Fried chicken is a common street food in Thailand, eaten as both a finger food and main course dish. Unlike Western-style fried chicken -- where the coating is thick and tasty while the chicken beneath is plain --- Thai fried chicken features a crisp, thin coating and flavor that reaches deep into the meat. It's the spice paste/marinade that does the trick, a wonderful concoction of Thai herbs and spices. Great as a party finger food, or anytime you want to make dinner into a special treat. Pair with Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping, and ENJOY!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: SERVES 2-4 as a Main Entree
- 8-9 chicken pieces, drumsticks, wings, or other pieces (smaller pieces cook fastest)
- 2-3 cups oil for frying (I used sunflower)
- HERB & SPICE PASTE/MARINADE:
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander, leaves and stems
- 6-7 cloves garlic
- 1 fresh chili, OR 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian food stores)
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- FLOUR MIXTURE:
- 3/4 cup rice flour (available in most supermarkets)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- optional: 1/4 tsp. 5-spice powder
- Place all 'spice paste/marinade' ingredients together in a mini-chopper or food processor, OR use a pestle & mortar. Blitz (or pound) to create a flavorful Thai spice paste/marinade.
- Place chicken pieces in a bowl or zip-lock bag. Add the marinade and stir to coat. Allow chicken to marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Combine the 'flour mixture' ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring well to combine.
- Keeping as much of the herb & spice paste on chicken as possible, dredge chicken in the flour mixture to coat and set on a plate next to stove.
- Pour oil into a large frying pan or wok and set over medium-high heat. You want oil to be at least 1 inch deep.
- When oil is hot enough to fry a cube of bread to golden brown in 20-30 seconds, it is ready to use. Gently place flour-coated chicken in the hot oil. Let chicken fry at least 5 minutes before turning. Reduce heat a little as you fry, or oil may overheat and splatter.
- Fry chicken 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness. When uniformly dark golden brown in color, remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping, either store-bought or my own Homemade Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, and ENJOY!