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Pad Prik Haeng recipe (Thai Spicy Crispy Chicken)

Close up of Thai pad prik haeng: crispy chicken with dried chilies, served with white rice.

Pad prik haeng recipe is THE BEST Thai spicy crispy chicken coated in a sweet, hot sauce. It's a quick and easy Thai dish loaded with dried chilies, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.

Close up of Thai pad prik haeng: crispy chicken with dried chilies, served with white rice.

Thai pad prik chicken

This is the best Thai spicy fried chicken recipe EVER.

It's a hidden gem you've probably never heard of. You won't find this at the usual street food stalls or even in Thai restaurants.

Close up of saucy Thai crispy chicken with dried chilies and kaffir lime leaves.

So why isn't this easy Thai chicken dish everywhere? Well, it ain't a five-minute wok wonder like pad kra pao. You're frying up chilies, lemongrass, and tender chicken until golden and crispy.

That extra stove time is totally worth it, trust me.

Top-view of pad prik haeng served on a white plate with steamed rice, with a wooden spoon and fork.

The chicken is crispy on the outside and so juicy and tender on the inside. Coated with the best spicy sauce ever and full of aromatic herbs, this is an absolute flavor bomb.

Lemongrass, dried chilies, and kaffir lime leaves come together in one fragrant dish that's as fun to make as it is delicious. So good!

Close-up of spicy Thai fried chicken with dried chilies and sesame seeds in a bowl with chopsticks.

Why try this recipe

  • Quick and easy weeknight dinner. Chicken stir-fries are the way to go to get protein and everything else you need in one skillet in no time.
  • Great with other food. This Thai fried chicken is amazing with rice, but can easily be served with other Thai food as well.
  • Customize the flavors. You can totally customize the heat and the other flavors. Taste-test as you go and make this Thai spicy crispy chicken your own!
  • It's fun and unique. Get a break from the usual authentic chicken pad Thai and try something different. Gai pad prik haeng is spicy and simply irresistible.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Top view of Thai recipe ingredients on a wooden table: soy sauce, dried chilies, sugar, chicken, water, salt, crispy flour, chilies, garlic, and kaffir lime leaves.
  • Chicken – Skin-on chicken filet or thighs are my preferred choice for a juicy, tender bite. You can use other cuts as well, or peel the skin off.
  • Crispy flour – Crispy flours like rice flour, cornstarch, or wheat flour coats the chicken with a crispy layer.
  • Palm sugar – Palm sugar brings an authentic, caramel-like sweetness. It's the preferred sweetener in Thai cuisine.
  • Oyster sauce – A blend of savory and umami, perfect for stir-fries and marinades.
  • Light soy sauce – Gives the chicken a salty note.
  • Thai chili flakes – Chili powder is easy-to-make at home by crushing dried chilies with a granite mortar and pestle.
  • Dried chilies – Add to taste.
  • Kaffir lime leaves – Also known as makrut lime leaves. Any leftovers of these citrus flavored leaves can be frozen.
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Water

All ingredients can be found at Asian grocery stores, or at Asian markets.

Short recipe video

https://www.tiktok.com/@gianniandpraew/video/7193246939486424325

How to make pad prik haeng

Prep the ingredients

1. Cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces. Remove the middle part of the kaffir lime leaves and chop up the garlic.

Fry spices and chicken

2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, salt, and your choice of crispy flour. Knead it with your hands.
3. Quick-fry dried chilies for 10 seconds. Scoop them out with a colander.
4. Fry the kaffir lime leaves for 10 seconds.
5. Fry the chicken until golden and crisp. Make sure they don't stick together and let excess oil leak.

Stir-fry

6. Heat oil in a wok and sauté garlic and dried chili flakes until golden.
7. Pour in water, oyster sauce, light soy, and palm sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Cook until the sauce gets a sticky, bubbly top layer.
8. Add the fried chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and fried chicken. Mix it well with the sauce and serve immediately.

Kitchen tools

  • Deep frying pan and non-stick wok pan with spatula
  • Cutting board and chef's knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Kitchen gloves
  • Large bowl
  • Colander

Tips for the best crispy Thai chicken

  • Maintain the ideal oil temperature. For deep-frying chicken, the ideal oil temperature is between 350°F to 375°F (175°C to 190°C). If needed, use a kitchen thermometer. Use a neutral oil with high smoke point like vegetable oil.
  • Avoid overcrowding. If needed, deep-fry and stir-fry in batches.
  • Protein variations. You can sub the chicken for pork, beef, tofu, or any seafood or other protein if you wish.
  • Taste as you go. Adjust the flavors to your personal spice level.
  • Safety. When frying chilies and lime leaves, the oil might splash. Maintain a distance and use a lid to protect yourself.

How to serve

Serve immediately to ensure the crispiest spicy chicken. Serve with a portion of jasmine rice or sticky rice.

Garnishing options

  • Add fresh vegetables like sliced cucumber or a light Thai salad like Thai cucumber salad for satay.
  • Chopped cilantro or green onions
  • Toasted sesame seeds

How to store and reheat

Pad prik haeng is best when eaten immediately, since that's when the chicken is the most crisp.

If you do end up with leftovers, place the Thai spicy crispy chicken in an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Reheating instructions: Reheat on the stove over medium heat until warm. Add a tablespoon of oil if needed. Avoid the microwave.

Tip: Toss the leftovers with fresh vegetables or noodles for a new dinner.

More Thai chicken recipes you'll love

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Cooking Method ,
Cuisine
Courses
Time
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 25 mins
Servings 2
Calories 450
Description

This irresistible pad prik haeng is a Thai spicy crispy chicken dish that's sticky, saucy, tender, and guaranteed to be THE BEST quick dinner you've ever had!

Ingredients
  • oil (for deep-frying)
  • 18 ounces chicken
  • 1/2 cup crispy flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dried chilies (to taste)
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oil (for stir-frying)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup palm sugar
Instructions
  1. Prep the ingredients

    1. Cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces. Remove the middle part of the kaffir lime leaves and chop up the garlic.

  2. Fry spices and chicken

    2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, salt, and your choice of crispy flour. Knead it with your hands.
    3. Quick-fry dried chilies for 10 seconds. Scoop them out with a colander.
    4. Fry the kaffir lime leaves for 10 seconds.
    5. Fry the chicken until golden and crisp. Make sure they don't stick together and let excess oil leak.

  3. Stir-fry

    6. Heat oil in a wok and sauté garlic and dried chili flakes until golden.
    7. Pour in water, oyster sauce, light soy, and palm sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Cook until the sauce gets a sticky, bubbly top layer.
    8. Add the fried chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and fried chicken. Mix it well with the sauce and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 2


Amount Per Serving
Calories 450kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28.8g45%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Total Carbohydrate 9.3g4%
Dietary Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugars 11g
Protein 28.4g57%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note
  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline. 
  • This recipe works with any protein - chicken, beef, pork, tofu, you name it!
  • Adjust dried chilies and red chili flakes to your personal spice-level.
  • Use a neutral oil with high smoke point.
Keywords: pad prik haeng, Thai crispy chicken, Thai spicy chicken

Thank you so much for trying my recipe!