Volcano Chicken

Volcano Chicken is a restaurant favorite dish of fried, crispy spicy chicken in a Thai chilli and garlic sauce, served over crisp lettuce.
Volcano Chicken

Volcano Chicken

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

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Volcano Chicken is an adaptation of a local dish we used to enjoy at a restaurant called House of Thai in Miamisburg, Ohio. We loved their food.

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Volcano Chicken

Scheduling Issues with Take-Out

Problem is, we couldn’t seem to get our schedules on the same page because half the time I went by there craving this particular dish, they were either closed that day, closed for the evening, or some other unforeseen event (such as snow). It was snow that kept me from having this the last time although not so much snow as to keep me from going out.  And then after that, they closed permanently.

That’s when I decided it was time to just sit down and figure out how to do it at home. And I have to admit it is not really that hard to figure out.

Volcano Chicken

My Recipe vs. Their Recipe

I do believe the peppers in their sauce are ground up rather than chopped. Like that really makes a big difference (it doesn’t). The rest of it is pretty much the same except this costs about 25% of what you would pay to have them make it for you.  And you can do this in about half an hour.

Salad or with Rice

If you don’t care to have salad, then this would also work equally well with steamed jasmine rice. But I do like this with the lettuce.

Regarding Thai Chili Sauce

There are some other brands out there that you could use. I think Thai Kitchen has one called Thai chili and ginger sauce. I know that one is gluten-free if you wondered. The point I want to make is that you should not use the thing that Heinz makes called chili sauce which is just a type of ketchup. Thai sweet chili sauce is really more like sweet and sour sauce or duck sauce with a bit of spiciness to it.

Volcano Chicken

Sriracha vs. Chili Garlic

The sriracha sauce and the ones like it don’t vary from each other that much, although I do think the sriracha has a bit sharper of taste than the sambal, probably because that type is fermented. Both are also made by Huy Fong so there is enough difference for them to manufacture them separately.

Either adds a little spice but if you really want it volcanic, try adding about 4 chopped Thai bird chillies to the sauce and see how that goes. I was blowing flames like a Game of Thrones dragon, but loved it anyway.

That “Other” Volcano Chicken

I am also aware there is another type of volcano chicken and this isn’t it. Both are obviously Thai, originally both by Thai chefs. I can’t speak for the other type as I have never had it. But I do love this version.

Volcano Chicken

Some photos miss the cukes- don’t worry. I forgot them that time. It’s good either way.

Volcano Chicken

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Volcano Chicken

Volcano Chicken

Sue Lau
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Servings 4
Calories 469 kcal



  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast or thigh cut into strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • peanut oil for frying

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger root
  • 1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves torn

For the salad:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 1 cucumber peeled and sliced thin


  • Prepare sauce first:
  • Heat oil in a saucepan and add diced pepper, scallions and garlic, cooking until pepper softens.
  • Stir in the ginger root, sweet chili sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, brown sugar and sesame oil; bring to a boil then reduce heat and keep warm.
  • Prepare chicken by seasoning with salt and pepper, then coating with flour and shaking off excess.
  • Pan fry chicken in shallow hot oil on both sides until golden and cooked through.
  • While chicken cooks, chop lettuce and cucumbers and arrange on serving plates.
  • Just prior to serving stir basil into sauce just long enough to wilt.
  • When chicken is done, place chicken on lettuce and top with heated sauce.
  • Serve at once.


From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com


Calories: 469kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 41gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1255mgPotassium: 935mgFiber: 3gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 1497IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 3mg
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Volcano Chicken

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This recipe has been updated from 12.20.13 and reflects new photography.

14 responses

  1. I’ve had volcano chicken in several thai restaurants and it’s always served flaming due to the ignited whiskey! this is what makes it volcano and it’s traditionally made using a whole chicken.

    • It seems it is not always made that way. This version is like the one served at House of Thai in Miamisburg Ohio, as I stated in my blog post. What makes this version volcano is the way they ground the peppers in the sauce to make it appear like magma but it is not really important as it doesn’t change the flavor. The version at House of Thai is definitely not flambeed.
      I am aware that there are even other versions of volcano chicken besides the one I have posted and the one you mention as well. But they are all still volcano chicken.

  2. G’day! Looks great Sue! GREATLY appreciate the link back and the badge too!
    Great recipe to share at the Foodie Friends Friday Copycat Recipes Party
    Cheers! Joanne

  3. Hi Sue,
    I am, at this very minute sitting at what was House of Thai…it’s now called House of Asia. We came hoping to order the volcano chicken but alas, it’s no longer on their menu. As we were eating I decided to see if I could find a recipe for volcano chicken online and came across yours…imagine my surprise when you mention the very restaurant I’m sitting in! Coincidence?! Who knows, but we can’t wait to try your recipe!!

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