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Kam Heong Chicken

by Kelly
Kam Heong Chicken

Kam Heong Chicken, which literally translates into “golden fragrant” chicken in Cantonese, is one of my favourite chicken dishes in Malaysia, with its harmonious blend of aromatics, umami, and heat. It’s one of those unique dishes that is hard to find anywhere else, and also hard to describe until you try it yourself!

Here are the ingredients:

  1. Boneless Chicken Legs: Tender and juicy, they absorb the essence of the dish.
  2. Dried Shrimp: These tiny crustaceans pack a punch. Their briny intensity infuses the chicken with depth.
  3. Lemongrass: Like a citrusy flute, lemongrass adds brightness. Its delicate fragrance lingers in every bite.
  4. Shallots and Garlic: Shallots give sweetness and garlic brings earthiness.
  5. Big Chili: Brings some heat.
  6. Curry Leaves: These emerald leaves provide a herbaceous counterpoint with their aroma.
  7. Curry Powder: Gives warmth and complexity.
  8. Oyster Sauce: Gives that umami depth.
  9. Sugar: Balances the savory and spicy elements.
  10. Dark Soy Sauce: Its deep color and robust flavor deepen the composition.
  11. Water: It tempers the intensity, allowing the flavors to meld.

The chicken, marinated in soy sauce, white pepper, and cornflour, sizzles as it meets hot oil. The golden brown pieces are set aside, waiting for their moment. Next, the dried shrimp, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chili, and curry leaves are pan fried until aromatic. After adding the curry powder, oyster sauce, sugar, and dark soy sauce, the sauce starts to form and looks absolutely amazing. Then come the chicken, to be coated in the rich, savory sauce.

Serve it alongside hot steamed rice, and your mouth will experience an amazing blend of sweet, spicy, and savory. Kam Heong Chicken is probably not suitable for kids due to the heat, but adults will absolutely devour this chicken in no time due to it’s intense flavors. So let’s get to it!

Watch How To Make It

Kam Heong Chicken

Kam Heong Chicken is one of my favorite chicken dishes, with an intense blend of aromatics, umami, and heat, and is hard to find outside Malaysia!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: dinner, easy recipe, lunch, spicy
Servings: 2


  • 2 boneless chicken legs
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • some white pepper
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 20 g dried shrimp
  • 1 lemongrass
  • 5 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 big chili
  • some curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • some water


  • Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then mix it with light soy sauce, white pepper and cornflour. Chop up the lemongrass, shallots and garlic too.
  • Heat up oil in a pot, deep fry the chicken until it turns golden brown, and set it aside.
  • Stir fry the dried shrimp, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chili and curry leaves until fragrant.
  • Add curry powder, oyster sauce, sugar, dark soy sauce and water. Then add back the chicken, coat it with the sauce, and it's time to eat!

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