Thai Fried Chicken

If you’re new to frying chicken at home, don’t sweat it, because I’m here to walk you through every step and share all my tips. This is my extra crispy Thai-style fried chicken. Because the dredge is made with cornstarch and rice flour, you can even make the whole dish gluten-free if you substitute soy sauce for Tamari.

The important part of frying dark meat chicken is to make sure the oil is hot enough before dunking the marinated and coated drumsticks in oil. You can use a candy thermometer if you’ve got it, but if you don’t have one handy, just test the oil by dropping a tiny pinch of flour into the oil. If it begins to float up, you’ll know it’s ready to accept your poultry!

Additionally, between dredge coats, you may find that the flour and starch mixture begins to harden really quickly. An easy remedy is to add a little bit of sparkling water, and the dredge will be back to a workable consistency. Don’t forget that dark meat chicken can’t really dry out, so don’t worry about cooking it too long in the oil. There will be a bit of trial and error involved if you’re doing this for the first time, but that’s all in the fun of cooking, right?


chicken drumsticks
cloves garlic
cup cilantro stems
tsp salt
tsp sugar
tsp white pepper
Tbsp oyster sauce
Tbsp thin Thai soy sauce
rice flour
five-spice powder
vegetable oil
crispy fried onion


Step 1

Prepare marinade by crushing garlic cloves, cilantro stems, salt, sugar, and pepper into a paste. Add oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir well.

Step 2

In a freezer bag, evenly coat raw chicken with marinade and refrigerate for 12 hours.

Step 3

Prepare dredge by whisking together 2 parts rice flour with 1 part cornstarch and 1 Tbsp five-spice powder.

Step 4

Heat a large pot of oil to 300° to 325°.

Step 5

Coat the marinated chicken evenly with a layer of dredge then place in hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pot. Cook each drumstick for 6 minutes, then remove from heat, add one more fine layer of dredge, and cook in oil for another 6 minutes.

Step 6

Garnish with chopped scallions, cilantro, and fried onion.

Specialty ingredients you'll need:

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