Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Inche Kabin (Nonya Fried Chicken) - Penang MFF #3

Inche Kabin, no matter how it's spelled (yes, there are many variations to its spelling- Enche Cabin, Inchi Kaybin.. or whatever!) is a Penang Nonya dish. Said to be invented by the Hainanese chefs who used to work for the rich nyonya families in Penang.

I first had a taste of this dish in a coffee house, haha, yeah, 20 years back, coffee houses were everywhere. It's not like Starbucks that sort of stuff, but one goes to these places to have sundaes and chicken chop, set lunch and probably get that cup of instant coffee with sachets of  creamer and sugar. I ordered this dish because the name sounds special, I expected something Japanese, LOL.

But when it came, yikes! It's fried chicken and it tasted Malaysian! Hahaha. I was so taken by surprise.
That was me, in my teens, during the days were we know nothing of foreign food unless one reads tonnes of recipe books from all genre.

The list of spices is a bit tedious to 'compile'. I don't keep stock of spice powders but I have an almost  complete collection of common whole spices. So, I grind my own. But you can always use store bought powders :)

Inchi Kabin
Reference: Nonya Flavours 

1/2 chicken (750gm), cut into bite sized pieces

Spice Paste
2 shallots
1  tsp chilli powder
1/2 Tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp fennel powder
1/8 tsp clove powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
50 ml coconut milk

Dipping Sauce
1/2 Tbsp mustard
1+1/2 Tbsp worcestershire  sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lime juice
1/2  tsp  light soy sauce
1 red chilli, sliced

*For the spices, I used whole spices and milled them fine. Double the amount for coriander, cumin, fennel and black pepper. Whole spices when ground are reduced to about half of the original amount. Toast the whole spices before grinding. I also used 2 dried chillies instead of store bought chilli powder.

1. Prepare spice paste. Grind the hardest ingredients first, then gradually add in the softer ingredients. Blend until it turns to a fine paste.
2. Marinate chicken with the spice paste for 3 hours.
3. Deep fry the chicken pieces on medium heat until cooked and slightly golden. Drain the chicken, turn up the heat of the oil, wait until the oil is very hot and fry the chicken pieces a second time.
4. Serve with the dipping sauce.


  1. Oh wow, I am salivating...I know I dont need to say further, sure to be very delicious!!!!

  2. I can't believe you got the recipe! Back in the day, "Loke Thye Kee" Restaurant in Pg was the place to have this dish. I have even tried google. I will so try this. Have you ever had the "macaroni pie" from the same place? My mum did her version which was very close but unfortunately with dementia, she cannot recall the recipe. Many thx!

  3. Chris,
    I think this dish is quite common on the internet,there are variations to the recipe by different people, maybe just the spelling is different. Sorry, I have never tried the macaroni pie.

  4. Look very authentic:D So many things to try and so little time!

  5. I had it once at a Penang restaurant. I love it! Thought of doing it this weekend :)

  6. Hi Wendy! I seldom deep fry at home... but this sure looks very tempting!

  7. Wendy, I wanna cook this dish but the ingredients list is so long lol!


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