Crispy Chicken Livers a la Bistek

Crispy Chicken Livers a la Bistek dressed with onions and a tangy lemon-soy sauce mixture. Crunchy and tasty, they’re perfect as an appetizer or dinner meal!

Hi, guys! It’s throwback Friday here on Kawaling Pinoy and featured is a fried chicken livers recipe first published on the blog in May 2015. I am updating it with new photos along with a few tips to help you recreate it effortlessly at home.

This recipe should have been up a good half hour ago but I spent a good while trying to come up with a jazzy name for it. This is a dish I just sort of whipped up freestyle years ago and it has quickly become a family favorite.

Loaded with garlic and onions and lightly doused in a citrus sauce made of calamansi juice and soy sauce, I suppose, crispy chicken livers a la bistek is the closest thing to describing its flavor profile. If you love the tangy-salty taste of our Filipino beef steak, then this budget-friendly version should be on your menu rotation.

Why you’ll love this crispy chicken livers recipe

Chicken liver is definitely an acquired taste, but if you get past the “gag” factor, you’ll discover its many benefits as a superfood.

  • It’s an economical source of protein and is relatively cheaper than most cuts of meat.
  • It’s a nutrient powerhouse rich in iron, folate, Vitamin A, and essential fatty acids.
  • It’s versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes as well as easy and quick to cook.
  • Cooked properly, it can be a delicious addition to your dinner repertoire.

    Cooking Tips

    • Gently rinse the chicken livers to rid of blood and pat dry with paper towels as the extra moisture trapped under the breading will make them soggy and keep them from frying properly.
    • For a light and crisp breading, use a mixture of flour and cornstarch. I seasoned it simply with salt and pepper but feel to add garlic powder, paprika, or chili powder. Just note that whatever blend of herbs you add will affect the overall taste of the dish.
    • For super crunchy texture, use enough and the right kind of oil with high smoke points such as canola, safflower, or peanut oil. Heat the oil to the optimal temperature range of 350 F to 375 F. Do not overcrowd the pan, cook the liver in batches as needed to prevent the temperature from plummeting.
    • To keep the chicken liver from disintegrating, make sure the oil is hot enough and do not turn them too much. Allow them to brown and crisp properly on one side before flipping to the other side.
    • Toss the fried livers BRIEFLY in the lemon-soy sauce to maintain their texture. For the most crunch, you can also arrange the liver on a serving platter, garnish with the onions, and drizzle the heated sauce.
    • Ingredients

      • 2 pounds chicken liver, cut into halves
      • 3/4 cup flour
      • 1/4 cup cornstarch
      • 2 teaspoons salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
      • canola oil
      • 2 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup juice)
      • 1/2 cup soy sauce
      • 1/2 cup water
      • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced thinly into rings
      • 1 head garlic, peeled and minced


        • Rinse chicken liver and pat dry.
        • In a bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
        •  Dredge liver in flour mixture to fully coat.
        • In a pan over medium heat, heat about 2-inches deep of oil.
        • Add liver in batches and cook, turning as needed, until golden and crispy. With a slotted spoon, remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
        • In a bowl, combine lemon juice, soy sauce, and water. Set aside.
      • In a skillet over medium heat, heat about 1 tablespoon oil. Add onions and cook, stirring regularly, for about 1 minute or until half done. Remove from pan and keep warm.
      • Add garlic to pan and cook, stirring regularly, until lightly browned and aromatic.
      • Add lemon-soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil.
      • Add chicken livers and gently toss to coat. Continue to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until heated and sauce is slightly thickened.
      • Transfer to serving platter and garnish with onions. Serve hot.

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