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Thai Herb-Crusted Fried Chicken Recipe

User Rating 5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Thai Fried Chicken

Crispy Thai Fried Chicken (served in a Thai garden)

Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, 12/01/10, About.com Corp.
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)
  • 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
  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine the 'flour mixture' ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring well to combine.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Nice Surprise!, Member pengsiang

After reading through Nigella's recipe for fried chicken, which is really long and drawn-out (you have to cook the chicken first before frying it), I wasn't sure this recipe would work (was afraid the meat might not get cooked all the way to the bone). I used chicken drumsticks with the skin left on, and marinated for an hour. Next time I'll marinate them overnight, but even just the one hour made the chicken incredible tasting! The batter was easy, and I used sunflower oil for frying. I did let the chicken fry until it was dark golden-brown, as I wanted to make sure it was cooked. It was, and boy was it good! Crispy and the meat SO flavorful! Will definitely make it again.

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