Sambal Puts an Asian Twist to This Nashville-Style Fried Chicken Recipe

Talia Cortez (@taliacor)

Meya Cortez (@meyarrr),
Jerome Jocson (@emowredge)

Jica Simpas (@jicasimpas)

The primary characteristic of Nashville-style fried chicken is heat. And we don’t mean serving it straight out of the fryer (though, of course, it’s best eaten hot). We’re talking about heat in the snot-dripping, tears-in-my-eyes spicy kind. This Tennessee-famous dish is prepared just like your typical fried chicken; except at the end, it’s smothered in a cayenne pepper-spiced paste or sauce.

This samba(l) will make you dance from the heat!

We’re bringing up the heat (literally) in our version of hot chicken and adding an Asian kick to it. Instead of cayenne pepper, our paste combines red pepper flakes, paprika, gochugaru, and sambal. Is it too spicy? Well, we’ll let you find out. But if you’re worried, taste and adjust your sauce as you go.

This recipe is really just the paste. So you’ll have to be prepared with already-fried chicken. You can use the base of any of our fried chicken recipes on the site (like this or this or this). Make sure that you apply your paste while it’s still hot to keep your chicken crispy!

Sambal Nashville-Style Fried Chicken Recipe



Serving Size

3-6 people

Active Time

30 mins

Total Time

30 mins

Instructions for Sambal Nashville-Style Fried Chicken

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together red chili, paprika, gochugaru, and garlic powder.
  2. Set aside or place in a shaker.
  3. In a heatproof bowl, add the sambal. Set aside.
  4. Place the oil in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat until shimmering.
  5. Remove oil from heat and carefully pour over the sambal. (Do this slowly because the sambal will sizzle and fry.)
  6. Once the oil and sambal stops bubbling, whisk the mixture together and brush liberally over your fried chicken.
  7. Take the chili powder mixture and dust the oiled chicken well until coated.
  8. Serve immediately.

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