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 or oven
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.
To bake the chips, toss them with 2 tablespoons of oil before baking at 210 Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes. You can use any type of oil of your choice. Do not overlap the chips when baking.
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.