Taiwanese popcorn chicken has got to be the staple of authentic Taiwanese street food flavor! It’s bite size, crunchy, juicy and full of flavors! In Taiwan, you never eat it with a plate, you always eat it out of a paper bag with some bamboo sticks. When your kids are fighting for the last few pieces, they always poke so hard that they poke through the bag and poke your hand! It’s all part of the experience. I did add in my little secret ingredient to make it taste more refreshing and more tender and juicy without changing any of the amazing flavors! Another note is that we use potato starch (*thick) as our breading choice. So if you use gluten free soy sauce as your marinade, this could be a super delicious GF fried chicken!
Chicken thigh (Boneless, skinless) x 2 ½ – 3 lb
Garlic powder x ½ tsp
Chicken powder x ½ tsp
Sichuan pepper powder x 1 tsp
Garlic x 5 cloves
Lime juice x ½ tbsp
Soy sauce x 2 tbsp
Soy sauce paste x ½ tbsp
Sugar x 1 tsp
ShaoHisung Rice Wine x 1 tbsp
Chili Powder x ½ tsp or as spicy as you want it to be
Ground white pepper powder x ¼ tsp
Five Spice powder x ¼ tsp
Potato starch (thick) x 2 cups
Egg x 1
Thai Basil x 1 bunch ( leaves only )
1. Cut all the chicken thighs into bite size.
2. Mix up all the ingredients except for eggs to make the marinade.
3. Pour the marinade into the chicken and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or keep in the fridge to marinade over night.
4. Prepare a big plate, and pour half of the potato starch on the plate. Then put all the chicken (one by one, don’t dump all in at once) onto the plate. Then pour the rest of the potato starch on top of the chicken. Use chopsticks or a tong to make sure all the chickens are well coated on every side.
5. Let the breaded chicken sit for 10 minutes, so the moisture can come through the breading.
6. Heat up you fryer with frying oil to 325 F.
7. When you put the chicken in, make sure you don’t crowd them, so they don’t stick together. With medium heat, fry for about 1 minute, then flip all the chicken and continue to fry for another 2 minutes. Then take them out on a cooling rack. Fry in batches if necessary.
8. Once all the chicken is out on the cooling rack, turn the heat up to medium high and bring the oil to 375 F. Put the chicken back in for another few seconds to one minute to get it crunchy and gold brown. Take them out on a cooling rack. Fry in batches if necessary.
9. Once you’re done with the chicken, put in the thai basil leaves. Make sure you have a lid on hand to cover the fryer to protect yourself from the potential splashes. Once you hear less sizzling, you can open the lid, move the Thai Basil around for a few more seconds, and take them out to join the chicken on the cooling rack.
10. Sprinkle with some pepper salt while everything is still hot.