Skip to Content

What is the famous fried chicken in China?

Fried chicken is enjoyed all over the world, with different cultures and regions having their own unique takes on this popular dish. In China, there are several types of fried chicken that have become quite famous.


One of the most well-known fried chicken brands in China is KFC. The American fast food chain opened its first restaurant in China in 1987 and has since expanded to over 6,000 locations across the country. Many Chinese consider KFC’s fried chicken to be the “original” and judge other brands against it. Some of KFC’s most popular menu items in China include:

  • Original Recipe chicken – KFC’s signature fried chicken seasoned with 11 herbs and spices
  • Chicken nuggets – Bite-sized fried chicken pieces
  • Chicken burgers – Fried chicken fillets served in a bun
  • Chicken wraps – Shredded fried chicken in a tortilla

While the flavor profile of KFC’s fried chicken in China stays true to its original American recipe, the chain does add some localized touches. This includes offering rice porridge, egg tarts, and soy milk for breakfast, as well as congee and fried dough sticks as side items.

Lanzhou Louwailou Chicken

Lanzhou louchicken is a dish originating from Lanzhou, Gansu province in northwestern China. It was popularized by the Lanzhou Louwailou Restaurant, which first opened in 1909. The fried chicken is notable for its use of only chicken broth, salt, and pepper in the batter. After being battered, the chicken is then fried in a wok over intense heat. This cooking method allows the exterior to turn very crispy, while keeping the inside tender and juicy. The fried chicken is typically served with a dipping sauce made of vinegar, garlic, and chili oil.

Some key features of Lanzhou louchicken:

  • Lean cut of chicken is used
  • Chicken is chopped into small bite-sized pieces with bones intact
  • Batter is very simple, allowing the natural chicken flavor to shine
  • Fried in a round-bottomed wok over high heat
  • Extremely crispy exterior with a juicy interior

Lanzhou louchicken has become popular all over China, with restaurants that specialize in it popping up in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Shandong Fried Chicken

Shandong fried chicken comes from Shandong province in eastern China and reflects influences from confucian culture in the region. Some distinguishing features include:

  • Chicken is fried twice – first at low heat, then again at high heat
  • The batter contains over 10 spices including Sichuan peppercorn, cumin, and fennel
  • Chicken is cut into bite-sized pieces with bones removed
  • Typically served with pickled cabbage salad

The two-fry method results in very crispy skin enveloping moist and tender meat. The abundance of spices gives Shandong fried chicken a robust and complex aroma and flavor. It provides a nice balance of crunch and savoriness. The refreshing pickled cabbage salad balances out the richness.

Guangdong Fried Chicken

Guangdong fried chicken, also known as Cantonese fried chicken, comes from Guangdong province in southern China. It is characterized by:

  • Chicken is marinated before frying
  • The marinade includes ingredients like shaoxing wine, ginger, salt, and sugar
  • Batter is very thin and light
  • Chicken is fried in a wok over high heat
  • Typically garnished with fried garlic and chili

The marinade tenderizes the chicken and imparts flavor. The light batter creates a delicately crispy texture without being oily or greasy. Guangdong fried chicken has a complex sweet, savory, and aromatic taste profile. It’s a popular street food in Guangdong province and can be found in hole-in-the-wall restaurants across the region.

Taiwanese Fried Chicken

Taiwanese fried chicken reflects influences from traditional Hakka cuisine. Here are some of its defining qualities:

  • Chicken is chopped into cubes with bones removed
  • Marinated overnight in a mix of soy sauce, rice wine, and spices
  • Battered with potato or corn starch mixed with water
  • Fried twice for extra crispiness
  • Often served with pickled vegetables, chili sauce, and rice

The overnight marinade allows the chicken to soak up all the flavors. Frying twice creates a shatteringly crunchy exterior. Taiwanese fried chicken packs a punch of delicious umami and salty flavors. It’s a beloved snack and street food in Taiwan.


Fried chicken has taken on its own regional Chinese twists to become one of the most popular dishes across the country. From international chains like KFC to local mom-and-pop restaurants, you can find fantastic fried chicken all over China made in a variety of cooking styles. The use of unique batters and seasonings gives each version its own mouthwatering aroma, texture, and taste. So next time you’re in China and craving some crispy fried chicken, try sampling these famous regional specialties!