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Fried Arrowhead Chips

Fried Arrowhead Chips

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Fried arrowhead chips are one of the staple and more popular Chinese New Year snack found in most homes during the festive season. It is crispy, delicious and so addictive that you would not be able to stop once you start munching on them.

Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 30 mins


Fried Ngaku, Fried Chiku, Kerepek ngaku, 炸芽菇饼

Malaysian, Singaporean


500 g arrowhead
300 ml oil

Nutrition per Serving

46 kcal
4 g
3 g
1 g

Community Food Snaps


Fried arrowhead chips are only available during Chinese New Year. It is quite pricey due to its scarcity and deliciousness. In the Malay language, arrowhead is known as ‘nga-ku’, a term borrowed from the Cantonese vocabulary. Hence, fried arrowhead chips are referred to as ‘kerepek ngaku’ which is literally translated to ‘ngaku chips’. When fried, arrowhead chips do not need any extra flavouring as they are savoury on its own. It also has a higher content of protein compared to potato and definitely does taste better than potato chips. Trust me, this is coming from a big potato chips lover.

How to choose arrowhead?

Arrowheads are bought fresh in the wet market or Asian grocers. In Germany, I found them sold at almost all Asian grocers in the months of January/February. When choosing arrowheads, pick those which plump and firm. Do not choose arrowheads which have cracks at the bottom as that would result in the slices of arrowhead breaking into smaller pieces when slicing. Cracks in the arrowhead also allow dirt to collect and this will affect the quality of the chips when fried.

Why are the chips soft?

It could be due to two reasons. First, it could be because the chips were removed from the oil prematurely. The chips should only be removed from the oil once they are golden yellow in colour and bubbles no longer appear around them. The second reason could be the oil was not hot enough. Frying chips over low heat will make them turn soggy.

Arrowhead chips cooked in air fryer

The ngaku chips can be either be fried in an air fryer or baked in an oven. To fry them using an air fryer, lay the slices with minimum overlapping (at most 3 layers). Then, fry the chips at 200 celsius for 20 minutes. 5 minutes into the cooking process, lightly toss the chips to separate them. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes if the chips are not fully cooked yet. The final result should be slightly browned chips.

How to store arrowhead chips?

Arrowhead chips must be left to cool to room temperature before storing them in an air tight container and kept in a cool area. Depending on the humidity, fried arrowhead chips can be kept for two to three weeks.

Steps to Prepare

Fried Arrowhead Chips Step 1

Step 1 of 4

Clean arrowhead

    • 500 g arrowhead

Remove the skin of the arrowhead and cut off bumps or cracks, leaving behind the tip where it begins to sprout. Slice the bottom of the arrowhead to have a flat surface.

Fried Arrowhead Chips Step 2

Step 2 of 4

Slice arrowhead

    • water

Using a knife or mandoline, slice arrowhead thinly. Each slice should be about 0.2 mm. When using the mandoline, firmly hold it with one hand while gripping the stalk of the arrowhead with the other to swiftly run it through the blade. In a bowl of cold water, soak sliced arrowhead for at least 30 minutes to remove excess starch.

Fried Arrowhead Chips Step 3

Step 3 of 4

Remove excess water from arrowhead

Rinse sliced arrowhead under running water. Lay each slice on a piece of clean cloth to remove excess water. When the arrowhead slices are dry, they are ready to be fried. Otherwise, oil would splatter during the frying process.

Fried Arrowhead Chips Step 4

Step 4 of 4

Fry arrowhead slices

    • 300 ml oil

Heat a pot of vegetable oil (not olive oil) over medium heat. Dip a wooden chopstick or skewer in oil to check if it is ready. Bubbles would appear around the wooden chopstick or skewer if it is. Carefully, fry a few slices of arrowhead until golden yellow in colour. Do not crowd the pot when frying. Remove chips when there are no bubbles around them.

Published: January 9, 2019

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