Chin Chin is a deep fried Nigerian snack made primarily from flour, sugar, butter and eggs. It is very often, sweet and crunchy and shaped into mock 1 inch cubes. Chin Chin is quite simple to make and doesn’t require a whole lot of fussing.
It is also, often found as a street snack in Nigeria or even in supermarkets and is sold in clear/transparent plastic/ziploc type bags. You can also find Chin Chin outside Nigeria, either in Nigerian restaurants, as a snack at Nigerian parties or sold via online vendors.
Required: Strong teeth ‘wey dey kakaraka!’ Lol, just kidding!!
To make Chin Chin, here’s what you’ll need:
|Prep Time: 10 Mins||Cook Time: 6-12 Mins||Difficulty: Easy||Serves: 1-2|
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsps butter
- 3 tbsps granulated white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4-6 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
1. In a dry, clean bowl, add dry ingredients: flour, sugar and salt. Mix
2. Add butter in bits around the flour
3. Using your fingers, work butter into flour till you get a fine breadcrumb consistency
4. Make a well/hole in the middle, break and add egg into the well
5. Using your hand(s), work egg into flour
6. Keep working egg into flour till it looks like this (don’t cheat by adding water or more butter!)
7. Using a cutting board & a rolling pin, roll out the dough (just once! don’t stretch then re-roll!) till it’s about an inch thick
8. Using a sharp knife, cut *into* the dough vertically
9. Still using the knife, cut across the dough horizontally (preheat oil at this point)
10. Gently pull apart/separate the cut dough
11. Test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a small piece of dough; wait till it turns golden brown
12. Add the rest in batches (I did 2 batches). Avoid over-crowding & fry for 3-6 minutes till golden brown
13. Transfer to paper towel once done frying to drain excess oil
And you’re done! Allow cool before eating… don’t burn your mouth now!
Alright, I imagine some must be wondering ‘ugh, all that oil! I wonder if Chin Chin can be baked instead?’ Sadly, no, Chin Chin cannot be baked. See why for yourself:
Start from step 10
14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
15. Layer some wax paper on a baking pan
16. Let bake for 10-15 minutes on one side before turning
17. After about 30 minutes in the oven, this is what you get. Hot mess much?! (see notes for more info!)
- The texture of the dough should be stiff and not stretchy, like say dough for meat pie. This is really important, because if it’s not stiff enough, you won’t have the crunch. The again, even though it should be stiff, it will still have some ‘give’ to it.
- The dough should by no means be sticky icky! i.e it should not stick to your hands too much, if at all.
- There is no need to sprinkle some flour to the rolling pin or board, because since it’s not sticky, it shouldn’t stick to the pin/board, but come away easily, though you might have to gently pull it back in some instances.
- When you cut the dough, try to press the knife into it till you hit the board as opposed to pulling/dragging the knife through it so as not to stretch the dough.
- When you do the heat test for the oil, the dough will sink to the bottom, rise up and sink halfway down. Once it’s hot enough, the dough should fry either halfway down or float.
- If you don’t like your Chin Chin too crunchy, fry for about 3-4 minutes. If you want it crunchier, fry for up to 6 minutes.
- For the Baked Chin Chin, you could bake it longer, but it’ll be counter-intuitive as it’ll get chewy almost.
- You could also try baking it at 400-450 degrees, but that does no good, because the outside will cook/bake faster and even burn, while the inside remains kinda soft/chewy.
- Frying, as unhealthy as it might be, is really the only way to get the true Chin Chin taste. It’s very similar to baked plantains, which just don’t taste as sweet as fried plantains.
- The addition of things like milk and baking powder are really not necessary. Milk will serve to change the texture of the dough, thereby making it softer than it needs to be, while baking powder, on the other hand (a rising agent) will make it crunchier than it needs to be. If you do want to try adding baking powder, use 1/2 a tsp.
- Chin Chin can be refrigerated after frying and kept for up to a week or two.
- If you want to make a bigger batch, double up on the flour, gauge sugar carefully so it’s not overly sweet; so for instance to serve 2-4, use 2 cups flour, 2 eggs, 4-5 tbsps sugar, 1/2 stick butter etc
- You also want to use ‘clean’ oil, not oil that’s been used to fry a whole bunch of other stuff, like chicken, goat meat etc., it should be relatively clear. If you used the oil to fry something like plantain, that would be okay, but if you used it to fry any meats, drain it and add a new batch of oil as you don’t want the flavor(s) to transfer over to the Chin Chin.
- You also don’t have to use the standard 1 inch cube shape, get creative and shape it differently! Use cookie cutters if you like or fold/roll over if you prefer.
- Grate some nutmeg into it if you prefer, but it is optional.
- You can use any type of ‘clear’ oil; I was out of Canola oil, so Vegetable Oil sufficed. You could use Corn Oil also.
(Whew! Did ya get to the end of this?! Bravo, Bravo!!)