Crispy fried chicken coated with marmite sauce is a popular choice at Chinese eateries (煮炒餐馆) in Malaysia and Singapore. The sweet and savoury gravy is delicious and appetizing.
Marmite chicken is a popular dish found at Chinese eateries known as ‘dai chao' which are commonly found throughout Malaysia or at ‘zi char’ in Singapore. My favourite choices at ‘dai chao’ restaurants are marmite chicken and 'Kung Pao' Mantis Prawns. Marmite, a food spread from United Kingdom is made up of yeast extract. The taste of marmite is very much like concentrated salty beer. Hence, it is added to many dishes for the added umami. I love the gravy in the dish besides the light crunchiness of the chicken.
Type of meat
The honey marmite sauce goes well with either chicken or pork. Use chicken breast or chicken thighs for this recipe. Alternatively, you can make marmite pork instead. Simply replace chicken with pork slices. The best part of pork to use are the shoulders or pork butt.
Honey marmite chicken
This marmite chicken recipe uses honey and maltose as sweeteners. Maltose, also known as malt sugar is not that sweet compared to other sweeteners and is commonly used in Chinese cooking. If you do not have maltose, double the amount of honey used in this recipe.
Taste of marmite
Marmite is an acquired taste. I don't enjoy it as it is but love it when it is used in marmite chicken. If you're serving this dish to someone who hates marmite, don't worry! It does not have the overpowering taste of marmite which some may find unpleasant. However, if you are concerned, use half the recommended amount of marmite stated in this recipe.
Substitute for marmite
Marmite can be found in local grocery stores depending on your location. Otherwise, you may find it at Asian grocers. While many references online suggest using dark miso and/or soy sauce as substitutes, they will not work for this recipe as marmite and its flavour is unique. Substituting it with the aforementioned ingredients will turn it into a totally different dish instead.
Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for 'Shaoxing' wine?
Unfortunately, there is none as Shaoxing wine is added for its sweetness. While most suggested using apple juice as a substitute, I highly advised against it. It will spoil the flavour of the dish making it taste slightly tart. If you do not want to have alcohol in the recipe, simply omit it as the main flavour of the gravy comes from the marmite and other sweeteners.