Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
Watch a video of this recipe here.
Taiwanese food is a great mix of local dishes with influences from China, Japan and Southeast Asia. Popcorn chicken is a popular street food and once you try it you’ll see why. The crunchy texture of the sweet potato flour coating is incredible.
600g boneless chicken thigh fillets, preferably skin-on
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp five spice powder
1 cup sweet potato flour
2L oil, for deep frying
1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves
1 tbsp salt
¼ tsp five spice powder
¼ tsp white pepper
a pinch of chilli powder
- Slice the chicken into 3cm pieces and combine with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar and five spice powder and set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes. Toss in the sweet potato flour, shaking off any excess.
- Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan. When the oil reaches 150°C scatter the basil leaves into the wok and stir for about 20 seconds until the basil crisps and turns translucent. Remove from the wok and drain. Increase the heat of the oil to 170°C and fry the chicken in batches for about 3 minutes until golden brown, regularly skimming any floating flour bits from the oil.
- For the spiced salt, mix the salt and other seasonings together and toast in a dry frypan over low-medium heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- To serve, toss the chicken with the fried basil leaves and a good pinch of the spiced salt. Serve immediately.
This recipe and many more like it can be found in my fourth book, Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School.
Thus recipe looks fantastic Adam but there is no mention about what to do with the sweet potato flour. I presume that straight after marinating the chicken , it gets coated in the flour.
Whoops! Thanks for letting me know. I’ve updated the post.
I live in France, where sweet potato flour is not available, as far as I have found. Could I use chickpea flour instead? Or wheat flour?
The best substitute would be cornflour I would think, or ordinary potato flour which is available from Jewish delis.
HI Adam, can i substitute Sweet Potato flour with Tapioca flour/ starch instead?
Sweet potato flour is sometimes called tapioca flour on the packet. You just need to make sure it’s the one with the grainy texture like you see in the picture of the finished dish.
Hi Adam, just about to make this and wondering if I sieve the flour. Opened a fresh packet and it’s very lumpy. Or does this give the popcorn texture? Help
You definitely don’t need to sieve the flour. The “lumpiness” or graininess is just the texture you need. It shouldn’t be smooth like cornflour.
I recently discovered this recipe on YouTube and this looks amazing! Just like Hot Star Chicken! I was wondering if I could bake this in the oven? Even when I’m indulging myself I’ll like to keep somewhat healthy (not happening so far XD) If I could bake it, for how long and how many degrees? Thank You!
SALUDOS ADAM TE ADMIRO MUCHISIMO. COMO HAGO PARA BUSCAR KA RECETA DEL POLLO CON MYRTO LIMON Y SI ME PUEDES DEFINIR LA PALABRA MYRTO
saludos, disculpa como hago para ubicar tus recetas de tv. saludos cordiales
Made this the other day and LOVED it! So tasty and the texture was fantastic. Like nothing I have ever made before. I sourced the sweet potato flour from my local Asian supermarket. Very simple to make.
Panko bread crumbs also makes extra crispy popcorn chicken. Just like Jessica, I would love a recipe for baked popcorn chicken if you have one. Been trying to find one online but no such luck so far =/
Hi Adam Im looking to cook this tonight for dinner and would be greatfull for a suggestion for an accompanying sauce.
I Will buy your book defenetly.
Thanks for sharing
Hi Adam I want to make this for my kids lunch box however make it then store it in the freezer so i can air fry in the morning. Do you think its better to fry and freeze or freeze it raw? Thanks!