Taiwanese Fried Chicken (台湾盐酥鸡)

This Taiwanese fried chicken (台湾盐酥鸡 – táiwān yán sū jī) has all the traits of a good fried chicken: juicy, crispy, and addictive. The fact that the pieces are bite-sized is a plus. It’s a popular street food in Taiwan, meant to be popped into your mouth and enjoyed as you stroll. You’ll need sweet potato starch to create this chicken’s signature coating! Recipe Tips Before You Begin Here are a few pointers!  Be sure to cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces, as it affects the frying time and overall texture. Ideally marinate the chicken overnight to maximize flavor. If you rinse your chicken (be sure to sanitize your sink and kitchen surfaces if you do), you do not need to pat the chicken dry. A little bit of moisture in addition to the marinade will make the chicken juicier. As for the Thai basil, if you can’t find it, it’s not a dealbreaker. You can make the recipe without it. I’ve found that the Thai basil doesn’t actually add a ton of flavor.Look for sweet potato starch, which has a coarser texture than say, cornstarch or regular potato starch. This will make the coating crispy!  Taiwanese Fried Chicken: Recipe Instructions In a medium bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the garlic, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, five spice powder, white pepper, and salt. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight. Make the batter just before frying. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, water, sweet potato starch, baking powder, salt, and white pepper. Mix the batter into the marinated chicken.  If using, wash the Thai basil leaves, and run them through a salad spinner to dry them. Thoroughly pat them dry on a kitchen towel to get rid of any lingering moisture (or it may cause splattering in the frying oil). Set aside.  Add 2 inches of oil to a medium pot, and bring it to 350°F/175°C over medium heat. You may need to adjust the heat to keep the oil temperature at 350°F/175°C during frying.  First, fry the basil leaves until they turn a dark green color. Strain them out and set aside.  Coat each piece of battered chicken in sweet potato starch, and immediately lower it into the 350°F/175°C oil in batches (about a quarter to a third of the chicken per batch). Do not coat the chicken ahead of time, or the coating will become soggy. Fry for 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the oil, set aside, and continue frying subsequent batches, for 1 minute each.  Now it’s time for the second fry. With the temperature still at 350°F/175°C, fry the batches again (in the same order you initially fried them in)—this time, for 2 minutes, until the pieces float to the surface and are crispy.   Once the second fry is done, sprinkle with additional salt and white pepper to taste, and serve with the Thai basil leaves, if using. Looking for more authentic recipes? Subscribe to our email list and be sure to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube! 5 from 3 votes Taiwanese Fried Chicken This Taiwanese fried chicken (台湾盐酥鸡 – táiwān yán sū jī), a popular street food (or party appetizer!), is juicy, crispy, and addictive. by: JudyCourse:ChickenCuisine:Taiwanese serves: 4 Prep: 2 hours 25 minutes Total: 2 hours 45 minutes IngredientsFor the chicken & marinade:For the batter:To finish the dish:US Customary – Metric InstructionsIn a medium bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the garlic, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, five spice powder, white pepper, and salt. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.Make the batter just before frying. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, water, sweet potato starch, baking powder, salt, and white pepper. Toss this batter mixture into the marinated chicken. If using, wash the Thai basil leaves, and run them through a salad spinner to dry them. Thoroughly pat them dry on a kitchen towel to get rid of any lingering moisture (or it may cause splattering in the frying oil). Set aside.Add 2 inches of oil to a medium pot, and bring it to 350°F/175°C over medium heat. You may need to adjust the heat to keep the oil temperature at 350°F/175°C during frying.First, fry the basil leaves until they turn a dark green color. Strain them out and set aside. Coat each piece of battered chicken in sweet potato starch, and immediately lower it into the 350°F/175°C oil in batches (about a quarter to a third of the chicken per batch). Do not coat the chicken ahead of time, or the coating will become soggy. Fry for 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the oil, set aside, and continue frying subsequent batches, for 1 minute for each batch. Now it’s time for the second fry. With the temperature still at 350°F/175°C, fry the batches again (in the same order you initially fried them in)—this time, for 2 minutes, until the pieces float to the surface and are crispy. Once the second fry is done, sprinkle with additional salt and white pepper to taste, and

Taiwanese Fried Chicken (台湾盐酥鸡)

This Taiwanese fried chicken (台湾盐酥鸡 – táiwān yán sū jī) has all the traits of a good fried chicken: juicy, crispy, and addictive. The fact that the pieces are bite-sized is a plus.

It’s a popular street food in Taiwan, meant to be popped into your mouth and enjoyed as you stroll. You’ll need sweet potato starch to create this chicken’s signature coating!

Recipe Tips Before You Begin

Here are a few pointers! 

  • Be sure to cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces, as it affects the frying time and overall texture. 
  • Ideally marinate the chicken overnight to maximize flavor. 
  • If you rinse your chicken (be sure to sanitize your sink and kitchen surfaces if you do), you do not need to pat the chicken dry. A little bit of moisture in addition to the marinade will make the chicken juicier. 
  • As for the Thai basil, if you can’t find it, it’s not a dealbreaker. You can make the recipe without it. I’ve found that the Thai basil doesn’t actually add a ton of flavor.
  • Look for sweet potato starch, which has a coarser texture than say, cornstarch or regular potato starch. This will make the coating crispy! 
Package of sweet potato starch

Taiwanese Fried Chicken: Recipe Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the garlic, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, five spice powder, white pepper, and salt. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.

Chicken pieces in marinade

Make the batter just before frying. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, water, sweet potato starch, baking powder, salt, and white pepper.

Stirring batter mixture with chopsticks in white bowl

Mix the batter into the marinated chicken. 

Battered chicken

If using, wash the Thai basil leaves, and run them through a salad spinner to dry them. Thoroughly pat them dry on a kitchen towel to get rid of any lingering moisture (or it may cause splattering in the frying oil). Set aside. 

Bunch of Thai Basil

Add 2 inches of oil to a medium pot, and bring it to 350°F/175°C over medium heat. You may need to adjust the heat to keep the oil temperature at 350°F/175°C during frying. 

First, fry the basil leaves until they turn a dark green color. Strain them out and set aside. 

Frying Thai Basil

Coat each piece of battered chicken in sweet potato starch, and immediately lower it into the 350°F/175°C oil in batches (about a quarter to a third of the chicken per batch).

Coating Battered Chicken in Sweet Potato Starch
Dredging battered chicken in coarse sweet potato starch

Do not coat the chicken ahead of time, or the coating will become soggy. Fry for 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the oil, set aside, and continue frying subsequent batches, for 1 minute each. 

Hot bubbling frying oil

Now it’s time for the second fry. With the temperature still at 350°F/175°C, fry the batches again (in the same order you initially fried them in)—this time, for 2 minutes, until the pieces float to the surface and are crispy.  

Pulling chicken out of frying oil

Once the second fry is done, sprinkle with additional salt and white pepper to taste, and serve with the Thai basil leaves, if using.

Taiwanese Fried Chicken
Taiwanese Fried Chicken

5 from 3 votes

Taiwanese Fried Chicken

This Taiwanese fried chicken (台湾盐酥鸡 – táiwān yán sū jī), a popular street food (or party appetizer!), is juicy, crispy, and addictive.

Taiwanese Fried Chicken

serves: 4

Ingredients

For the chicken & marinade:

For the batter:

To finish the dish:

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the garlic, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, five spice powder, white pepper, and salt. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.

  • Make the batter just before frying. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, water, sweet potato starch, baking powder, salt, and white pepper. Toss this batter mixture into the marinated chicken.

  • If using, wash the Thai basil leaves, and run them through a salad spinner to dry them. Thoroughly pat them dry on a kitchen towel to get rid of any lingering moisture (or it may cause splattering in the frying oil). Set aside.

  • Add 2 inches of oil to a medium pot, and bring it to 350°F/175°C over medium heat. You may need to adjust the heat to keep the oil temperature at 350°F/175°C during frying.

  • First, fry the basil leaves until they turn a dark green color. Strain them out and set aside.

  • Coat each piece of battered chicken in sweet potato starch, and immediately lower it into the 350°F/175°C oil in batches (about a quarter to a third of the chicken per batch). Do not coat the chicken ahead of time, or the coating will become soggy. Fry for 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the oil, set aside, and continue frying subsequent batches, for 1 minute for each batch.

  • Now it’s time for the second fry. With the temperature still at 350°F/175°C, fry the batches again (in the same order you initially fried them in)—this time, for 2 minutes, until the pieces float to the surface and are crispy.

  • Once the second fry is done, sprinkle with additional salt and white pepper to taste, and serve with the Thai basil leaves, if using.

nutrition facts

Calories: 335kcal (17%) Carbohydrates: 44g (15%) Protein: 27g (54%) Fat: 5g (8%) Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 108mg (36%) Sodium: 669mg (28%) Potassium: 814mg (23%) Fiber: 3g (12%) Sugar: 2g (2%) Vitamin A: 345IU (7%) Vitamin C: 3mg (4%) Calcium: 79mg (8%) Iron: 2mg (11%)