Recipes // Main Dish Chicken and Turkey // Lemongrass-Ginger Fried Chicken

Lemongrass-Ginger Fried Chicken


By Carla Hall

12 Servings

I love the clean flavors here. You can use this savory marinade and roast or grill the chicken instead of frying it. I’m partial to the frying, though, especially using this technique of lightly coating with corn- starch first. It’ll get you a shatteringly crisp, thin skin. I couldn’t settle on any one cut of chicken here because I like wings and Matthew prefers thighs; just be sure to stick with dark meat.


  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white and pale yellow parts only, smashed and sliced
  • One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 scallions (green onions), trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs, wings, or drumsticks
  • Canola oil, for frying 1/2 cup cornstarch Kosher salt Hot sauce, for serving (optional)


  1. 1In a food processor, pulse the lemongrass, gin- ger, chile, cilantro, scallions, shrimp, if using, and sugar until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the lime juice, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Transfer to a gallon-size, resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and massage the marinade into the meat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  2. Add enough oil to a cast-iron or other heavy 1 skillet to reach /2 inch up the sides. Heat over medium heat until it reaches 365°F, when a little cornstarch dropped in bubbles and sizzles steadily.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade, wip- ing off excess solids. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the cornstarch in a fine-mesh sieve and dust both sides of the chicken with the cornstarch.
  4. Carefully place a few pieces of the chicken in the hot oil, skin side down. You don’t want to crowd the pan. Keep adjusting the heat to keep a steady sizzle and to maintain 365°F. Cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then carefully turn each piece over. Cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Then continue cooking and turning to evenly brown until cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Crumple up some paper towels and drain the chicken on them.
  5. Repeat with the remaining chicken, replen- ishing and reheating the oil between batches. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve hot, with hot sauce, if desired.
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