Taiwanese Salt And Pepper Chicken Recipe

Move over, popcorn chicken, there's a new addictive fried chicken bite in town (if the town is Taiwan). Salt and pepper chicken is one of the country's most popular street foods, and unlike chargrilled blood sausage skewers, pork buns, hand-pulled noodles and other things I'll be eating at the Taste Taiwan Culinary Tour, you can actually make this in your kitchen at home.

Serve with any dipping sauce you like, but chili-garlic sauce right out of the jar works fine for me.

Taiwanese Salt And Pepper Chicken Recipe
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Cook Time
to 6
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • canola or peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, rice wine, sugar, pepper and 5-spice powder.
  2. Place the chicken in a large zip-top bag and pour marinade over. Refrigerate for up to six hours.
  3. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or cast-iron pot to 350F.
  4. Meanwhile, dredge each piece of chicken throughly in cornstarch.
  5. Fry chicken in batches without crowding the fryer or pot until golden-brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
  7. Combine salt, pepper and 5-spice powder in a small bowl and sprinkle liberally over chicken before serving with more chili-garlic sauce.
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