Thai Crispy Fried Garlic Chicken

Whenever I head back to Bangkok, I make a beeline straight to Soi Polo, arguably the city’s most famous family-owned restaurant, for Thai fried chicken that’s topped with a mound of deep-fried garlic. It’s an absolute institution. Back in Australia, whenever I need my hit, I make this recipe of mine – it’s as close to the OG as I can muster and wow. It is seriously good. Try it and enjoy zero regrets.


Thai Crispy Fried Garlic Chicken

2.5 hours
20 minutes

⅔ cup garlic cloves, skin on

1 tbsp black peppercorn

1 tbsp white peppercorns

1 tbsp Thai light soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

½ tsp salt, plus extra for sprinkling 

1 tbsp Maggi seasoning

4 chicken marylands

vegetable oil, for deep-frying


Chilli sauce

3 long red chillies, finely chopped

3 dried small chillies, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp fish sauce

¼ cup white vinegar

½ cup sugar

1 tsp salt


Crispy garlic topping

½ cup garlic cloves, skin on

1 tsp sea salt, plus extra

vegetable oil, for deep-frying

  • Step 1

    Let’s start by marinating the chicken. Add the garlic cloves (keep the skin on) and both types of peppercorn to a mortar, then use a pestle to pound everything to a coarse texture. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl, then add in the soy sauce, fish sauce, salt and Maggi seasoning. Give everything a good stir to combine the ingredients together.

  • Step 2

    Add in the chicken pieces in and ensure each is evenly coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours.

  • Step 3

    For the chilli sauce, add all the ingredients along with ½ cup water to a saucepan. Bring it to boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for about 6–7 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly. Transfer it to a bowl and leave it to one side to cool down.

  • Step 4

    To make the crispy garlic topping, use a mortar and pestle to pound up the garlic cloves until the skins have come off and are all papery thin. Mix through a little salt.

  • Step 5

    Fill a saucepan or wok to about one-third capacity with vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. Heat oil to 170°C (340°F), or until a wooden spoon dipped into the oil produces lots of bubbles. Add in the crushed garlic and use a spider strainer to gently keep it moving in the hot oil. You want to keep a close eye on things so that the garlic doesn’t burn. Once it’s turned golden, scoop it out of the oil using a spider strainer and transfer to a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain. Season with a little more salt then set aside.

  • Step 6

    Now we can move on to the chicken. Transfer the marylands from the bowl to another tray lined with kitchen paper. Use more kitchen paper to blot and firmly press the chicken skin – we want to remove as much moisture as possible to give it the best chance of crisping up. Next, carefully lower the chicken pieces into the hot oil. Use tongs to carefully move them around in the hot oil as they cook, and continue frying for around 10–12 minutes or until a deep golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to some more kitchen paper to drain, and sprinkle with salt. 

  • Step 7

    Pop the chicken pieces on to a large serving plate alongside the bowl of chilli sauce. Now scatter over the fried garlic and serve.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 4 reviews)
Very good0%

Amazingly Great to Learn from !!

March 7, 2024

Cant wait to go to Asian grocery store!! Will be making alot of these recipes !! ThankYou Marion and give Mama Noi a hug/kiss from me in the USA !!

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Wendy W


February 5, 2024

Thank you Marion. Your recipes are easy, delicious and affordable.

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Peter M


January 31, 2024

This was quite a bit of work, but so worth the effort! Totally delicious.

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