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Crispy Chicken or chicken honey

BY BETTY SALAS – MY HUSBAND Pat and I have just been reminiscing about the tasty native chicken of the bygone era. During my childhood days, food were prepared in a very simple way with not much spices and yet tasted very good. The secret of the cuisine was not on the preparation and condiments but on the sources of the meat. Take for instance the chicken meat. A young and fat native chicken marinated in patis and calamansi would make the best fried chicken compared to what is on offer in the market now. I could not forget the superb taste of native chicken tinolas we used to feast during harvest time in our farm. But from 1980s, the quality of chicken meat had changed since the poultry industries grew and mass production took over. Today, chicken meat has become bland and less tasty than those that were grown and marketed up to the 1950s.

A chain reaction had since happened to adapt to the changes in food production and technology, while the meat produce had changed, the era of cookbooks also started. This was the time when enterprising food enthusiasts were motivated to write out if not modify recipes. Test kitchen and food institutions became noticeable in the cities. Crisp chicken, which is known in the Philippines as Chicken Honey, was popularised in the 1970s. This started when local chefs had become aware of the use of ngyoyong, a Chinese five spiced powder in preparing unique and strong yet delicate taste in cooking. A good number of food items were developed making use of ngyoyong but the most notable is the Chicken Honey. It was so popular that some restaurants along Roxas Boulevard really made good business out of it even up to this day.

If you happen to drive along Roxas Boulevard, try the chicken honey at any of the favourite restaurants. It is appetizing and light to eat with dinner rolls, vegetables salads, sweet pickles or atchara with Java rice.


Whole chicken 1/½ – 2 kg.

Dried ginger 1 thumb

Leeks leaves 1 medium

Ngoyong powder 1 tsp

Water 9 cups

Honey 3 tbsp

Cooking oil Enough to dip fry a whole chicken


  1. Mix water with ginger, leeks and ngyoyong.
  2. Boil rapidly and when rolling boiling, add the whole chicken.
  3. Put the flame off and leave the chicken in the casserole for 1 hour.
  4. Hang the chicken or place it in the wire rack for 1 hour to dry.
  5. Roll and pat honey on the dry chicken.
  6. Allow the honey to settle.
  7. Deep fry until golden brown.
  8. Serve hot with Hoi Sin Sauce and drops of sesame oil.


is a UP Diliman B.S. Food Technology graduate and experienced food technologist, manager, franchised business entrepreneur and former owner of the Sans Rivals, The Crescent Fairfield, NSW.