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5 from 5 votes

Thai Fried Chicken

This Thai Fried Chicken takes the same incredible flavours and texture of Hat Yai Fried Chicken and brings them into the comfort of your own home!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Marinating Time4 hrs
Total Time50 mins
Course: Finger Food
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
Calories: 910kcal
Cost: £3 / $4


  • Large Pot & Slotted Spoon (for deep frying)
  • Pestle & Mortar (see notes for sub)
  • Large Mixing Bowl & Cling Film (for marinating)
  • Medium Mixing Bowl (for dredging)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Paper Towels
  • Kitchen Thermometer
  • Cooling Rack



  • 2.5lb / 1.2kg bone in skin on Chicken Pieces, patted dry with paper towels (drumsticks and thighs work best)
  • 5 cloves of Garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped Coriander/Cilantro Roots & Stems, washed as necessary (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Salt, White Pepper, Black Pepper


  • 1 cup / 128g Tempura Batter (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup / 180ml COLD Soda Water
  • 1 tsp Chicken Boullion Powder/Oxo Cube
  • 1-2 Ice Cubes (optional)
  • 3-4 cups / 750ml-1litre Vegetable Oil, for deep frying

To Serve

  • 4 Shallots, finely & evenly diced (to make crispy shallots)
  • Sticky Rice
  • Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce


  • In a pestle and mortar add 5 cloves of garlic, 1/4cup roughly diced coriander/cilantro roots & stems, 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt, white & black pepper. Grind into a smooth paste.
  • Scoop into a large mixing bowl and stir in 1 tbsp soy sauce and 2 tsp oyster sauce. Add in chicken pieces and coat with your hands. Really rub the marinade into the meat. Pop cling film over the top and place in the fridge. I recommend a minimum of 4 hours, but marinate for as long as you have time for (best results over night).
  • Meanwhile, place your diced shallots between two paper towels. Firmly press down with your hands to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Place to one side.
  • Heat up oil in a large pot to 120C/250F and add in your shallots. Make sure the heat does not creep any higher, you want to fry them fairly low and slow to bring out as much moisture as possible, so they turn out extra crispy. Fry until they start turning from a light golden colour, to a slightly deeper brown. These go from perfect to burnt VERY quickly. Once cooked remove and lay on paper towels.
  • Heat up oil to 175C/350F. In a medium sized mixing bowl mix together tempura batter and chicken powder. Pour in COLD soda water and stir until the lumps smooth out. You want the consistency like heavy/double cream. Take a piece of chicken and coat in the batter, then carefully lower into the oil. You'll need to do this in batches of 3-4. I usually pop an ice cube in the batter to keep it cold. The colder it is the crispier the chicken will be.
  • The temp will drop to around 165C/330F, and that's fine, just keep it on that heat. Depending on the size of the chicken pieces it'll take around 5-8mins on each side. Once cooked rest on cooling rack with paper towels underneath. You want the chicken to be brown and crispy on the outside, with the centre piping hot (internal temp 165F/75C - take into consideration it continues cooking slightly once out the oil). See notes if at all weary.
  • Season the chicken with a final pinch of salt (optional) and serve with crispy shallots on top with sweet chilli sauce on the side. Enjoy!



a) Coriander/Cilantro Roots - Traditionally you'd use coriander root, but it's sometimes tricky to get your hands on these (unless you got to an Asian supermarket). As such I recommend you buy a plant pot of coriander/cilantro (growing in soil) so you can pull out the coriander, wash the ends and snip them off. The roots will be much smaller than traditional coriander roots, that's why I use some of the stem as well. Both of these have much more flavour than the leaves.
b) Tempura Batter - Tempura Batter is best for an ultra crispy coating on the chicken. Other traditional recipes use Rice Flour, but I find sometimes find this to be too dusty/flakey. If you can't find rice or tempura flour, I have made this with regular all purpose/plain flour and it still works great!
c) How long to fry chicken? - This will be dependent on the size of the chicken pieces, but you're looking for a min of 10mins. In general just make sure the oil temp stays around 165C/330F and you don't add in more than 3-4 pieces at a time. You're looking for the centre to be piping hot and for the juices to run clear. As mentioned, the chicken will continue cooking as it rests, so just take that into consideration.
d) Can I make the marinade without a Pestle and Mortar? - If you don't have a pestle and mortar I recommend very finely dicing the ingredients, then use the side of the blade of your knife to rub it into the salt until a paste forms.
e) Do I have to make Fried Shallots? - Nope! You can leave these out if you wish. Or, dare I say, you can buy store-bought fried onions! But you didn't hear that from me...
f) Calories - very difficult to work out but this is a slight over estimate, assuming 16 tsp oil is soaked up and all the batter in used. Assumed the recipe is divided by 4 people. No sides or shallots, just the chicken.


Calories: 910kcal | Carbohydrates: 28.51g | Protein: 56.69g | Fat: 61.78g | Saturated Fat: 14.232g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12.049g | Monounsaturated Fat: 30.837g | Trans Fat: 5.14g | Cholesterol: 213mg | Sodium: 634mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 1.95g | Vitamin A: 467IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 4.25mg