Last Call: Shrimp paste makes fried chicken super funky

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Shrimp paste makes fried chicken super funky
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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

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.


Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.


I don’t want to dismiss immediately out of hand a suggestion, but that’s one of those things that it’s probably better off that you wait until after I’ve eaten it and liked it to tell me what’s in it.

Because on a conceptual level, my brain is defaulting a little too readily to squick mode (and I am someone who eats chicken wings with such gusto and shameless disregard for quality that I will get them from the 7-Eleven hot box on purpose.)