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 Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 3 to 4 servings

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  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 coriander roots, chopped
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 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.