Fried chicken, Max’s Restaurant style

Personally, I didn’t grow up with Max’s fried chicken. I didn’t grow up with Savory fried chicken either. Most people I grew up with associate their childhood with one or the other, or both. I was a Jones’ fried chicken girl — that smaller restaurant beside the original Savory at the foot of Jones Bridge in Manila. It isn’t there anymore. But my memories of Jones’ fried chicken still lingers.

Max’s… I don’t think I ate at Max’s Restaurant until after I was married. Speedy and I used to bring the girls there when they were toddlers. In fact, there was one time… we were on our way home from Baguio, we got caught in flashfloods and horrendous traffic in Tarlac, and, by the time we reached Tarlac City at 10.30 p.m. after more than six hours of traffic, the only restaurants open were Max’s and Chow King. Of course, we chose Max’s. So, in a way, I guess you can say that Max’s Restaurant and my family have quite a history together.

So, what can I say about Max’s fried chicken? It’s tasty. It’s crispy without any breading. I like it but eating at Max’s is a different thing altogether. The sizes of the chicken have shrunk over the years. A balikbayan who hadn’t been home in decades excitedly went there not too long ago and declared that the spring chicken was the size of a cornish hen. It was an accurate description, sad to say.

Therefore, if you want a Max’s Restaurant style fried chicken without the ridiculous price tag, it’s smarter to make it at home. It’s easy. Thanks to the ever gorgeous Iska of Iskandals.

Recipe: Max’s Restaurant style fried chicken


  • 3 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 tsp. of grated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. of grated ginger
  • salt
  • pepper (I used white but black is okay)
  • about 2 c. of vegetable oil for frying


  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Fried chicken, Max's Restaurant style
  3. Place the chicken in a container. Add the garlic, ginger, 1 and 1/2 tsps. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper. Rub the seasonings and spices into the chicken well. Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Prepare the steamer. Cut a piece of baking paper to fit snugly into your steamer basket. Cut out holes on the paper. The paper ensures that the chicken won’t stick on the basket; the holes ensure that condensation falls back into the water beneath the basket.
  5. Steam the chicken for 30 minutes. Remove the steamer basket from the pan. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. After five minutes, turn the chicken over and sprinkle the other side with salt and pepper as well. Leave for another ten minutes to allow the juices inside the meat to settle. That’s what makes the fried chicken moist after twice frying. If you skip the resting part, all the juices will just ooze out into the cooking oil.
  6. Fried chicken, Max's Restaurant style
  7. Heat the cooking oil. Fry the chicken, two to three minutes per side, just until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and allow to rest for ten minutes. Same principle as before.
  8. Fried chicken, Max's Restaurant style
  9. Reheat the cooking oil. Fry the chicken a second time, two to three minutes per side again, until the skins are golden brown.
  10. Serve with rice. Or enjoy the chicken by themselves.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s), excluding marinating and resting between frying

Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 3


  1. donna says

    try putting bay leaf and chopped fresh parsley on the water when steaming the chicken it would add flavor to the chicken.

  2. leah says

    im only cooking for 1 or 2, soi just want to ask, would it be possible to make it in bulk and then after the first frying keep it in the refregirator for a few days then just fry it again right before eating? would it change the taste?

    • Connie says

      I really can’t make an informed opinion on that since I’ve never tried that procedure, and I really prefer not to engage in guesswork. Sorry… :)

  3. erma d.montelibano says

    Thank you so for all the information and the recipes you shared i am learning a lot. My late Nanay dearest loves Max’s Fried Chicken so much that is the only restaurant she wants……my sister in law used to work at Max’s fried Chicken greenbelt. I will try to do your Max’s recipe and bring it to my grand kids in Singapore next week. GOD bless you and again thank you.

  4. Carol B says

    I thought I was the only one who thinks that Max’s chickens had shrunk. Akala ko kasi dahil lang nasanay ako sa laki ng serving dito kaya tingin ko eh lumiit ang chicken nila. That’s not the only reason why I wouldn’t go to Max’s anymore. In our 2004 visit, we were shocked with the quality of their pancit canton, too. It was like the ones you buy from turo-turo – almost inexistent veggies and meat. We were so disappointed.

    Anyway, does steaming takes away the blood oozing from the bones? That’s the reason why I seldom fry chicken. I lose my appetite once nakita ko na yung meat na namumula.

  5. jakbkk says

    would the result be the same if i baked it in the oven…i don’t like frying too much and another is for health reasons. thanks for this website, really interesting.

  6. Jojo says

    Thanks for the recipe and technique. I tried steaming and frying the chicken before but the result was not much to my expectations. Thanks you so much for this recipe. Now i know how to do it, the right way!

  7. kim says

    Ms.Connie, thanks for this.I know someone who keeps on bragging that she has a Max-s style fried chicken recipe pero di daw pwede e share.My daughters love Max’s but I agree, the price is no longer worth it unlike before.Papatikim ko sa friend ko ito haha and tell her someone else shared her recipe.

    • says

      Kim, I don’t know who your friend is but I did cite the source of this recipe. Since my source did publicly share her recipe, I’m sure she and your friend are not the same person. So… to tell your friend that someone else shared her recipe wouldn’t be accurate. And that sounds like I filched her recipe.

  8. kim says

    Hi, Ms Connie, my apologies. What I meant was that I’ve been looking for a recipe like this and a friend told us she had a recipe for Max’s chicken handed down from a lola but that she couldn’t share it with us. So I was just so excited & thankful to your friend Iska and you, bec.finally, I’ll be able to try to cook chicken the way you and Ms. Iska did it. I didn’t mean that this is the same recipe. I hope I caused no offense to you and Ms. Iska.Again, thank you.

    • says

      I understand. No offense taken. Please tell your friend that unless her lola owns or owned Max’s, considering that restaurant recipes are highly guarded trade secrets, then what she has is a copycat recipe, just like this one. Huwag kamo sya masyado mayabang hahahaha :D

  9. kim says

    haha.By the way, my girls now know where to look when I ask them to suggest dishes for once, and they drool over your food pics.

    • says

      Oh, that is inspiring, thank you. I love it when kids take an active participation in deciding what to eat at home. Please tell your girls I will endeavor to make the food pics in the blog even more drool-worthy. :D

  10. kim says

    I will tell them.You remember the baked macaroni with bechamel sauce that I made following your recipe?I have a godson who is a certified foodie here & abroad, everytime there’s an eating session at home or at my sister’s, he always sidles up to me to ask if ako daw ba ang nagluto at asan ang mas-masarap-kesa-sa-sbarro’s na baked mac ko.That too, I owe to you.

  11. katrina says

    Hi Ms. Connie,

    I’ve cooked my chicken Max’s-style many times in the past. Steaming and frying it twice is really the ticket to the light and crispy outcome. However, I have never used ginger before. Good call! I’m going to add that next time I do this which will probably be in a couple of months once the temps go down by 20 degrees :) I have been trying to spend as little time slaving over the stove during these hot and humid summer days we’ve been having here in Louisiana which is pretty much the same as summers back in Manila!

    More power and thanks for keeping your website updated, original, informative and engaging. I’ve said this before…yours is one of the few pinoy websites that is credible because of good writing!

  12. Connie says

    Enjoy, Xedrik!

    Katrina, thanks. :) And I know what you mean about the weather. It’s been stormy lately and it was a huge factor in making me decide to fry anything. Re the ginger: Fish and chicken smell and taste so incredibly good with a little ginger. That untranslatable “malansa” sensation just disappears.

  13. says

    Glad you like it, Connie :-) I just bought few drumsticks to cook tomorrow or the next day. This time, will add ginger the way you do.

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