Recipe adapted from

When I made Oven Baked Prawn Paste Chicken Wings (虾酱鸡) last week, I inadvertently disappointed someone at home because he's allergic to anything prawns. My oh could I disappoint my Dad? I knew I had to find an alternative to prawn paste and hopefully achieve a similar fermented flavour that my old folks crave for. Since the keyword was 'fermented', I thought I should give this Air Fried Fermented Tofu Chicken 气炸腐乳鸡块 a try! After all, be it prawn paste or tofu, the key to my old folks' stomach and heart is to have the dish delivered in 'fermented' style!

I rarely deep fry for health reasons. My old folks are both over 70 years old. It does not feel and sound right to cook them food that has gone through a thorough hot oil bath. I normally resort to oven baking or air frying. Bear in mind that I was cooking for my aged parents. Hence, for easy consumption, I used boneless chicken chops or thigh meat (cut into pieces) instead of chicken wings. Surely, you may apply the same to chicken wings.

Ingredients (enough for 4 pax) :
  • 3 pieces of boneless chicken chop (pre-marinated with a little salt and sesame oil)(cut each piece of chicken chop into 4 small pieces of identical sizes)

Just Before Cooking
  • 2 tbsp corn starch flour
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cooking oil (to sprinkle on chicken before air frying)

For Marinating

  • 2 pieces or 2 tsp of spicy fermented tofu (available at supermarkets or local grocery stores)
  • 1 tsp fermented tofu sauce (that comes in the bottled fermented tofu)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic 
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp shaoxing wine

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Method : 
  1. Mash the fermented tofu in a bowl.
  2. Add all marinating seasonings into bowl and mix well.
  3. Combine chicken pieces and mixture into a large bowl and mix well. 
  4. Cover with cling wrap and leave to marinate in refrigerator for half a day or overnight.
  5. Remove chicken pieces from refrigerator 30-45 minutes before cooking. Allow adjustment back to room temperature. 
  6. Before cooking, combine corn starch flour, plain flour, baking powder, baking soda in a dry bowl and mix well.
  7. Place chicken pieces (one by one) into the flour bowl and ensure chicken pieces are evenly coated with flour mixture.
  8. Arrange chicken pieces into air fryer with skin facing up. Do not overlap or stack. (may have to air fry in 2 batches, depending on size of air fryer.)
  9. Drizzle a little cooking oil onto the chicken pieces.
  10. Air fry at 190 degrees celsius or 374 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  11. Remove from air fryer when cooked. Chicken skin should be crispy by then. Otherwise, air fry for another 5 minutes. 
  12. Serve whilst hot.

(scroll to bottom of page, click on "Print" or "PDF" icon for printer friendly recipe)

Whilst I must admit deep frying still produces better results in comparison to air frying, I am contended to have my crispy chicken skin and tender chicken meat. I guess the usage of chicken thigh meat was a safe bet as it's not easy to overcook this part of the chicken. 

asked my husband if my Air Fried Fermented Tofu Chicken 气炸腐乳鸡块 was tasting anywhere close to the prawn paste version. I was elated when he said "Yes!". It means a lot to me to find an alternative to achieve this fermented flavour that's so dear to my parents' hearts. 


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