Filipino Fried Chicken

Filipino fried chicken on parchment paper.

One thing I was not expecting to eat so much of during our year in the Philippines = FRIED CHICKEN.

Seriously, Filipinos know and love their fried chicken and I took full advantage of that while living there. The chicken I ordered at Jollibee (kind of like a local McDonald’s) was called Spicy Chicken and it was like KFC fried chicken covered with a spicy seasoning mix. Ohmygosh, dip that in a little gravy and you’re hooked for life. Whoever thought of the spicy chicken thing obviously didn’t care about the heat because when you eat spicy fried chicken in the Philippines, the sweating gets out of control immediately. But no biggie. Anything for spicy fried chicken.

At The Children’s Shelter of Cebu, the orphanage Bjork and I worked at, they would make their own Filipino fried chicken. When I went to watch the aunties make this, I was looking forward to seeing how they would make the breading for the fried chicken, you know, the stuff that makes the skin golden brown and crispy delicious? And then the chicken was in the oil and there was no breading. What? No breading? Doesn’t all fried chicken have breading?

But their version is chicken only, and it’s so cute because they just put it in these giant plastic tubs with the day of the week on it (an essential tool for a chef cooking in a home for 30 kids) with the marinade. And then when it’s been in there long enough – they just know – then it goes in the hot oil for a long bubble bath.

I could talk about fried chicken all day, buuuut I have to go to work. Here’s the CSC Filipino fried chicken that I experienced in pictures. With a few handsome little guys thrown in for good measure at the end. <smile>

Food scraps in a dish.
Chicken in a frying pan.
Chicken frying in a pan.
Four boys laughing.
Filipino Fried Chicken - Pinch of Yum

Filipino Fried Chicken


This simple and delicious recipe for Filipino fried chicken comes from the orphanage that I worked at for one year in Cebu, Philippines.


  • 2 lb. chicken drumsticks
  • 12 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 12 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning mix (Magic Sarap)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 12 cups oil for frying


  1. Place the raw chicken in a large bowl. Add the garlic, onion, oyster sauce, black pepper, salt, seasoning mix, egg, and cornstarch. Stir until the chicken is evenly coated.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the chicken, one piece at a time, in the oil. The oil should cover the chicken pieces almost completely and it will bubble gently as the chicken cooks. Continue to fry the chicken until the skin is golden brown and crispy. The exact amount of time you’ll need depends on the temperature of the oil, but the aunties left their chicken in for about 15-20 minutes (a long time!) with the oil over lower heat. Remove from the oil and set on paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat in small batches until all the chicken is fried.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Keywords: filipino fried chicken, fried chicken, chicken drumsticks

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I did another lil post on this recipe for the Children’s Shelter of Cebu website, where you can also see bajillions of cute kid pictures and read other stories and information about CSC. Check it owt, guys.

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