Learn . Laugh . Eat

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Prep: 15 Mins

Cook: 15 Mins

This Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken has it all, with crunchy double fried pieces of chicken, fragrant basil and crispy chicken skin

  • 300 g chicken thighs skin on and deboned

  • 200g cornflour

  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

The marinade

  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

  • 1 tsp ginger (finely chopped)

  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice

  • 1 tsp white pepper

The Seasoning (spice mix)

  • 1/2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn

  • 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns

  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)

  • A handful of Thai basil leaves (optional)

Preparation

  • Cut the meat into 2cm cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the marinade ingredients and, using your hands, massage the pieces until they are evenly coated, refrigerate for an hour or overnight if you prefer.

  • Pour spices straight into a pestle and mortar, and pound until finely ground.

Cooking

  • Half-fill a large pot, wok or deep-fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 180°C (350°F), or until the tip of a wooden chopstick or skewer starts to fizz after a second or so in the oil. In small batches, coat the chicken pieces with the cornflour and deep-fry until golden brown, about 3–4 minutes. Remove the pieces carefully with a slotted spoon and drain well on a plate covered with kitchen paper.

  • Once you finish frying all the chicken, it's time for the second fry. Fry the pieces for an extra couple of minutes to achieve that super crisp finish.

  • Fry the basil leaves for a minute, dry and set aside. Tossed the fried chicken in the seasoning and the fried basil leaves.

  • Serve


  • 300 g chicken thighs skin on and deboned

  • 200g cornflour

  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

The marinade

  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

  • 1 tsp ginger (finely chopped)

  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice

  • 1 tsp white pepper

The Seasoning (spice mix)

  • 1/2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn

  • 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns

  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)

  • A handful of Thai basil leaves (optional)


Preparation

  • Cut the meat into 2cm cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the marinade ingredients and, using your hands, massage the pieces until they are evenly coated, refrigerate for an hour or overnight if you prefer.

  • Pour spices straight into a pestle and mortar, and pound until finely ground.

Cooking

  • Half-fill a large pot, wok or deep-fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 180°C (350°F), or until the tip of a wooden chopstick or skewer starts to fizz after a second or so in the oil. In small batches, coat the chicken pieces with the cornflour and deep-fry until golden brown, about 3–4 minutes. Remove the pieces carefully with a slotted spoon and drain well on a plate covered with kitchen paper.

  • Once you finish frying all the chicken, it's time for the second fry. Fry the pieces for an extra couple of minutes to achieve that super crisp finish.

  • Fry the basil leaves for a minute, dry and set aside. Tossed the fried chicken in the seasoning and the fried basil leaves.

  • Serve

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