Thai Fried Chicken

For  extra-crispy crunchy breading, fry the chicken twice- once at medium heat to cook the breading and meat, and once more at high heat to get that extra golden brown color and extra crispy texture. I used chicken wings for this recipe, as they’re smaller and cook faster- be sure to cook larger thigh or breast pieces of chicken longer for the sake of food safety. If you’re unsure, you can always transfer larger pieces of chicken to an oven on low heat to ensure thorough cooking and avoid burning your chicken (just place the chicken on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet to prevent the breading from getting soggy on the bottom). I sprinkled the chicken with a little salt and sliced Thai bird chilies before serving, but you can skip this step if you’re cutting back on salt or can’t deal with the heat of the chilies. I also fried some fresh basil leaves to give the oil a bit of extra flavor, and then served the hot wings over the fried basil for a more elegant presentation (the heat of the fried chicken also helps release the aroma from the basil at serving). A quick squeeze of fresh lime juice enhances the flavors of the wings, and for a bit of sweetness and heat, I recommend dipping the wings in Thai sweet chili sauce or  at the table, although nam pla prik also goes well with this dish.


  • 2 lbs. chicken (wings, drumsticks, thighs, breasts, or cut-up chicken pieces)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro roots (use the bottom part of the stalks, without leaves)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (coarse-grained) or kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Oil for deep-frying

Flour mixture:

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons rice flour

1.Clean the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Use a food processor or a mortar and pestle to blend the garlic, cilantro roots and salt until they become a fine paste.

3. Add the paste, fish sauce, oyster sauce to the chicken and mix well. Transfer the chicken into a big ziploc bag and marinate for four (4) to six (6) hours in the fridge.

4. When ready, heat up a pot of cooking oil or deep fryer. While waiting for the oil to heat up, mix the three types of flour together in a deeper plate (you may want to double the flour mixture for more crunchy breading). Transfer the chicken out of the ziploc bag and coat lightly and evenly with the flour. Shake the excess flour off.

5. Drop the chicken gently into the oil and deep fry the chicken until crispy and golden brown (the inside should cook thoroughly but still retains the natural “juice” of the chicken). Transfer the fried chicken out on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

6. Serve the fried chicken immediately along with Thai sweet chili sauce or nam pla prik.