3 Zi Char Recipes You Can Make At Home Such As Paper-Wrapped Chicken And Hotplate Egg Tofu
Chinese Recipes Singaporean

3 Zi Char Recipes You Can Make At Home Such As Paper-Wrapped Chicken And Hotplate Egg Tofu

26th October 2021

Easy zi char recipes to try at home


With the extended two-pax restriction, dining out with the fam bam seems to be a thing of the past. Here are three zi char recipes to recreate at home for some hawker-feasting vibes with your loved ones. All you need are common kitchen staples and ingredients━nothing too fancy for these modest yet sumptuous dishes!


1. Hotplate Egg Tofu


zi char recipes - hotplate egg tofu

This is the only vegetable dish I would say yes to ordering as it has everything in one sizzling, hot, and delicious mess. Coining it a “5-in-1 dish”, the Hotplate Egg Tofu has crunchy prawns, marinated minced pork, sweet vegetables, silky egg, and soft tofu, all bubbling in a savoury oyster-based sauce.

zi char recipes - hotplate egg

There isn’t even a need to own a hotplate at home to create this dish. All you need is a pan and some clever use of it. Everything can be cooked in one pan, with the exception of the egg tofu slices that are deep-fried.  

zi char recipes - minced meat marination

There are a few things to prepare beforehand. First up, marinate the minced pork, or minced chicken, with some sesame oil, ground white pepper, cornflour, and a touch of Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce for added umami. Keep it in the fridge and fry up two tubes of egg tofu. 

zi char recipes - garlic and ginger

From here on out, only one pan is needed! Stir fry one tablespoon of minced garlic, minced ginger, diced shallots, and diced shiitake mushrooms with the marinated minced meat. Pro tip: speed up the process by using Lee Kum Kee Minced Garlic and Ginger, which are great substitutes for the freshly diced ones.

zi char recipes - oyster sauce hack

When the shallots turn translucent and the meat has some Maillard browning on its edges, pour in oyster sauce, dark soya sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil, water, prawns, and your favourite medley of vegetables, and let them simmer on medium heat.

zi char recipes - thickened sauce

When everything is well cooked, thicken the sauce with the cornflour mixture and remove the sauced assortment of ingredients into a bowl. 

zi char recipes - eggs

Coat the pan with a generous amount of oil and pour in the eggs to cook on medium heat. Before they fully cook, throw the deep-fried egg tofu followed by the minced meat sauce, and serve it as it sizzles. Watch your loved ones drool in excitement thanks to the sight, sound, and aroma of this iconic zi char dish!

Yield: Serves 4
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 

Meat marinade

100g pork, minced
1 tsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Lee Kum Kee Pure Sesame Oil
¼ tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp cornflour

1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Minced Garlic
1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Minced Ginger
1 tbsp shallots, diced
1 tbsp dried shiitake mushroom, rehydrated and minced
2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Dark Soy Sauce
1 tsp Lee Kum Kee Pure Sesame Oil
1 cup water
Prawns
Vegetables

Thickening cornflour mixture
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp water

2 tubes egg tofu, sliced and deep-fried
6 eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, marinate minced pork with light soya sauce, sesame oil, ground white pepper, and cornflour into minced pork. Set aside, covered, for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. On an oiled pan with medium heat, stir fry minced garlic, ginger, shallots, and shiitake mushrooms until shallots turn translucent. Add marinated minced meat and stir fry till slightly browned.
  3. Add Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce, Shaoxing wine, dark soya sauce, sesame oil, water, prawns, and vegetables into the same pan and let simmer.
  4. Thicken the sauce with the cornflour mixture and transfer everything to a separate bowl.
  5. Using the same pan, add more oil followed by the beaten eggs. Let the eggs cook for about 15 seconds, and run the spatula around the edges and in the middle to create space. Tilt the pan and allow the runny eggs to fill up the space. 
  6. Add the deep-fried egg tofu chunks and minced meat sauce back into the pan before the eggs are fully cooked. 
  7. Serve as the pan is still sizzling.

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2. Paper-wrapped Chicken


zi char recipes - paper wrapped chicken

The sight of these Paper-wrapped Chicken simply triggers all my zi char cravings. This super easy dish is doable even for the noobiest of cooks. Throwing each adorable parcel of chicken into hot oil traps its juices and allows the marinade to caramelise within, making each bite utterly flavourful and delicious.

zi char recipes - easy marinade

The secret to this dish lies in the marinade, and it consists of Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce, light soya sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, spring onion, and a dash of cornflour. 

zi char recipes - spring onion

Let the chicken marinate covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour, before wrapping each chunk with a few stalks of the spring onion in parchment paper. 

zi char recipe - paper wrapped chicken step

Lay the paper in the shape that resembles a diamond, and start by folding the bottom of the paper up onto the chicken. The next step is to fold the wings on the left and on the right across, followed by the top of the diamond down, tucking the tip into the pocket below. Do press every fold down neatly and completely.

Watch our Facebook video here for the detailed steps!

zi char recipes - juicy chicken

When you’re done, just throw them into hot oil, cooking each parcel for at least five minutes per side. You can also air fry them at 200°C for at least 18 minutes, five parcels at a time. Drain as much oil as you can and serve them warm with a bowl of rice.

Yield: Serves 10 pieces
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 

10 pieces of chicken
1 spring onion, chopped into 2 inches
2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce
1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Light Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Pure Sesame Oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Minced Ginger
1 tsp cornflour
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, marinate chicken chunks with Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce, light soya sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, cornflour, and spring onion. Set aside, covered, for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
  2. Lay marinated chicken chunks at the bottom of a diamond-shaped parchment paper. Fold the bottom of the paper up, followed by the left wing across and right wing across. End by folding the top of the paper down, tucking it into the pocket at the bottom of the parcel. Press every fold down neatly and completely.
  3. Heat up a deep pan of oil on medium-high. Fry the paper-wrapped chicken five at a time, for five minutes on each side.
  4. Drain the oil on kitchen paper and serve warm.

3. Fried Prawn Rolls


zi char recipes - fried prawn rolls

Another zi char favourite of mine would have to be hei zho, or better known as Fried Prawn Rolls. These flavour bombs are pretty similar to ngoh hiang, except that they have a higher amount of minced prawn in the filling than the latter.

zi char recipes - minced meat and prawns

These prawn rolls have slightly more steps than the other zi char recipes, but the cooking techniques are still kept simple. Start by making the meat filling. Combine a colourful array of diced ingredients such as carrots, water chestnut, shallots, spring onion, along with minced prawn, minced meat, and cornflour, and mix well.

zi char recipes - beancurd skin

Next, wipe the dried beancurd sheets with a damp cloth, making it more malleable and easy to work with. 

zi char recipes - Chinese meat roll

Here comes the fun part. Spoon a hefty amount of meat filling onto the bottom of the beancurd sheet, fold the right and left sides in, and start rolling the prawn roll from the bottom to the top. Seal the flap with either water or a little bit of neutral-tasting oil such as vegetable oil.

zi char recipes - steamed meat rolls

Steam the rolls for 10 minutes. Let them cool completely before slicing them up. The extra step involves either the air fryer or deep fryer. We chose the air fryer this time for easy cleanup. 

zi char recipes - air fried prawn rolls

Lightly dust each surface of the prawn rolls with cornflour, followed by a light coating of oil and air fry for a total of 12 minutes at 180°C. Flip the rolls at the six-minute mark to ensure an even fry on each side. This will give you a satisfying crunch when you take a bite of the golden-brown nuggets of meat.

Yield: Serves 8
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients: 

8 sheets of dried beancurd skin
Cornflour
Vegetable oil

Meat filling
400g pork, minced
200g prawn, minced
½ cup carrots, diced
1 tbsp water chestnut, diced
1 tbsp spring onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Minced Garlic
1 tbsp shallots, diced
1 tbsp cornflour
½ tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce
½ tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Light Soy Sauce
½ tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp Lee Kum Kee Pure Sesame Oil
½ tsp five-spice powder
½ tsp ground white pepper

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, add minced pork, minced prawn, carrots, water chestnut, spring onion, minced garlic, shallots, cornflour, Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce, soya sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, five-spice powder, ground white pepper, and mix till well combined.
  2. Wipe each side of the dried beancurd skin down with a damp cloth.
  3. Add around three tablespoons of meat filling onto the bottom of the beancurd sheet. Fold the right and left sides of the sheet in and start rolling the prawn roll from the bottom to the top. Seal the flap with either water or oil.
  4. Place rolls in the steamer and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Let the rolls cool completely and slice them up into one-inch pieces. 
  6. Dust lightly with cornflour and oil lightly on all sides.
  7. Air fry for a total of 12 minutes at 180°C. Flip the prawn roll pieces at the midway mark. Serve.

Simple recipes for iconic zi char dishes


zi char recipes - flatlay

Oyster sauce is an important condiment in zi char recipes. Made from quality oyster extracts with a hundred-year recipe, Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce ($7.25) is key in boosting umami flavours found in most Asian fare. The salty and briny twang makes it suitable not only for marinades, but also for stir-fries and even sauces. There’s little need for salt or sugar, and the possibilities are endless. 

zi char recipes - lee kum kee oyster sauce

The best thing is that Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce is also halal-certified. Simply substitute the minced pork to minced chicken in our zi char recipes, and these dishes can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. 

From now till 30 November 2021, get your hands on their panda-printed tote bag by spending a minimum of $20 on Lee Kum Kee products! Purchase them with a bottle of Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce in a single receipt, and redeem the bag at lkkredemption.com

Find out more about Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce here!

Photos taken by Chew Yi En.
This post is brought to you by Lee Kum Kee.

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