Taiwanese Fried Chicken

February 17, 2023

Juicy, crispy, and irresistible best describe this Taiwanese fried chicken (táiwān yán sū jī). Smaller serving sizes are a nice touch.

It’s a common Taiwanese snack that can be eaten with one hand and popped into your mouth as you stroll. Coating the chicken with its signature flavor requires sweet potato starch.


Here are a few pointers!

  • The frying time and overall texture of the chicken are affected by how small or large the pieces are.
  • For best results, marinate the chicken for at least a full day.
  • The need to pat the chicken dry is eliminated if you first rinse it (remember to disinfect your sink and countertops). The chicken will be juicy if you add some water to the marinade.
  • If you can’t get your hands on Thai basil, that’s okay. You don’t need it to make the recipe. Unfortunately, Thai basil does not significantly enhance the flavor of the dish.
  • Try using sweet potato starch instead of cornstarch or regular potato starch because of the latter’s finer texture. The result will be a crunchy exterior.



  • 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch/2.5cm pieces)
  • 1 heaping tbsp. of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp. of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 tsp. of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of five-spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt


  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp. of sweet potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of white pepper


  • 20-25 pcs. of Thai basil leaves(optional)
  • vegetable oil (or any other frying oil of choice)
  • 1 cup of sweet potato starch
  • salt and white pepper (to taste)


  1. Toss the chicken in a medium bowl with the sugar, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, garlic, five-spice powder, white pepper, and salt. Marinate for at least two hours, preferably overnight, in a covered container in the fridge.
  2. The batter should be made right before you plan on frying. The ingredients for the batter should be combined in a medium bowl: flour, water, sweet potato starch, baking powder, salt, and white pepper. This batter mixture should be tossed with the chicken that has been marinating.
  3. To prepare Thai basil, wash the leaves and dry them in a salad spinner. Make sure all moisture is removed by patting them dry on a kitchen towel (or it may cause splattering in the frying oil). Putting aside.
  4. Over moderate heat, bring 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). It may be necessary to adjust the heat so that the oil remains at a constant 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) while frying.
  5. Fry the basil leaves first until they turn a deep green color. Take out the strainer and put them away.
  6. Coat each piece of chicken in sweet potato starch, then drop it, in batches, into the oil that has been preheated to 350°F/175°C (about a quarter to a third of the chicken per batch). Coating the chicken in advance will result in a soggy coating.
  7. Cook for a minute on high heat. Fry the chicken for 1 minute per batch, remove it from the oil, and set it aside.
  8. It’s time for round two of french fries. Using the same order as before, fry the batches at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) for 2 minutes, or until the pieces float to the surface and are crispy.
  9. After the second frying is complete, sprinkle with salt and white pepper to taste and finish with Thai basil leaves.
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