In Kuala Lumpur, there are as many permutations of fried chicken as there are purveyors. This version is one of the simplest, as it doesn't require long brining or dredging the chicken in flour and battering it. Instead, using easy-to-find ingredients, the recipe calls for mixing up a spice paste quickly in a food processor, then massaging it into the chicken. The spice-rubbed chicken is fried once until nearly cooked through, then fried again to ensure crispy skin every time. More Fried Chicken Recipes

July 2007


Recipe Summary

40 mins


Spice Paste


Instructions Checklist
  • In a mini food processor, combine all of the ingredients and process to a dry paste.

  • In a large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 365°. Rub the spice paste all over the chicken pieces, massaging it in. When the oil is ready, carefully add the chicken and fry over moderately high heat until partially cooked, about 8 minutes for breast pieces and 15 minutes for thighs, drumsticks and wings. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

  • Reheat the vegetable oil to 365°. Add the chicken and fry until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes for breast pieces and 5 to 6 minutes for the wings and dark meat. Drain the chicken on paper towels and serve.

Make Ahead

The chicken can be rubbed with the spice paste and refrigerated for 2 hours before frying.


Belacan is a pungent seasoning made by grinding small shrimp into a paste that is fermented, dried and pressed into cakes. Belacan is often toasted before being used. It can be ordered from

Suggested Pairing

The complex, delicious spice rub on this chicken will pair nicely with Pinot Noir, particularly from a cool-climate region like Oregon's Willamette Valley, where the weather typically points up the grape variety's natural spiciness.