Chicken, Side Dish

Inchi Kabin – Nyonya Fried Chicken

Inchi Kabin is a Nyonya-style fried chicken marinated with over 10 spices and coconut milk. I thought the name is very unique unlike any other dishes name, no? My first encounter with Inchi Kabin was at Nyonya Foodhouse (ground floor), formerly located at Atria Shopping Centre (or was it Nyonya Cuisine Restaurant all along?). The restaurant is now known as Nyonya Cuisine (located at a building next to Atria) if I’m not mistaken. Actually that’s the only place I have my doses of inchi kabin – the very best one (with kick)! Just thinking about it makes me salivate. Ohh, dare me if you have a better one to recommend. 🙂

But of course as a person who likes to cook, it’s only a matter of time before I make my own inchi kabin. So imagine my sheer delight when I found an inchi kabin recipe from my sis’ Nyonya Flavours cookbook. This recipe is very easy and simple to follow. The only roadblock perhaps is gathering all the spices (up to 10 types). Hehe

Inchi Kabin - Nyonya Fried Chicken
Inche Kabin (Inchi Kabin)

Let’s start cooking!

Pound Shallots
First, pound shallots with mortar and pestle.

Place the spices in a large wide pan.

Combine All Ingredients
Add coconut milk and mix until combine.

Clean chicken and cut into smaller pieces.
I used about 1.25kg instead of the recommended 1.5kg chicken ranging from ribs, wings and breast.

Add chicken into the wide pan.

Marinate Chicken
Use your hand to get the spices into every nook and corner.

Marinate for 3-4 hours or overnight in the fridge. Mine was marinated overnight.

Add 2-3 cups of oil for frying in a wok.

Fry Chicken
Deep fry the chicken pieces until almost cooked.
I didn’t deep fry mine (only 3/4 submerge) because I wanted to save oil. Thank God I did this because after the first frying session, the oil has lots of dark sediment (due to the shallots I think). It sticks to the chicken as well.

First Frying
This is the result of the first frying session.
I already picked out most of the burnt crud from the chicken.

Next reheat oil and deep fry the chicken until golden brown and crispy.
Because my oil was really dark. For this second frying session, I use new oil.

Drain on paper towel and add onions (and/or spring onions) for garnish. That’s it!
Serve warm with the sauce.

I did prepare the sauce but it was not to my liking. I added the sauce recipe at the bottom. Feel free to try it.

Inchi Kabin - Nyonya Fried Chicken
The result is a flavorful and tender Nyonya fried chicken.
For me, inchi kabin and raw onions together is the perfect combo.

Though I must say there’s something missing (just little). Perhaps because I’ve tasted the best :). Maybe I need to increase the quantify of the spices to get more kick. Don’t let this prevent you from trying though. It’s still worth it.

Inchi Kabin – Nyonya Fried Chicken
Adapted from Nyonya Flavours

1.5kg chicken, cut into 16 pieces

Spice paste
4 shallots, pounded
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp fennel powder
1/4 tsp clove powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp sugar, or to taste
100ml thick coconut milk

2-3 cups oil, for deep frying

Sauce (mix together)
1 tsp mustard powder
3 tbsp Worcester/HP sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 red chilies, sliced

1-2 onions for garnish, sliced
1 stalk spring onions for garnish, sliced

1. Combine the spice paste ingredients in a large bowl or wide pan. Add chicken and coat them well with the spice paste. It’s better to use your hand to get the spices into every nook and corner. Marinate for 3-4 hours (preferably overnight) in the refrigerator.

2. Heat oil in a wok or fryer/saucepan. Fry the chicken until almost cooked. Remove them and drain.

3. Now reheat the oil and deep fry the chicken again until golden brown and crispy.

4. Remove the fried chicken and drain on paper towels. Plate the yummy inche kabin and garnish with onions and spring onions. Serve warm with sauce.

Hope you like it.

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  • Reply Nava Krishnan June 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Lovely Amy, wish I can taste some. The ingredients are all perfectly clinging on to the chicken pieces.

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 12, 2011 at 10:49 am

      Lovely and yummy hehe.

  • Reply baobabs June 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    YUM!! i can’t believe I grew up with a nonya grandma and never had this chicken wings before!!

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 15, 2011 at 8:48 am

      Really? You should try it someday. 🙂

  • Reply cazzycazz June 15, 2011 at 1:59 am

    I have not heard of this dish too! It’s time for me to be a ‘copycat’ again and try it out! I am sure the men at home would love this very much ^_^

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

      Feel free to add extra spices for the kick ya.

  • Reply George Wong September 19, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Nyonya claimed that this is a nyonya dish, but if you ask any nyonya what does Inche Kaybin means, I bet you they won’t be able able to tell you.
    Inche Kabin was actually a Hainanese word. It mean marinated fried chicken cutlet
    (醃炸鸡片)pronounce in hainanese dialet.
    this disk was made famous by a group of hainanese cook in Penang in the early 50′.

    • Reply Che-Cheh September 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Hi George, thank you for info. It’s really interesting.

  • Reply Anthony April 6, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Hi Amy, can I bake the chicken instead? My place is too small to fry oily wings!

    • Reply Che-Cheh April 6, 2018 at 11:33 am

      Hi Anthony, not advisable because it won’t be inchi kabin anymore. You can use a saucepan to fry about one to two chicken pieces at a time.

  • Reply Jeanne Chua March 18, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    My mum is a Peranakan from Penang. She cooks this dish and we love it ! The nyonya from Melaka & Singapore do not have this dish.

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 19, 2019 at 8:51 am

      Hi Jeanne, I love this dish too but haven’t been cooking it. Gotta make inchi kabin again!

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