How to Make Marmite Chicken, Airfryer Chicken Crackling and Sambal Belacan Tumis

In the 33 years since I left Malaysia, I’d had no inclination to buy Marmite until this dish started showing up on Malaysian restaurant menus here in Australia. What I didn’t realise until the middle of this broadcast (thanks to my audience) was that the NZ-made Marmite I picked up at Woolies is significantly different to the British version I ate back in my childhood. I’ve tweaked this recipe to reflect that a little goes a loooooong way when it comes to NZ Marmite.


Marmite Chicken


500g diced chicken fillets

1 Tbsp tapioca starch

½ tsp pepper

Oil for frying


For the sauce –

½ Tbsp Marmite

1 Tbsp maltose

3-4 Tbsps sugar

1 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (optional)

1 tsp chicken powder

1 tsp pepper


  1. Toss chicken fillets with tapioca starch and pepper.
  2. Heat oil and fry chicken in batches until cooked through.
  3. In a separate pan, combine sauce ingredients.
  4. Simmer until thickened, then toss chicken into pan and mix well.
  5. Remove from heat and serve.

Chicken Crackling (Airfryer Method)


1 cup chicken skin

2 tsps chicken powder

1 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp oil


  1. Toss chicken skin with chicken powder, pepper and oil.
  2. Cook in preheated airfryer (I used an Optimum HealthyFry) for 30 minutes at 170C, pausing to toss for even cooking every 10 minutes.
  3. Remove and spread out to cool. Chicken skin will crisp up further once cooled down.


Sambal Belacan Tumis


  • 1 ½ cups chillies, cut into chunks
  • 6 bird’s eye chillies (optional)
  • 1 ½ onions
  • 2 Tbsp belacan powder (or equivalent if using Thai shrimp paste or Malaysian/Indonesian shrimp paste blocks)
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soya sauce or fish sauce
  • ½ Tbsp chicken powder (optional)
  • ½ cup oil


  1. Blend chillies and onions to desired consistency.
  2. Heat oil in frying pan. Add chilli/onion puree and all other ingredients and cook until oil separates and onion is aromatic – approximately 15-20 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool, then store in glass jar. Sambal will keep in fridge for 6 weeks or in freezer for 6 months.

For more information re: the Optimum HealthyFry airfryer and the Optimum Thermocook, visit

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