Spiced Fried Chicken Recipe: Aromatic, Crispy and Oh So Good!

spiced fried chicken
Spiced fried chicken – all it needs is a plate of rice!

Malaysians love chicken, and we love them even more fried! From battered to non-battered varieties found in global fast food chains, to local restaurants specializing only in fried chicken with some rice and sauce on the side, Malaysians can be found patiently queueing up so they can sink their teeth into some freshly cooked good ol’ fried chicken.

We’re sharing with you a classic Malaysian favourite – spiced fried chicken or better known as ayam goreng berempah. This style of fried chicken has no batter, but it is marinated in an aromatic mix of spices that will tease your senses and make your mouth water. It’s so good and perfectly crispy that all you need is a plate of steaming rice on the side.

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 12 portions
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 large red onions
  • 20g ginger
  • 4 sticks lemongrass
  • 15g galangal
  • 2 sticks curry leaves, leaves only
  • 2 tbsp chicken or meat curry powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • cooking oil, enough to fill a frying pan about 3cm deep
  1. In a blender, add the garlic, red onions, ginger, lemongrass and galangal, and blend until smooth. If needed, add a little bit of water to help with the blending process. Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  2. Add curry leaves, curry powder, chicken stock granules, sugar, salt and black pepper into the blended mixture. Stir to mix well.
  3. Add chicken to the mixture and coat the chicken evenly. Cover and store refrigerated for at least two hours or, preferably, overnight.
  4. Heat up the oil in a frying pan until it is hot and ready for frying, about 180°C to 200°C.
  5. Carefully add the marinated chicken, but do not overfill the pan. The chicken can be cooked in batches if your pan is not large enough.
  6. Turn the chicken every 4 to 5 minutes, making sure all sides are evenly cooked and the outside is a dark golden brown. The internal temperature should be between 66°C to 73°C. It should take about 15 to 20 minutes for the chicken cook through properly, depending on the size and cut of your chicken.
  7. Rest the cooked fried spiced chicken on some paper towels to remove excess oil before serving.
Beware of flying hot oil!
Extra tips
  1. You can also use a ziplock bag to marinade your chicken. It takes up less space in the fridge compared to a large bowl.
  2. Don’t have a cooking thermometer? You can also throw a little bit of the marinade into the oil to figure out if it is ready for frying. Here’s how to tell if the oil is ready:
    • The oil starts bubbling around the marinade means it is perfect for frying
    • Nothing is happening means the oil isn’t hot enough
    • The oil is smoking means the oil is way too hot and you’ll end up burning the chicken instead.
  3. Cover your arms with long sleeves or a cloth to protect them from scorching flying oil! Or use a really long spatula or tongs when turning the chicken over.
  4. To check if the chicken is fully cooked without a cooking thermometer, choose the meatiest part and slice it. The meat should be white and firm, and the juices clear. You do not want to serve undercooked chicken!
Butterkicap Team

We're just a small group of friends who love food, culture and Malaysia. We saw the rise of mediocre food, deteriorating relationships and missed the good old days of Malaysia where food was good, homes were warmer and full of friends and family. So we rolled up our sleeves, and made Butterkicap with the hope that it will bring people and flavors home.

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