Finally, I’m back stateside, having spent a week feasting on some of the best Cantonese food of my life (as well as a Hong Kong McDonald’s). One dish I didn’t write about—until this moment—was shrimp paste fried chicken wings. It’s a well-known variety of fried chicken in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, and it produces a chicken with a funk and umami that’s off the charts. Not surprisingly, shrimp paste fried chicken isn’t so popular in the U.S.—its aroma can be overpowering—but anytime I fry up a batch for friends, their reaction is like the gastronomic equivalent of a double take.
So here’s my challenge to you, adventurous readers of The Takeout: Be an early adopter of shrimp paste chicken wings. Here’s the recipe I use:
It’s from a YouTuber named Jeffrey Pang—if the last name sounds familiar, it’s because yes, he’s my dad. There’s an interesting (to me) story about how he came to produce all these Cantonese recipe videos; I wrote about it for The New York Times Magazine a few years ago. In any case, I can vouch for this recipe. Shrimp paste isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re a reader of this site, I’m willing to bet it’s yours.