Marmite chicken

Marmite chicken

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

If you are a Vegemite and Bovril lover, then you will love Marmite chicken. I am 99.99 per cent sure that this dish originated from Malaysia; it was a big hit back in the early 90s, and almost every Chinese restaurant had its own version, which they claimed to be the best in town. ‘But Marmite and chicken together?’, I hear you say! As peculiar and absurd as it may sound, the natural savoury flavour of Marmite works beautifully with soy sauce and honey. You will just have to give it a try!


Quantity Ingredient
500g chicken pieces, such as drumsticks, wings or marylands, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon light soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon extra for the sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons rice flour
1 tablespoon marmite yeast extract
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dark soy caramel
pinch freshly ground black pepper
pinch sesame seeds, toasted
vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  1. Put the chicken pieces in a bowl with the teaspoon of light soy sauce, the oyster sauce, beaten egg, cornflour and rice flour. Stir to combine, then place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Pour the vegetable oil into a large saucepan until about half full, then heat the oil to 180°C over medium–high heat. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dipping a wooden chopstick into the hot oil — if the oil starts steadily bubbling around the chopstick, it’s ready. Working in batches, deep-fry the chicken until golden brown. This will take about 10–15 minutes depending on the size of the chicken pieces. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
  3. Combine the Marmite, honey, water, dark soy caramel and extra tablespoon of light soy sauce in a bowl, stirring until the Marmite is dissolved. Heat a wok over medium–high heat, pour in the sauce, then add the pepper and continue to stir until the sauce has thickened and reduced to one-third of its original volume. Return the chicken to the wok, and toss everything together until the chicken pieces are evenly coated in the sauce. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with steamed rice.


  • You can also use this same recipe for pork ribs or prawns; they both taste just as nice.
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