4 Must-Try Asian Variations on Fried Chicken

Fried chicken with chips and vegetables

Fast food is normally thought of as an invention of Western culture, especially given the massive presence of world-famous chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and many more. However, the concept of a fast-food restaurant is not something unique to Westerners. In fact, many Asian countries are well-known for their culture of street food and small pop-up restaurants that usually do their famous night markets. Here, a number of hot and readily-cooked dishes are available at affordable prices, much like how it is in Korean fast-food restaurants.

There are many dishes normally thought of as fast-food dishes that are staples in many Asian cuisines. Among them is the world-famous fried chicken. Although popularised by American culture, there have long been many Asian variations of this dish that is worth trying. Here are some of the best and tastiest Asian twists on fried chicken:

Korean fried chicken

Fried chicken is an incredibly popular snack on the Korean street markets, and they have come up with a delicious and flavorful variation on it. Korean fried chicken is typically seasoned with different spices, herbs, and sauces before being deep-fried twice over. This results in a crunchy and crispy exterior, which makes that first bite all the more satisfying. Sometimes, it is also served glazed with a special sauce that is equally sweet and spicy to give a flavour that is sure to leave a good taste in your mouth.


A staple among Japanese restaurants, karaage is Japan’s take on fried chicken and is one of the most beloved snacks in the country and abroad as well. Chunks of chicken are typically chopped up into smaller parts and then marinated in breaded flour or starch, as well as other flavours such as garlic. This gives it an explosive flavour and texture, making every bite a moment to enjoy. Even better, karaage is typically served boneless, meaning that you do not have to worry about the pain that ensues from accidentally biting into a bone.

Salt and pepper popcorn chicken

Popcorn chicken is another great option for those who love to eat fried chicken while on the go. They are referred to as such because they are cut into small, bite-sized pieces that resemble popcorn. These are usually eaten using a barbecue stick, making them the perfect snack or appetiser. These are especially popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan, two places known for their fast-paced and cosmopolitan lifestyles.

Popcorn chicken comes in a number of flavours, but among the most popular is the Taiwanese salt and pepper popcorn chicken. They are seasoned with just the right amount of spices and herbs to provide a truly unique flavour. Best eaten while warm, many opt to pair them with a cold beer to maximise the taste. 

Thai fried chicken

Chicken wings with black background

Thai fried chicken is popular in Southeast Asia, usually being eaten along with staples such as fried rice. It is usually served with a crispy exterior and moist interior alongside a special sweet chilli sauce for some added flavour and taste.

Fried chicken is one of the world’s favourite dishes, and it only makes sense that different cultures have their own way of incorporating their local flavours into the dish. All fried chicken lovers should truly give these kinds of fried chicken a try for a truly unforgettable food experience.

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