Taste Test

Ajinomoto, Barrio Fiesta, McCormick, and More: 5 Brands of Fried Chicken Breading Mix

August 26, 2019

It’s a welldocumented fact that we love fried chicken (of all kinds) here at Pepper. Though ubiquitous around the metro—from fast food versions to more upscale takes—there’s nothing like frying up your own bird and enjoying a fried chicken feast right in your own home. Enter fried chicken breading mixes, which simplify the cooking process with ready-to-use powders for dredging your chicken, promising consistently crisp and tasty results. With different brands available in the supermarket, which one should you get?

Ajinomoto Crispy Fry

Ajinomoto stands out for yielding a craggy layer of breading that’s predominantly peppery but barely salty. Though deemed “inoffensive” by the team, it can be rather bland when eaten by itself—but its neutralness lets it serve as a blank canvas you can add other spices to.

Barrio Fiesta Crispy Joy

Barrio Fiesta’s mix forms a thick-looking layer of floury breading with an orange-leaning hue. It’s the saltiest of the bunch, with a distinctive umami blend that brings to mind the taste of Jollibee Chickenjoy.

Del Monte Quick n’ Easy

With Del Monte’s, you get a very thin coat that clings to the chicken’s skin rather than forming its own layer. It has a peculiar flavor that reminds us more of beef than chicken (perhaps due in part to its strong note of garlic), but complements the meat inside nonetheless.

Golden Fiesta Big Crunch

Golden Fiesta impresses from the looks alone, as it produces a mid-thick layer that “looks the crunchiest”, according to members of the team. It has ample saltiness and a good amount of pepper in the mix, along with a mild herbiness that rounds out every bite beautifully.

McCormick Season n’ Fry

We had high expectations for this spice company’s version but were left disappointed. It clings well to the chicken skin alright, but tastes surprisingly bland—we’re talking floury and even less salty than Ajinomoto.

The Verdict: Golden Fiesta Big Crunch

Producing a thick-enough layer of well-rounded flavors that bring out the best of the chicken within, Golden Fiesta’s mix for us is the brand to beat. Coming close is Barrio Fiesta; it’s on the salty side, but comes the closest to giving you the fast food chicken taste we on the team all know and love.​

Patricia Baes SEE AUTHOR Patricia Baes

Trish thinks too much about everything—truth, existence.....and what’s on her plate. Her ongoing quest for a better relationship with food has led to a passion for cooking, gastronomy, and a newfound interest in its politics. She dreams of perfecting the art of making soufflé with her crappy toaster oven.

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