Pan-fried or grilled, this Thai cilantro and garlic pan-fried chicken is one of my go-to recipes for chicken breasts.
It is super easy to cook and tastes very delicious. It doesn’t need a lot of ingredients to deliver umami-packed flavors in each juicy bite. And you can cook this on a grill for your summer BBQ.
Ingredients for this Thai pan-fried chicken
We will need chicken breast, cilantro, garlic, fish sauce, coconut palm sugar, white pepper, and salt.
Cut each chicken breast into two halves to create thinner slices. They have more surface area and will soak up more marinade, and they take less time to fry.
Fish sauce is a staple condiment in Southeast Asian cuisines. You should be able to find fish sauce in any Asian market. It is common to find a good selection of fish sauce in mainstream grocery stores like Whole Foods, Targets, or Walmart. You can even buy fish sauce online from Amazon.
Coconut palm sugar
You can use Thai palm sugar, Indonesian gula Jawa (coconut palm sugar), or Malaysian gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar). Coconut palm sugar is getting so mainstream you should be able to find them in major grocery stores too.
I prefer using ground white pepper since I find they have more heat compared to ground black pepper. Feel free to use ground black pepper as a substitute.
Step-by-step cooking guide
1. Prepare marinade
In a food processor, puree garlic, cilantro, palm sugar, salt, and pepper. Add fish sauce and pulse once or twice to mix.
2. Marinate chicken
In a mixing bowl, combine chicken breast with marinade, cover with a saran wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
3. Fry chicken
Return the chicken to room temperature before cooking, about 30 minutes is usually enough.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan/skillet on medium-high heat. Fry the chicken breast until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes each side.
Let the cooked chicken rests for 10 minutes, covered with an aluminum foil, then cut into bite-size thin strips.
Serving Thai pan-fried chicken
You can serve these chicken with rice, steamed rice vermicelli, stuffed into wraps or sandwiches, or even turn a salad into a complete meal by adding chicken strips.
Meal prep or Make ahead
For busy people, you can always freeze the chicken along with its marinating sauce in a freezer bag. Thaw completely in the fridge, and return the chicken to room temperature, then fry or grill for an easy and delicious meal.
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