Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Taiwanese popcorn chicken nuggets are most likely my preferred sort of fried chicken.

They’re an incredibly crispy, deeply tasty, definitely addicting treat, and most likely among the very best things to ever come out of Taiwan. The other finest thing being boba tea, naturally. I have numerous, numerous fond memories of late nights at boba tea locations, chewing on fried chicken, Taiwanese scallion pancake beef rolls and drinking boba tea.

There was even that a person summertime after college when my buddies and I would hangout every night, playing mahjong into the wee hours of the early morning. We were sustained by takeout bubble tea, beef rolls, Taiwanese popcorn chicken, and the pure pleasure of youth. We were all working in-between sort of tasks that we didn’t appreciate. All that mattered was our fascination with the clink of those green and white MJ tiles and treats. The very best treat of all being Taiwanese popcorn chicken naturally!

What is Taiwanese popcorn chicken?

Taiwanese popcorn chicken is an addicting night market treat from Taiwan. Like all excellent street foods, it has actually made its method into the cultural material of Taiwan and is now served in dining establishments in Taiwan and all over the world.

Simply as with other additional crispy deep fried chickens (Korean fried chicken, chicken karaage), Taiwanese fried chicken is twice-deep fried: very first in a low temperature level oil to prepare through, then in a high heat oil to include crunch. As it comes out of the fryer, it’s tossed in a salt and pepper flavoring and garnished with deep fried basil leaves.

Oh, and naturally I need to point out, these little nuggets likewise come supersized as huge Taiwanese crispy fried chicken cutlets. Those huge chicken steaks (in some cases larger than your head!) are served either entire, in a bag, that you can keep and bite, or cut up into pieces that you can consume with skewers or chopsticks.

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Taiwanese fried chicken active ingredients

  • Chicken the primary active ingredient. Chicken thighs are best for juiciness and taste. The majority of Taiwanese fried chicken is made from boneless skinless thighs.
  • Light Soy Sauce We require simply a little bit of light soy sauce for umami and salt. There are a lot of dishes on the web that have you marinading in a lot of routine soy sauce, however if you do your chicken will wind up very dark after frying. We simply desire a tip of soy, not excessive. Our preferred brand names of light soy sauce are Amoy, Pearl River, and Lee Kum Kee. You can discover them either online or at the Asian supermarket.
  • Starch Here I utilized a mix of cornstarch and potato starch for a covering that was light and crisp. The sort of starch you utilize for your finish is quite crucial. More on coverings even more down.
  • 5 Spice Powder This is what provides Taiwanese fried chicken it’s distinct taste. 5 spice is a Chinese spice mix comprised of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel. You can discover it at many supermarket and online naturally. All 5 spice powder blends are various, so make certain you taste your fives spice and like it prior to utilizing it.
  • White Pepper White pepper is the other unique spice in Taiwanese fried chicken. It has a sharper, more flower note than routine pepper. Do not avoid it if you desire the genuine offer.
  • Thai Basil Taiwanese chicken is often garnished with Thai basil that has actually been deep-fried. It includes a little bit of earthy herb freshness to the entire meal. If you’re unfavorable to deep-frying herbs, you can simply serve it fresh.

taiwanese fried chicken marinade | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to Make Taiwanese Fried Chicken

  1. Lower your chicken: Start of with cutting the chicken into bite size pieces. Make certain you cut all your pieces the very same size. You do not desire slices due to the fact that they tend to be drier, so attempt to make certain they are sort of chunky and thick.
  2. Marinate: From there you’ll wish to marinade them in soy sauce, garlic, 5 spice, white pepper, and salt. It’s a quite dry marinade so make sure to blend whatever up equally so that all the chicken pieces are covered. You desire them to marinade for a minimum of thirty minutes, preferably an hour. I like to leave them in a cool area in the kitchen area so the chicken can come near space temperature. This assists it prepare more equally and rapidly rather of cooking it directly from the refrigerator. If you’re marinading overnight, simply take the chicken out of the refrigerator a bit prior to you’re going to prepare.
  3. Cover the chicken: After the chicken has actually marinaded, you wish to coat it in the cornstarch/potato starch mix. You do not require to drain pipes the marinade, considering that it’s basically a rub so simply proceed and toss the chicken in the starches, making sure to coat equally.
  4. Fry: From there you can either deep-fry, air-fry, or oven-bake. The option is yours!
  5. Toss: Toss the newly fried chicken with the spice mix. This is an extremely vital part to making your chicken genuine.

deep frying taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

Air-frying/Oven Baking

If you’re air-frying or oven baking, you’ll require to spray the chicken with some oil. We like to utilize an easy oil mister bottle that we got on amazon so we can simply utilize whatever oil we have on hand. Make certain there’s an excellent finish of oil on the tops of the chicken so it browns equally, otherwise you may wind up with chicken that’s not as golden.

air frying taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com


For deep-frying, we’re going to do a double deep fry: when at a low temperature level to prepare the chicken through and after that once again at a greater temperature level to get the chicken additional crispy and golden brown. Some suggestions:

  • Make certain you utilize a heavy bottomed deep pot to deep-fry.
  • You desire a great deal of headspace so the oil does not boil and bubble over.
  • A kitchen area thermometer is best, however if you do not have one, you can examine the temperature level by putting wood chopsticks into the oil. There must be a lot of little bubbles that come out completion. The ones that feature your secure orders are ideal.
  • Carefully include some pieces of chicken into the pot, making sure not to crowd, and fry till gently golden. Drain pipes on a cake rack and after that show up the heat and deep fry once again till crisp and deeply golden.

As an additional little taste, you can deep fry the Thai basil. After all the chicken is done, turn the heat off the recurring heat in the oil suffices and extremely thoroughly include dry Thai basil to the pot. It will instantly bubble and sizzle and steam so be exceptionally sure that you have adequate area in your pot. Deep-frying basil just takes seconds so when it’s a brilliant green and crisp, eliminate it instantly and drain pipes on a rack.

And now it’s time to dust with some additional deliciousness and serve your chicken. Blend some 5 spice, salt, white pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder in a little bowl and after that dust it on kindly. Pop the fried basil on top. Boom! Delicious hot and golden Taiwanese fried chicken!

taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

Which Taiwanese popcorn chicken is the very best: deep-frying vs air-frying vs oven-baking

Here we are! I proceeded and ready Taiwanese fried chicken 3 various methods to determine which approach was best. I understood which chicken nugget was which however Mike did a double blind trial run and these are the outcomes they will surprise you!

Mike believed that all the chicken tasted sort of the very same! He stated that when hot, the distinctions were very little. As soon as the chicken got cold we’re talking like hours later on this is what he developed:

  1. Deep-fried was the tastiest, most likely due to the fact that it had some additional taste from deep-frying
  2. Air-fried was the crunchiest and crispiest
  3. Oven-baked was the juiciest

When It Comes To me I liked the deep-fried variation best, duration.

taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

What is the very best kind of finish for Taiwanese popcorn chicken?

If you ever look carefully at some Taiwanese fried chicken, you’ll see that their finish looks various from fried chicken covered with flour. This is due to the fact that they utilize a mix of cornstarch, potato starch, or sweet potato starch. The crust of Taiwanese fried chicken tends to be a bit powder-y with little balls of crunchiness. It’s not as golden as routine fried chicken due to the fact that the starches utilized do not brown up the very same method. Starches tend to provide a lighter, yet crisper finish due to the fact that there’s no gluten in it.

Try to find coarse potato/sweet potato starch for additional crispy chicken. Coarse starch has somewhat larger granules that make the chicken even crunchier.

For the most genuine Taiwanese chicken you’re going to wish to look for sweet potato starch. Other starches will work too, however sweet potato starch is the starch of option. The very best chefs typically utilize a mix of starches (their ratios being trade tricks) for the ideal mix of crispy and crispy.

coating taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

First Of All, what is starch?

Starch is a white, unappetizing powder comprised of 2 particles: amylose and amylopectin. When heated up, the particles cross relate to each other to form a stiff, fragile network that holds its shape. This equates to a crispy, crispy sensation when we consume it. Reward, starch is gluten-free!

Sweet potato starch

This is the traditional finish you’ll discover on fried chicken in Taiwan. Sweet potato starch (红薯粉) is very popular in Chinese food for finish meats, making chewy mochi-like dessert balls, and naturally, deep-frying. Sweet potato starch can be found in routine and coarse ground. Coarse ground sweet potato starch is what you desire for Taiwanese chicken. Its irregularly sized pieces provide the finish a raggedy, craggy surface area which winds up being crispier when deep fried. Sweet potato starch includes the greatest portion of amylose (30%) that makes it the crunchiest/crispiest of all the starches.


Cornstarch, made from corn kernels, is most likely the most typical starch for thickening sauces, baking, and finish things for frying. Its relatively high amylose (25-28%) makes it an actually excellent option for a deep fry finish. I constantly include it as the default option for finish Asian fried chicken due to the fact that it’s most likely in your kitchen currently.

Potato starch

Potato starch, made from potatoes, has a relatively high amylose material (20-22%). It’s actually simple to discover at the supermarket so if you can’t get your hands on sweet potato starch a mix of cornstarch and potato starch will provide you an appropriate facsimile. Keep in mind: potato starch is not the like potato flour!

Coatings to prevent

Keep away from flour, rice flour, tapioca starch, and rice starch if you desire a crispy crunchy crust that will remain crispy.

fried taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

What to consume with Taiwanese fried chicken

You can consume it on it’s own as a treat, serve it up with some fluffy white rice as a Taiwanese fried chicken bowl, enjoy it beside fried noodles or fried rice, or lastly: serve with some green onion pancake beef rolls for an additional Taiwanese experience.

taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

How to Make The Very Best Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken 3 Ways: Baked, Air Fried, and Deep Fried
Serves 2
. wprm-recipe-rating. wprm-rating-star. wprm-rating-star-full svg * {fill: #f 5a623;} 4.85 from 20 votes.

Preparation Time 5 minutes Prepare Time 25 minutes Marinading Time 30 minutes Overall Time 1 hr

Active Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce light
  • 1/2 tablespoon chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon potato starch
  • oil/cooking spray
  • thai basil if preferred

Salt and Pepper Mix

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  • In a bowl, marinade the chicken in the garlic, soy sauce, 5 spice, garlic powder, white pepper, and salt for thirty minutes. If you are air frying or baking, include a 1/2 tablespoon oil to the marinade.marinating taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Gently pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Location the cornstarch and potato starch in a bowl and, operating in batches, toss and coat a number of pieces of chicken, ensuring they are well covered. Additionally, put the cornstarch and potato starch in a bag or container, include the chicken, and shake to coat. The chicken ought to be well covered and look relatively dry.coating taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

Deep Fry

  • Prepare a wire cooling rack over a paper towel lined rimmed baking sheet. Warm up 2 2.5 inches of oil in a deep heavy bottomed pot till it reaches 325 ° F. It does not require to be unfathomable, it depends upon the size of your chicken. Utilize a set of tongs to carefully include a number of pieces of chicken to the hot oil, bewaring not to overcrowd. Fry in batches till gently golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Get rid of from the oil and let rest on your ready cake rack. Repeat with the staying chicken till all of it has actually been fried when.deep frying taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Turn the warm up to 350 ° F and fry the chicken a 2nd time around till deeply golden and crispy, another 1-2 minutes. Drain pipes on the cake rack, spray with the additional spice mix if preferred, and delight in instantly!fried taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

Air Fry

  • Gently oil or usage cooking spray on the air fryer basket. Location the covered pieces of chicken in the basket, with a minimum of 1/4″ of area in between pieces. Gently spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray. Prepare at 400 ° F for 5 minutes, then turn and gently spray with additional cooking spray. Prepare for 5 more minutes at 400 ° F. If your pieces of chicken are big, you may require an additional minute or 2. Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes, then air fry for an additional 5 minutes at 400 ° F to crisp it up.air frying taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Instantly get rid of from the air fryer basket and let rest on a cake rack. Sprinkle with the additional spice mix if preferred and delight in instantly!air fryer taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

To Bake

  • Heat the oven to 450 ° F. Oil or utilize cooking spray to completely coat a cake rack in a foil lined baking sheet. Location the covered pieces of chicken on the rack, with a minimum of 1/4″ of area in between pieces. Gently spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray. baking taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then turn, gently coat with additional cooking spray and bake for an additional 5 minutes. The pieces of chicken must be golden brown, crispy, and prepared through. Get rid of from the oven, spray with the additional spice mix if preferred and delight in instantly!baked taiwanese popcorn chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com


You most likely will not utilize all the spice mix dust and taste to see what level of additional salted peppery-ness you like.

Approximated Nutrition

Nutrition Information.
Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken.

Quantity Per Serving.

Calories 578
Calories from Fat 213

% Daily Worth *

Fat 23.7 g 36% Hydrogenated fat 5.5 g 34% Cholesterol 202mg 67% Salt 1586mg 69% Potassium 609mg 17% Carbs 20.8 g 7% Fiber 0.7 g 3% Sugar 0.6 g 1% Protein 66.5 g 133% * Percent Daily Worths are based upon a 2000 calorie diet plan.

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