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Southern Thai–Style Fried Chicken

4 Servings

40 minutes plus marinating

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Gai tod hat yai, fried chicken from the southern region of Thailand, inspired this recipe, but for ease, we use boneless, skinless thighs cut into strips instead of the typical bone-in, skin-on parts. Toasted spices are added to the marinade so they infuse the chicken with flavor; they’re also dusted onto the pieces after frying for additional seasoning. The chicken is customarily sprinkled with crisp fried shallots after cooking, but we opted out of this garnish, as the spices themselves provide plenty of bold flavor. If you like, you can purchase fried shallots in most Asian grocery stores; scatter them over the chicken just before serving. If you’re not up for making our extra-easy version of Thai sweet chili sauce, serve with store-bought sweet chili sauce, or simply offer lime wedges for squeezing.




Don't marinate the chicken for longer than an hour or it will be too salty. Don't crowd the pot when frying. Cook only one-third of the chicken at a time so the temperature of the oil won't drop drastically, which leads to greasiness.

40 minutes

plus marinating


  • 3

    tablespoons ground cumin

  • 3

    tablespoons ground coriander


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Gary S.

this is SO good! All of the "fried chicken - ness" with way less work. So much flavor and crunch. Will definitely make this again.

Paul M.

Curious if this recipe would work in a air fryer... haven't tried chicken coated with corn starch in an air fryer before but is there any reason it wouldn't work if you sprayed the chicken with a good amount of vegetable oil before cooking it. Have made this several time the traditional way and it's just amazing but would love to see if I'd get the same results in a air fryer, thank you.

Lynn C.

Hi Paul -

We don't have any experience with air fryers, but hopefully someone on the board can help you out with this! Good luck and let us know if it works if you try it.

The Milk Street Team

Sallie S.

Do you know if you could bake this chicken or does it need the fast fry in oil? I am willing to try it but if anyone on the MS team has guidance I’d love to hear it.

Lynn C.

Hi Sallie -

As this was designed as a fried chicken recipe, we don't have any guidance on translating it to baking instead. As a general rule we use different ingredients to coat chicken that is deep fried vs. baked or even pan-fried.

The Milk Street Team

keith h.

How far in advance of a party could I make these? Would they reheat well?

Lynn C.

Hi Keith -

Since they are fried they don't have much of a shelf life when it comes to make ahead. We probably wouldn't recommend reheating but you could probably fry these and leave them in a low oven (about 200 degrees) for up to 1/2 hour and they would probably be OK.

The Milk Street Team