Cook This: Three Styles of Fried Chicken For Every Taste

Filipinos love their chicken. Anyone who denies this can just take a look around Manila for evidence. Everywhere you turn, there’s either a giant bee, garish clown, or lovable elderly man practicing jedi mind tricks on you to get you in the door and on a one-way track to a two piece fried chicken meal with extra rice and gravy. Heck, even convenience stores aren’t immune to fried chicken fever. Here, food empires are built on the backs of fowl. (Literally, in the case of Max’s.) The masses can’t get enough of the stuff and for a good reason; the combination of crispy skin, juicy chicken, and spices create a balance of flavors and textures that’s difficult to say no to. The popularity of the dish has given birth to various styles and versions of the dish but whether it’s fried in lard, breaded, or glazed there’s really no way you can go wrong with a bucketful of crisp chicken. Among the many iterations of fried chicken, three stand out as the most recognizable locally: classic southern fried chicken, nostalgia inducing Filipino style chicken, and spicy Korean fried chicken.

Though these three are worlds apart in terms of their country of origin and flavors, there are a few similarities in the process of preparation. The first process these three share is the overnight marinating or brining, letting the chicken rest in a saline mixture allows proteins to break down in the meat which ensures that your final product is moist. This process is also another way to get your herbs and spices to permeate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful bird once cooked. The second is the dredging, the ratios of the different starches vary per style of fried chicken; if you’re cooking these three variations at the same time, you’ll have a chance to appreciate how well cornstarch and flour colors and crisps once fried. Among the three, the mix of cornstarch and flour in the Korean fried chicken recipe yields the crispiest skin, as it browns evenly and crisps up better than the pure flour coat. 

In terms of the flavor, each boasts of its own distinct profile. The Filipino style is all about simplicity, focusing on the flavor of the meat and the style of preparation. Southern fried chicken and Korean fried chicken are a step further in flavor, since both incorporates spice and aromatics in its dry coat and glaze for the Korean fried chicken. Though with the KFC, the spice is more pronounced but is tempered by the sweetness of honey. Whatever your tastes may be, these three chicken recipes are bound to hit the mark for when you’re craving fried chicken. (Which is all the time.)

Southern Fried Chicken

Yield: 6 pieces
Time: Overnight (overnight brine soak / 30 minutes cooking time)


  • 500g chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • canola oil, for frying

Ingredients: Wet Brine

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

Ingredients: Dry Coat

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. In a bowl, mix all wet brine ingredients together and whisk until completely dissolved.
  2. Place chicken in bowl and submerge in the brine.
  3. Leave overnight in refrigerator.
  4. In a bowl, mix all dry coating ingredients together.
  5. Coat chicken in dry mix and lay out on tray and chill in refrigerator while heating oil.
  6. Fill a heavy cast iron pan with an inch of oil.
  7. Bring up to around 350˚F and fry chicken until cooked through.
  8. Serve while hot.

Filipino-Style Fried Chicken

Yield: 3 pieces
Time: Overnight (overnight brine soak / 30 minutes cooking time)


  • 500g chicken
  • canola oil, for frying

Ingredients: Brine

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Ingredients: Dry Coat

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  1. Mix all brine ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Submerge chicken in brine and leave in fridge overnight.
  3. Fill a wok about halfway up with oil and bring up to 350˚F.
  4. Mix flour with salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. Remove chicken from refrigerator and dry with paper towel.
  6. Coat chicken in flour mix and pat off excess flour.
  7. Fry in pre-heated oil until cooked through.
  8. Serve while hot.

Korean Fried Chicken

Yield: 6 pieces
Time: Overnight (overnight brine soak / 30 minutes cooking time)


  • 500g chicken drumsticks
  • canola oil, for frying
  • sesame seeds, for garnish

Ingredients: Marinade

  • ½ pc onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Ingredients: Dry Coat

  • ⅔ cup cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt

Ingredients: Glaze

  • ¼ cup gochujang
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt, to taste


  1. In a bowl, mix all marinade ingredients.
  2. Add drumsticks and toss through marinade.
  3. Cover and leave in refrigerator overnight.
  4. To make glaze, mix all glaze ingredients in a pot and bring over medium flame.
  5. Simmer until syrupy and season to taste. For more sweetness add honey and for saltiness add salt.
  6. When ready to fry, half fill a wok with oil and bring up to 350˚F.
  7. Mix flour, salt, and cornstarch together.
  8. Coat chicken in flour mix and fry until cooked through.
  9. Remove chicken from oil.
  10. Bring up oil to 380˚F and return chicken.
  11. Cook until coating is crisp.
  12. Remove from oil and toss in glaze.
  13. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve while hot.


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One Response

  1. I’m addicted to the sweet, salty and spicy goodness that is Korean fried chicken. I ate my weight in fried chicken when I went to Seoul last year. Sadly, I live in the sticks so I can’t have it here.

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