Bring Out the Banana Ketchup Because We’ve Hacked Max’s Fried Chicken for You

June 7, 2018

Article and recipe originally published on September 22, 2014. We’re republishing this post because we added a video.Max's Fried Chicken1

Undoubtedly one of Manila’s most iconic dishes, Max’s fried chicken has graced the family dinners of many generations. Served with their camote fries, which are also dunked in the same addictively sweet Jufran banana ketchup—a trademark pairing that has always been the mandatory when dining at Max’s—this chicken is delicious from its crisp interior to its succulent meat, a range of memories upon every greedy bite.

Max's Fried Chicken3

Today on Pepper, we went through a tedious trial and error process to hack this chicken right—and a close-to-perfect recipe was produced using fish sauce or patis, which did the job of coating the skin with the familiar, slightly salty glaze. With this recipe in your hands, all you need is a bright red bottle of your favorite banana ketchup.

Max’s Fried Chicken Food Hack

Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 whole spring chicken
  • 2 heads garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp iodized salt
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • oil, for deep frying


  1. Clean whole chicken well. Pat dry. Season with salt all over and inside cavities.
  2. Stuff crushed garlic inside cavities.
  3. Pour and rub over fish sauce on whole chicken and marinate for at least 1 hour, turning occasionally to distribute the marinade.
  4. After an hour, strain out the marinade.
  5. Deep-fry in preheated 350 degrees F oil for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Serve warm with banana ketchup.
Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

5 comments in this post SHOW

5 responses to “Bring Out the Banana Ketchup Because We’ve Hacked Max’s Fried Chicken for You”

  1. Ricci says:

    Bring out the bottle of worcestershire sauce also! Thanks for the hack. Will definitely try this

  2. Dylan Dylanco says:

    Pancake House Pan Chicken GRAVY next! Please, please, please!!!!

  3. Tim Romero says:

    Another approach would be to boil the chicken whole, immersed in water with garlic and about half a cup of fish sauce. After boiling the chicken pat it down dry, let it cool, and rest for an hour or two (you can also stuff it in the freezer after drying) and then proceed with deep frying it. Soybean oil is the perfect oil to really capture the Max’s taste!

  4. titashi says:

    Any brand of fish sauce will do?

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