Sar Keong Chicken Recipe

My mum makes the best spicy sar keong paste. Sar keong is a Cantonese and Hakka term for sand ginger (its scientific name is Kaempferia galanga Linn), a member of the ginger family. Sar keong is widely used in Chinese and Nyonya cooking. The leaves and rhizomes are aromatic- they are shredded and cooked. The rhizomes are smaller than regular ginger and have a distinct smell, unlike ginger.

Besides making it as a spicy paste, sand ginger is used in nasi ulam (Nyonya rice salad) and perut ikan (pickled fish stomach, veg and herb curry). Check out this link for more info on this unique ginger.

Sar Keong Paste Recipe


Shallots, ginger, turmeric root, garlic, dried chili peppers, sar keong leaves and rhizomes, lemon grass and oil. Salt to taste


1. Blend shallots, ginger, tumeric root, garlic, dried chili peppers, sar keong leaves and rhizomes and lemon grass till pulp

2. Heat oil over medium heat and add the blended mixture

3. Reduce to low heat and fry the paste till fragrant

4. Store the mixture in a glass bottle with a tightly closed lid. Keep in freezer

Sar Keong Chicken Recipe


4 chicken thighs, 1 cup sar keong paste, 1 small onion, 4 garlic cloves and 1 tsp oil


1. Remove meat from bones

2. Mince onion and garlic

3. Heat oil on frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Fry until slightly brown

4. Add chicken and stir fry until chicken is almost done

5. Add sar keong paste. Stir to incorporate into chicken mixture. Reduce to low heat and cook for another 5 to 7 mins or until fragrant

6. Serve with rice