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Kai Tod (Thai Fried Chicken Wings Recipe)

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Kai tod are hands down THE BEST Thai fried chicken wings you’ll ever taste! These crispy and juicy wings are bathed in a Thai-style marinade that turns them into an absolute crowd-pleaser.

Kai tod, Thai fried chicken wings, with a side of sticky rice and sweet chili sauce.

Ever get those late-night food cravings? This fried chicken recipe is just what you need!

It’s great as an appetizer or a quick street food snack. Remember to pair it with Thai sweet chili sauce and Thai sticky rice for a complete Thai meal.

What is gai tod

Gai tod, a classic Thai street food, is crispy fried chicken marinated in a blend of traditional spices and herbs. With their golden, crunchy exterior and juicy, tender meat, they’re beloved by locals and tourists alike.

Kai tod

In the West, there’s some confusion between ‘kai’ and ‘gai’. ‘Kai’ means ‘egg’, and ‘gai’ is chicken, but the two tend to get mixed up quite a lot. This is why I decided to use both writing styles.

Anyway, what truly matters is how insanely delicious these crispy fried chicken wings are.

And what’s even better is how ridiculously easy they are. They’re totally doable for every home cook. Just put them in the marinade and fry them until they’re golden and crisp. It’s that simple!

You can totally dish these out at your next event because they’re not spicy, so anyone can join in the fun. If you prefer them spicy, feel free to serve them with one of my many spicy dipping sauces, like this Thai hot sauce.

Peek gai tod is also perfect to pair with other Thai food, my favorites are som tum Thai (green papaya salad), and a spicy long bean salad.

Thai fried chicken wings recipe

These fried Thai chicken wings taste like they came straight from a street food market. They’re not just any Thai wings – they’re the tastiest wings you’ll ever have.

Marinated with a simple blend of white pepper, salt, sugar, and Thai seasoning powder, these Thai-style chicken wings are perfection with a perfect balance of slightly sweet and savory.

Kai tod, Thai fried chicken wings, in a traditional bamboo basket with sweet chili sauce.

They’re incredibly versatile too, and they’re just as delicious whether grilled, baked, or fried. They’re always a hit.

You can even prepare kai tod ahead of time and fry them when ready, can life get any easier?

Now, let’s see what goes into these wings, shall we?

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for kai tod labeled: White pepper, tempura flour, chicken wings, flavor seasoning, salt, and white sugar.
  • Chicken wings – Chicken wings are great for absorbing the marinade’s flavors and frying to crispy perfection. They’re perfect for a snack or appetizer. Alternatively, you can use other chicken parts like legs. If you prefer chicken breast with a crispy crust, try this Thai fried chicken recipe.
  • Flavor seasoning RosDee – Rosdee is a Thai seasoning powder, widely available at Asian markets and Asian grocery stores. It’s an all-purpose seasoning blend often used in Thai soups, stir-fries, and marinades. It acts as a flavor enhancer/bouillon.
  • Tempura flour – Tempura flour is ideal for creating a light, crispy coating on the wings. If you don’t have tempura flour, you can use all-purpose flour, rice flour, or cornstarch, but it won’t have the same light texture.
  • White pepper – White pepper provides a subtle heat without overwhelming the other flavors.
  • White sugar – White sugar balances the savory flavors in the marinade, adding a subtle hint of sweetness to your Thai fried wings.
  • Salt – Salt is a crucial seasoning for bringing out the natural flavors of the chicken.
  • Oil – Opt for oils suited for deep-frying with neutral flavor and high smoke point, like vegetable oil or canola oil.

Cooking instructions

Raw chicken wings in a mixing bowl.

Step 1: Use a fork to score the chicken wings. This helps the seasoning penetrate for more flavor. Place them in a mixing bowl. Mix in salt, white sugar, white pepper, and flavor seasoning.

Marinated chicken wings in a clear bowl.

Step 2: Toss with tempura flour, coating each wing evenly. Let them rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to marinate.

Kai tod sizzling in a wok of hot oil.

Step 3: Take the wings out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. Heat your oil to approximately 350°F (175°C) in preparation for frying. Fry the wings in the preheated oil until they are golden brown, crispy, and cooked through. Serve the wings hot and enjoy!

Kitchenware

Here’s what you’ll need for this fried Thai wings recipe:

  • Paper towels and a wire rack
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Deep fryer or large wok pan
  • Oil thermometer (optional)
  • Tongs for flipping
  • Marinating bowl

Tips for frying chicken wings

Let marinated chicken rest: Before frying, let the marinated wings come to room temperature for 5 minutes. This promotes even cooking.

Versatile marinade: The marinade used in this kai tod recipe is incredibly versatile. You can use it on other chicken parts like drumsticks, thighs, or even a whole chicken. The key is to allow enough marinating time!

Don’t overcrowd: Always fry in batches to prevent the oil temperature from dropping and the wings from sticking.

Oil temperature: Maintaining the right oil temperature (around 350°F or 175°C) is so important for crispy wings. If your oil is too hot, they’ll burn. To cool, and they become greasy.

Experiment: Thai cooking is about experimenting and finding that flavor balance suited to your taste. Experiment with ingredients like black peppercorns,

Best sides for fried Thai wings

Garnish your Thai crispy chicken wings with fresh herbs like cilantro or freshly chopped green onions. Alternatively, you can top them with fried kaffir lime leaves and fried dried chilies. Pair them with one of my many dipping sauces, like Thai sweet chili sauce, Thai spicy peanut sauce, and Thai dipping sauce for chicken.

Serve them with a side of jasmine rice or Thai sticky rice. For sides, try my authentic chicken pad Thai and som tam pla ra (papaya salad with fermented fish sauce).

In Thailand, we love deep-fried foods like Hat Yai fried chicken and the kid-friendly Thai fried chicken. These Thai chicken wings infused with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves are ideal for grilling and baking!

Leftover peek gai tod

Let your leftover gai tod cool to room temperature. Place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. Consume within 3 days for best taste.

Freezing: You can freeze your marinated wings for later. Freeze them on a baking sheet and afterward transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. They can be kept for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Reheating: It’s best to reheat the wings in your oven or air fryer to retain the crispiness. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the wings on a wire rack over a baking sheet and heat them for about 10–15 minutes, or until they’re thoroughly warmed and regain their crispiness. Alternatively, you can quickly deep-fry them once more.

Frequently asked questions

Best oil for frying chicken wings?

The best oils for frying chicken wings are those with high smoke points and neutral flavors, such as peanut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, or sunflower oil.

How can I tell if fried chicken wings are done without a thermometer?

Ensure the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the wing. The skin should be crispy and golden brown.

Can you fry golden wings without thawing?

It’s not recommended to fry frozen wings without thawing, as it can lead to uneven cooking. Simply thaw in the fridge overnight before frying.

Authentic Thai chicken recipes

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Kai Tod (Thai Fried Chicken Wings Recipe)

Kai tod, Thai fried chicken wings, in a traditional bamboo basket with sweet chili sauce.
This kai tod (gai tod) recipe yields Thai fried chicken wings for a family of 4. Serve with rice.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Appetizer, Snack
Serving Size 4 people

Ingredients

  • 25 ounces chicken wings
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon flavor seasoning see notes
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tempura flour see notes
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  • Use a fork to score the chicken wings. This helps the seasoning penetrate for more flavor. Place them in a mixing bowl. Mix in salt, white sugar, white pepper, and flavor seasoning.
  • Toss with tempura flour, coating each wing evenly. Let them rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to marinate.
  • Take the wings out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. Heat your oil to approximately 350°F (175°C) in preparation for frying. Fry the wings in the preheated oil until they are golden brown, crispy, and cooked through. Serve the wings hot and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Flavor seasoning: Rosdee flavor seasoning is a popular ingredient in Thai cooking. It's similar to chicken stock, like Knorr. You can find it at Asian grocery stores.
  • Tempura flour: Tempura flour is a crispy coating for the wings. Unlike traditional flours, tempura flour is finely milled and sometimes contains leavening agents, which help achieve that signature crunch and golden color.

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