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Songhla food festival hopes to draw tourists with its Hat Yai fried chicken



Hat yai fried chicken, screen grab from 2020 video by Mark Hiens.

A food festival in Songkhla province’s city of Hat Yai is promoting the city’s chicken fried chicken to tourists. The festival, called Street Food Festival @ Hatyai, kicked off in the southern city yesterday and will continue until July 3.

Foodie bloggers and Youtubers have praised Hat Yai’s fried chicken in the past. Now, the chairman of Songkhla Chamber of Commerce hopes the dish will become a tourist draw for Hat Yai. The chairman, Thanawat Poonsilp, said the chamber had enlisted 20 Hat Yai fried chicken shops to hold a fried chicken fair at the festival.

It looks like Thanawat has reasons to be optimistic about his plan. He said that Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has sent an invitation to Michelin Guide to try Hat Yai fried chicken. Like Thanawat, Phiphat hopes the dish will boost Songkhla’s tourism.

One expat who has appreciated Hat Yai chicken is American YouTuber, Mark Wiens. In a video from 2020, Wiens films himself in Hat Yai eating the famous dish. At a food stall, he shows the seller loading up his dish with chicken, sticky rice, and crunchy shallots.

Wiens explains that you almost don’t need a sauce for Hat Yai fried chicken because it’s already flavourful. Yet, there is not a thick batter around the chicken, he says. Wien’s face radiates absolute joy as he munches down on his chicken. He says…

“They have it down to a science, to a perfection of fried chicken.”

YouTube video

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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