Exploded chicken

Singaporeans often say 炸zhà鸡. This is inaccurate.

There are a couple of ways of reading 炸 and that slight difference would mean different things.

1) It can be read zhà (fourth tone).

炸zhà 药、炸zhà弹 – as you can see, they all have something to do with an explosion.

2) 炸 can also be read zhá (second tone), when you are referring to fried stuff.

炸zhá鸡、 炸zhá糕、 炸zhá鱼

So if you say 炸zhà鸡, you are really trying to say you want the chicken to explode.

The next time you hear someone say zhà鸡, you can ask him, “Why? You want to detonate the chicken?”