#1 Delicious Guide To Cantonese Fried Chicken

Cantonese Fried Chicken on a plate - Ling app

If you’re a big fan of KFC and Korean fried chicken (치킨), you’ll love Cantonese fried chicken (炸子雞)! It might not be as famous as its American and Korean counterparts, but trust me, it’s just as delicious! It’s super crispy on the outside but incredibly soft on the inside. Read on to find out more about this interesting dish and learn some Cantonese vocabulary while you’re at it! 

Where Is Cantonese Fried Chicken From?

Cantonese fried chicken is a dish from Guangdong province, a Cantonese-speaking region in southern China. It’s part of Guangdong cuisine (廣東菜), one of the most popular and widely recognized Chinese culinary styles

If you’ve ever been to a fancy Chinese event like a banquet or a wedding, you’ve probably seen it on the dining table. After all, it’s one of the traditional chicken dishes commonly served on such special occasions and is typically eaten at night. 

A pic of fried chicken - Cantonese fried chicken Ling app

How To Make Cantonese Fried Chicken?

Want to try making Cantonese fried chicken yourself? Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or an absolute beginner in the kitchen, no need to worry! This dish is easier to prepare than you might think. Just gather your ingredients, follow these simple steps, and get ready to impress your family and friends with this classic Cantonese dish. 

Here’s what you’ll need and how to do it:


  • 1 whole chicken (about 3-4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 quart oil for deep-frying

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Clean the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels.

  2. Marinate the Chicken: Mix soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, five-spice powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Next, add minced ginger, garlic, and chopped green onion to the bowl. Then, rub the marinade all over the chicken, including inside the cavity. Last but not least, place the chicken in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.

  3. Dry the Chicken: It’s time to prepare the chicken for frying! Remove the chicken from the marinade and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Next, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This step is really important if you want to get that crispy texture.

  4. Heat the Oil: In a large pot or deep fryer, heat the oil to 350°F (175°C). During the First Fry, carefully lower the chicken into the hot oil. Fry the chicken for about 5-7 minutes until the skin starts to turn golden brown. When it does so, remove the chicken from the oil and let it rest for about 15 minutes. It’s time for the Second Fry! Reheat the oil to 375°F (190°C) and fry the chicken a second time for about 3-5 minutes until the skin is deep golden brown and crispy. Then, carefully remove the chicken from the oil and let it drain on a wire rack or paper towel.

  5. Serve: After letting the chicken rest for a few minutes, you can cut it into pieces and serve it! You can use soy, chili, or whatever dipping sauce floats your boat. Tada! You’ve made Cantonese fried chicken! Bon Appétit.
Fried chicken

Types Of Cantonese Fried Chicken 

Did you know? There’s more than one type of Cantonese fried chicken dish! The recipe we’ve given you is a basic, easy-to-follow, beginner-friendly version. But as you get better at cooking, you might want to try some other delicious variations. 

Here are a few different types of Cantonese fried chicken to explore (and we won’t judge if you order from a Cantonese restaurant instead!).

Classic Cantonese Fried Chicken (炸子鸡)

This traditional version features a whole chicken marinated in soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and spices, then deep-fried to golden, crispy perfection.

Crispy Garlic Cantonese Fried Chicken (蒜香炸鸡)

This variation includes a generous amount of minced garlic in the marinade that gives the chicken a rich garlic flavor and an extra crispy texture.

Soy Sauce Fried Chicken (豉油鸡)

Marinated in a mixture of dark and light soy sauce, this variation has a deeper, slightly sweet, and savory flavor profile.

Lemon Fried Chicken (柠檬炸鸡)

This style is finished with a tangy lemon sauce that gives the crispy fried chicken a refreshing citrus twist.

Five-Spice Fried Chicken (五香炸鸡)

This variation is enhanced with a distinctive blend of Chinese five-spice powder and offers an aromatic flavor that’s both sweet and savory.

A pic of fried chicken with lettuce and tomato

How Do You Say Fried Chicken In Cantonese?

In Cantonese, “fried chicken” can be translated as 炸鸡 (zaa3 gai1).

Easy Phrases For Fried Chicken In Cantonese

Here are some simple Cantonese phrases related to fried chicken.

English TranslationCantonese PhrasePronunciation
I like fried chicken.我鍾意炸雞。ngóh jūng yi zaa3 gai1
This fried chicken is delicious.呢隻炸雞好好味。nī zek zaa3 gai1 hóu hóu mei6
Do you want to eat fried chicken?你想唔想食炸雞?néih soéng m4 soéng sihk zaa3 gai1?
Fried chicken goes best with beer.炸雞配啤酒最好。zaa3 gai1 pui3 bē jéu zeoi3 hóu
Fried chicken is crispy and tasty.炸雞香脆可口。zaa3 gai1 hōeng ceoi3 hóu háu

Frequently Asked Questions About Cantonese Fried Chicken

1. What Is Cantonese Chicken Made Of?

Bite-size pieces of chicken stir-fried with red pepper, green beans, and baby corn and coated in a glossy and flavorful Cantonese sauce.

2. Why Is Cantonese Fried Chicken So Crispy?

This is due to the cooking method. You can get really crispy fried chicken by first poaching the chicken in water with spices (e.g., star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, Sichuan pepper, ginger, fennel, and scallions), drying it, coating it with a syrup of vinegar and sugar, letting it dry thoroughly (which helps make the skin crispy) and deep-frying.

3. What Is Cantonese Style Cuisine?

Cantonese-style cuisine is the most widely served Chinese cuisine globally. It focuses on fresh vegetables and meat with sweet sauces. From a Western perspective, think of it as barbecued spare ribs, steamed fish with ginger, or stir-fried beef with oyster sauce.

Ready To Eat Some Cantonese Fried Chicken?

Cantonese fried chicken is a tasty dish that’s more than just finger-licking good! With its perfectly marinated, crispy, and juicy texture, it’s sure to be a hit with your family and friends. So, gather your ingredients at your local supermarket, fire up the fryer, and enjoy making and savoring this classic Cantonese dish. Happy cooking!

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