Try this recipe for Burmese fried chicken, then check out our Korean fried chicken, buttermilk fried chicken, chicken schnitzel, buttermilk fried chicken burger and more fried chicken recipes.

This Burmese chicken recipe comes from Emily and Amy Chung – sisters, doctors and home cooks who started their sell-out Rangoon Sisters supper club in 2013, cooking dishes inspired by their mum and grandma, and their Anglo-Burmese-Chinese heritage. This recipe is from their first cookbook, The Rangoon Sisters (£20, Ebury Press), which documents recipes from their family and supper club.

Burmese fried chicken is seasoned with chilli and turmeric, and traditionally served on the bone without a batter. In 2015, Yangon saw the arrival of the first branch of the big international fried chicken joint we all know and love, to huge queues. This is our take – a hybrid of the old and new, using deboned chicken thighs for speed of cooking and because they are juicier, but you can use breast fillets if you prefer. The sour dipping sauce (achin yay) packs a punch and goes particularly well with fried snacks. If you can’t get hold of tamarind pulp, you can substitute it with a teaspoon of ready-made tamarind paste mixed with 100ml of hot water.


  • 600g skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • cooked rice, to serve (optional)


  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 75g cornflour
  • 75g rice flour
  • a good grind black pepper
  • ½ tsp mild chilli powder, (optional)
  • neutral oil (vegetable, sunflower or peanut), for deep-frying


  • 25g tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar or soft light brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ a thumb-sized piece ginger
  • 1 bird's eye chilli
  • 1 tsp fish sauce


  • STEP 1

    Prepare the tamarind by adding 50ml of boiling water to the tamarind pulp in a heatproof bowl and leave for a few minutes. Use a fork to further break up the pulp, then strain through a sieve, discarding any stones, so you are left with the tamarind water.

  • STEP 2

    While the tamarind water is still warm, add the palm sugar and mix until it dissolves.

  • STEP 3

    Crush the garlic, ginger and chilli to a paste using a pestle and mortar, or blitz in a food processor. Add the paste and the fish sauce to the tamarind, mix well and set aside.

  • STEP 4

    Cut the chicken into 2-3cm chunks and mix well with the marinade ingredients in a bowl to coat, then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

  • STEP 5

    When ready to fry, assemble a frying station next to the cooker: one bowl containing the beaten eggs, one containing the mixed flours, black pepper, chilli powder (if using) and 1/2 tsp of sea salt, and also a plate lined with kitchen paper ready for the cooked chicken.

  • STEP 6

    Heat the oil to a depth of at least 5cm in a wok or deep pan. Test the readiness of the oil with a 1cm piece of bread – if it sizzles vigorously and rises to the surface quickly, the oil is hot enough (it should be about 190C if you have a thermometer).

  • STEP 7

    Take a piece of chicken and dip it in the egg, then dredge it in the flour mixture, ensuring it is covered evenly, and carefully put it in the pan to fry for about 5 minutes. Turn the pieces with heatproof tongs to ensure they cook evenly. Check a piece is cooked by cutting it in half, then scoop out the pieces and transfer them to the plate lined with kitchen paper and cool slightly.

  • STEP 8

    Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken, but do not overcrowd the pan (you will likely have to do this in batches).

  • STEP 9

    Season with sea salt and serve with the dipping sauce as a snack or with rice as a main.


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