14 Ways To Eat Fried Chicken Around The World

Fried chicken is beloved in many forms across the globe. Here's how other countries do it.

Fried chicken is perfect in all of its delicious forms, whether it's the craggly Southern-fried stuff or a platter of sauce-drenched yet crispy Korean wings. There's just something about its salty, crunchy exterior and well-seasoned, juicy meat that strikes an unrivaled balance, one our palates can't get enough of. Because it's so damn fantastic, you can find it across the world in a wide selection of formats. Here are 14 different ways you might encounter it around the globe.

Ayam goreng (Indonesia)

Ayam goreng is an Indonesian fried chicken dish that is heavy on the seasonings, and can include a combination of candlenut (similar to macadamia nuts), garlic, shallots, galangal, ginger, turmeric, and lemongrass. The chicken is marinated in a spice paste and cooked twice—once by simmering in water and again by frying—to achieve the crackling exterior everyone loves so much from a bite of fried chicken.

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Buffalo wings (USA)

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention an American culinary treasure: buffalo wings. These deep-fried flappers are cooked until they're totally crisp, then they're tossed in a generous amount of hot sauce mixed with butter (which helps coat the chicken and adds richness). The wings are typically served with blue cheese or ranch dressing on the side for dipping. No bar menu is complete without them, but you don't have to step outside your front door to get some: A baked buffalo wing or an air-fried buffalo wing involves very little work or mess, and the results are just as good as what your local sports bar can pull from the fryer.

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Central American–style fried chicken

Central American–style fried chicken is gaining popularity in the United States, thanks in large part to Pollo Campero, a Guatemala-based chicken chain that is well known across Central America and can now be found in 18 US states and Washington, DC. This fried chicken is marinated in citrus, giving it a distinct brightness, along with an assortment of spices unique enough to lend this style a cult following all its own.

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Chicharrón de pollo (Puerto Rico)

Puerto Rico's entry into the fried chicken pantheon is chicharrón de pollo. In this preparation, the chicken is cut up into small pieces (bones and all), seasoned well with spices including oregano and garlic, tossed in flour, and fried. Served with a few lime wedges, this is bite-sized food at its best; its ratio of meat to crisp exterior will keep you coming back for more.

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Chicken 65 (India)

Chicken 65 is a dish that originated at a restaurant chain called Buhari Hotel in Chennai, India. It consists of deep-fried boneless chicken chunks that are seasoned with curry leaves and red chile pepper, which lends it a bright red color. Chicken 65 is so popular that you can find different variations on this preparation across India.

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Dakgangjeong (Korea)

Korean fried chicken, called dakgangjeong, is absolutely remarkable for its ability to stay crunchy for hours after it's been fried and covered in sauce. It even stays crunchy in the refrigerator as leftovers. This is due to its starch dredge and double-fry technique that's particularly unique to the style. It's doused in an irresistibly sticky and sweet sauce and pairs perfectly with an ice-cold light beer.

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Frango a passarinho (Brazil)

Frango a passarinho is Brazil's signature fried chicken, notable for the fact that it's a whole chicken that's chopped into bite-sized pieces—its name roughly translates to "small bird chicken." It's heavy on the garlic and lime juice and is typically served as a finger food when you're out drinking.

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Gai tod (Thailand)

Fried chicken, aka gai tod, is a popular street food in Thailand. There, it is richly seasoned with spices like garlic, coriander, white pepper, fish sauce, and oyster sauce before being battered and fried until it's a dark golden color. It's particularly delicious with a sweet Thai chili sauce served on the side for dipping, along with a ball of sticky rice. This dish is typically served as an appetizer at Thai restaurants in the United States, but the marinade lends so many unique and funky flavors, you might want to make it your main dish.

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Har cheong gai (Singapore)

Har cheong gai is a fried chicken dish you can find in Singapore. What makes this one special is its inclusion of prawn paste, which gives the chicken a strong umami boost. Prawn paste is richly savory due to the fact that it's fermented, lending a distinct funkiness to the dish. The distinct flavors and textures of this chicken make har cheong gai a popular street food around the country.

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Hot chicken (USA)

This spicy offering from Nashville, Tennessee starts with a Southern-style fried chicken preparation, but its true distinguishing feature is that the poultry is slathered (or dunked) in a spicy, oily paste, which aggressively seasons the dish. It even looks spicy, with a deep, dark hue and a fragrance that can set your eyes watering, and the white bread and pickles it's typically served with hardly temper the burn. Hot chicken restaurants will usually allow you to choose from a few different heat levels, but if you pick the spiciest one, you may be in for a punishing serving of yardbird.

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Ji pai (Taiwan)

Of all the countless ways one can serve crispy poultry, Taiwanese ji pai might just be the most dramatic presentation. It's a giant fried chicken cutlet (not unlike schnitzel) sold at night markets around the country. The chicken is dusted with five spice powder after it's been fried, adding on a complex layer of flavor to each bite. It's crispy, juicy, and fun to carry around, like an edible frisbee.

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Karaage (Japan)

It's no secret: We love our Japanese fried chicken, known as karaage (pronounced kara-ah-geh). This preparation involves chicken thigh marinated in some combination of soy sauce, ginger, mirin, and sake. The poultry gets cut into bite-sized pieces, which yields juicy, tender, and richly flavorful meat. It's coated with light dusting of flour and then fried off; instead of being served with sides of dipping sauce, karaage is typically served as-is, with no more than a spritz of fresh lemon juice. Chicken this good doesn't need anything else.

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Schnitzel (Germany)

Schnitzel is synonymous with German cuisine. Wienerschnitzel, the most well-known dish, is made with veal, but the process of pounding out a cut of meat and frying it up golden brown translates well to chicken, as we all know. Chicken schnitzel, therefore, has proliferated in different ways across the globe. Some form of the dish is enjoyed in Israel, Namibia, Finland, Iran, Mexico, Japan, Korea, and many other countries—in fact, it's practically everywhere. You'd be hard pressed to find a nation of eaters who aren't interested in chowing down on fried chicken cutlets.

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Wiener backhendl (Austria)

Did you know Vienna, Austria has its own version of fried chicken? It's wiener backhendl, a seasoned bone-in chicken sometimes marinated in lemon juice, dredged in breadcrumbs and fried off. It's usually served with lemon wedges on the side for a little acid that you can squeeze on before you eat it. Wiener backhendl used to be a dish of the aristocracy, but now that fried chicken is so popular among just about every slice of the population, you can pretend to be fancy anytime you like.

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