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a plate full of thaiwanese style chicken pop corn with black color chop stick on the side

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Moist and juicy chicken pieces with crunchy coating, aromatic basil flavour. Sprinkle Sichuan peppercorns, salt and chilli seasonings on top! Perfect party food that you can simply make at home with minimum budget!
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Asian appetizers, Asian fried chicken recipes, crispy salt and pepper chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 260kcal


  • 1 lb Boneless Chicken Thigh ( about 450g ) Or Chicken breast
  • cup Sweet potato flour (about 200g) ( or potato/corn starch )
  • Basil leaves A handful ( Thai/Sweet/Italian Basil )
  • Oil For frying ( Vegetable or neutral flavoured oil )


  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce ( Light soy sauce/ all purpose soy sauce )
  • 1 tbsp Shao Xing Wine ( Chinese Cooking Rice Wine ) see details in note
  • 1 tbsp Grated garlic or garlic paste
  • ½ tsp White pepper powder
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spices See details in note
  • 1 Egg white

Salt Mix

  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns ( toasted, finely ground ) See details in note
  • 1 tsp White pepper powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Paprika


  • Cut the chicken thigh into medium bite-size pieces. Marinade the chicken pieces with soy sauce, Shao Xing wine, garlic paste, white pepper and Chinese five spices. Mix well and set it aside for 15 minutes. Or you can leave it overnight in fridge with air-tight container.
  • Finely grind the roasted Sichuan peppercorns and mix it with white pepper powder, salt and paprika powder. Set it aside.
  • Break one egg white into the marinated chicken pieces and mix it well.
  • Place the sweet potato flour/ potato starch in a large bowl. Add 3-4 chicken pieces in the flour, dredge and press gently to coat evenly. Toss the excess flour out before frying.
  • Heat the vegetable oil or neutral flavour oil to medium-high heat about 320-330°F. ( Fill the oil over 2 inch. )
  • Add the coated chicken pieces and fry for 2-3 minutes. Once the chicken pieces start to float remove from oil and set aside for 2-3 minutes. ( Fry with batches if needed, do not overcrowd the oil. Skim the fried crumbs out with mesh strainer after frying each batch. )
  • Place the fried chicken back in the oil and fry for another 2-3 minutes, or until the coating is crispy. Remove from oil and transfer to kitchen towel or cooling rack.
  • Fry the basil leaves in the remaining oil for 1-2 minutes until crispy. Place the fried basil leaves over the kitchen towel.
  • Mix fried chicken pieces and basil leaves, sprinkle the salt seasoning mix on top. ( Or you can toss everything in a large mixing bowl. )
  • Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately.


  • Basil Leaves - Pat dry or air dry the basil leaves before frying to prevent splattering oil.
  • Sweet Potato Flour/Starch - Medium-thick sweet potato flour is ideal for this recipe but you can substitute it with potato starch or corn starch if you cannot get sweet potato starch. 
  • Shao Xing Wine - is a Chinese cooking rice wine, you can omit it or substitute it with Japanese mirin or dry sherry.
  • Chinese Five Spices - consists of cinnamon, star anise, cloves, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds powder. It has a warm, toasty, distinct flavour.
  • Sichuan Peppercorns - is ideal to add to the seasoning salt mix. If you don't like the numbing taste of Sichuan peppercorns, add black pepper as a substitute. 
  • Where to buy these ingredients? You can buy at most Chinese/Oriental grocery stores, supermarket Asian aisles, or Amazon online. 


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 642mg | Potassium: 257mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 108IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg