Thai Deep-Fried Chicken

Photograph: Luk Thys

If you take away only one lesson from this week's worth of recipes from Bangkok Street Food by Tom Vandenberghe and Eva Verplaetse it should be that fish sauce is a truly magical ingredient, with the ability to add a deep level of savoriness to anything it touches, even fried chicken.

By adding a few tablespoons of the good stuff to this Thai Deep-Fried Chicken along with umami-boosting soy sauce, it's the batter that really makes the chicken. It's a light coating that fries up shatteringly crisp and remarkably light but with the most incredible salty, savory notes. It's the sort of fried chicken where you're really just in it for the skin, which is perfectly fine by us.

Reprinted with permission from Bangkok Street Food by Tom Vandenberghe and Eva Verplaetse. Copyright © 2010. Published by Lannoo. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Recipe Details

Thai Deep-Fried Chicken

Active 30 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 3 to 4 servings


  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 4 coriander roots, chopped

  • 10 white peppercorns

  • 4 tablespoons flour

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 8 chicken legs or drumsticks

  • Oil for deep-frying

  • Sweet chili sauce for serving


  1. Pound the garlic, coriander root, and white peppercorns in a mortar until smooth. Mix flour with beaten egg, water, fish sauce, and soy sauce with the paste.

  2. Dip chicken in batter and deep-fry until golden and crisp.

  3. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
609 Calories
38g Fat
10g Carbs
53g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 609
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 307mg 102%
Sodium 1472mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 53g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 654mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)