Serious Heat: Green Fried Chicken for St. Patrick's Day

Serious Heat: Green Fried Chicken for St. Patrick's Day

[Photograph: Bill Milne]

This southern gal—who is serious about both fried chicken and spice—is always dabbling in a creative way to make variations of the tasty treat, whether it's coated in a blend of chile powders or bathed in a combo of buttermilk and hot sauce.

And I thought, this version of chicken thighs coated in Panko breadcrumbs and crushed wasabi peas would be a glorious green way to celebrate St. Patty's day. Because even though there aren't any special spicy dishes courtesy of Ireland (who usually rely on a bottle of hot sauce to jazz up food), doesn't mean the holiday can't be celebrated in zesty style.

Boneless chicken thighs are used for a quicker cooking time because the coating will burn with a longer stint in the hot oil. Or, use cut boneless chicken breast cutlets and a reduced cooking time for a playful take on chicken fingers.

Wasabi-Coated Fried Chicken

About the author: Andrea Lynn is senior editor for Chile Pepper magazine, where she not only creates a wide range of zesty recipes for readers, but also participates in numerous tastings for hot sauce, salsa, and other spice-laden products (even chocolate!). Her favorite chile? A tie between the mild yet flavorful poblano and the mighty, reliable fire of the serrano.


  • Canola oil, as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups wasabi peas, finely ground in the food processor
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • Whole milk, as needed
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 to 8 boneless chicken thighs


  1. 1.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. In a cast-iron pan, fill halfway with canola oil, and warm over medium heat.

  2. 2.

    In a large bowl, combine ground wasabi peas and panko breadcrumbs. In another large bowl, whisk wasabi powder, milk and egg together. Season the milk with salt and pepper.

  3. 3.

    Dip each chicken piece into milk and then into the wasabi-panko mixture. Add to the warmed oil. Cook chicken, turning often, until golden brown, around 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful because the wasabi-panko mixture burns easily.

  4. 4.

    Once the chicken has browned, transfer to a baking sheet. Cook in oven until the internal temperature registers 180°F, about 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, and drain on a paper-towel lined plate before serving.