Spring Fried Chicken

Spring Fried Chicken reminds me of the old restaurants in Manila that serve delicious crispy fried chicken. This fried chicken recipe is a sure keeper. I enjoy eating this with banana ketchup and fried rice.

There are three steps to make this yummy spring fried chicken. The first step is to marinate the cornish game hens (small chicken) in a mixture of soy sauce, fish, sauce and cooking wine. The next is to steam the chicken and let it dry in open air. The last step is to deep fry the chicken. Although the process might not be that simple compared to other fried chicken recipes, the outcome of this recipe is worth the time and effort.

When you watch the cooking video below, you will see that I am using a multi-purpose steamer. You can use the same steamer or use a bamboo steamer instead. I recommend steaming the chicken instead of boiling them. Why? Boiling the chicken will defy the purpose of marination. The absorbed marinate will only be infused in water making the chicken less flavorful — because of this, a steamer is really needed here. I used a deep fryer to fry the chicken. It is acceptable to deep fry the chicken using a cooking pot, as long as you take extra precautions. Use deep and thick cooking pots to fry the chicken. Also, gradually submerge the chicken when you are about to deep fry, instead of throwing it in the pot with hot oil. This will prevent the oil from splattering.

About the air drying process, this simply means leaving the steamed chicken in open air until the skin dries. I usually place the chicken on top of a wire rack (this is the rack that I use for cookies and bread). Letting the skin dry before deep frying helps to make the skin crispy.

Try this Spring Fried Chicken Recipe. Let me know what you think.

Spring Fried Chicken

Spring Fried Chicken Recipe


  • 2 cornish game hens
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine (shaoxing or dry sherry)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 cups water
  • 5 cups cooking oil

Cooking Procedure

  1. Prepare the marinade by Combining cooking wine, fish sauce, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, nutmeg, garlic powder and grund black pepper. Stir to mix.
  2. Place the chicken in a resealable freezer bag. Pour-in the marinade.Make sure that the chicken is well coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours.
  3. Pour the water in a steamer and let it boil. Steam the marinated chicken for 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the steamer and place over a wire rack or a plate. Leave it that way for 2 to 3 hours until the skin becomes dry.
  5. Heat the oil in a cooking pot or deep fryer. Fry at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken turns medium to golden brown.
  6. Remove from the fryer, transfer to a serving plate.
  7. Serve. Share and enjoy!

Number of servings (yield): 4

Watch the cooking video


  1. Maritess says:

    I loved your recipes specially this spring chicken. My kids loved the taste and crispness. Just want to ask if do you have a recipe oF soy chicken? Like ckowking style….

  2. jasymd says:

    SWAK na SWAK sa panlasang Pinoy! Loved many of your posted recipes. This is the BEST chicken I have tried. Now, if I could only find an organic Cornish hen, it would be perfect and this will be THE ONLY recipe I’ll use for fried chicken. (Used turbo broiler though)

  3. Frank Schreiber says:

    This recipe is very interesting for me. Is there any special reason why do you use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic? Thank you very much for sharing! Good food sometimes needs its time, so I don’t agree with the comment from ‘upallnite’. Best greeting from cologne area, Germany (Europe)

    • Hi Frank, that is a good question. My only reason for using garlic powder instead of fresh (minced garlic) is the possibility of the fresh garlic to get burnt during the frying process. Of course, this can be avoided by removing the garlic completely before frying the chicken. That is just my personal preference; you can use either garlic powder of fresh minced garlic for this recipe.

  4. My pleasure, Tin.

  5. Can u place it in the oven or turbo broiler

  6. Aile Vidal says:

    thank you for having the recipe for FREE. It will surely help us food lovers.

  7. upallnite says:

    Looks good, but food preparation is too long.

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