For avid lovers of zi char, har cheong gai, or prawn paste chicken, is the must-have dish at every zi char restaurant. During this stay-at-home period, many of us might have more time on our hands to experiment with cooking new dishes. So, instead of the usual har cheong gai, why not change it up and try making har cheong ribs instead?
A key tip is to get a good cut of meat, like prime ribs.
Har cheong is made from fermented shrimp. Shrimp paste is characteristically salty with a strong pungent seafood flavour.
For balance, I use ginger juice and ground spices to marinate the meat. Ginger juice also tenderises the meat.
Sand ginger powder (sha jiang fen in Mandarin) is aromatic. It is not commonly found in supermarkets or provision shops. I found it at Kwong Cheong Thye’s retail shop in Geylang.
The powder is nice to have, but if you can’t get any, it is fine to leave it out.
Marinating the meat for four hours should be sufficient for the meat to soak up the flavours.
If you intend to marinate it overnight, cut back on the shrimp paste as the meat may get overly salty.
Deep-fry the ribs over medium-low heat so that the meat can cook through evenly without getting burnt.