Taiwanese Night Market Popcorn Chicken

Taiwanese Night Market Popcorn Chicken

Inspired by Taiwan

Taiwanese Night Market Popcorn Chicken | http://saltandwind.com Though I’ve never been to Taiwan, there’s one thing I know for sure: I’m a huge fan of night market-style fried chicken that's also known a...
Cuisine
Ingredients
15
Hands-On Time
15 minutes
Total Time
30 plus marinating time
Yield
-
Servings
6 to 8
Diet
Taiwanese Night Market Popcorn Chicken | http://saltandwind.com
Skill
Intermediate
Course
Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main, Snack
Cuisine
Asian, Taiwanese
Ingredients
15
Hands-On Time
15 minutes
Total Time
30 plus marinating time
Yield
-
Servings
6 to 8
Diet
Dairy-Free
Taiwanese Night Market Popcorn Chicken | http://saltandwind.com

Though I’ve never been to Taiwan, there’s one thing I know for sure: I’m a huge fan of night market-style fried chicken that's also known as Popcorn Chicken (I think because you end up eating a vat by popping it in your mouth). It’s one of a variety of xiaochi (aka “finger foods) found in Taiwanese night markets and is more or less popcorn chicken seasoned with garlic, soy, and a good amount of Chinese Five-Spice powder. I first tried it on a Six Taste tour of Arcadia and it has quickly become a staple anytime we want something bar food-esque btu homemade. The result is a barely breaded, headily-spiced, crisp-fried chicken, which is as good as a quick weeknight meal as it is a cocktail party snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken

    (dark or white meat), cut into bite-size pieces

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine

    or dry sherry

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder

    divided

  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

    divided

  • 5 garlic cloves

    finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 large egg yolk

    lightly beaten

  • 1 cup brown rice flour

    or potato flour

  • canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil

    for frying

  • pinch chili powder

    for garnish

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 bunch Thai basil

    for garnish

Instructions

Mix the chicken with the soy, wine, sesame oil, sugar, half of each the Five-Spice powder and white pepper, and all the garlic. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 24 hours.

When ready to cook, stir cornstarch and egg yolk into the chicken mixture. Put  the flour on a large, flat plate and mix. Add the chicken to the flour, toss to coat evenly, then knock off any excess flour. Let the chicken rest while the oil heats up (at least 5 minutes) — this will help the coating adhere better. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining five-spice powder with the white pepper, salt, and chili powder and set aside. 

Fill a heavy-bottomed pot or wok with 1-inch of oil and heat to 375°F over medium-high heat. Add enough of the chicken to form a single layer in the pan (about half) and cook until it is golden brown on all sides (you’ll need to do this in multiple batches), about 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the fried chicken out on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil and immediately season with the salt mixture. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Tip

Use a deep frying thermometer to check the oil is properly heated. Alternatively, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If the oil bubbles around the handle, it is hot enough to fry the chicken.

Carefully add half of the basil leaves (it will sputter so cover with a splatter guard or stand back) and fry until crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and repeat with remaining basil. Toss fried basil with chicken and serve immediately.

Footnotes

Did you make this recipe? Give us your thoughts by leaving a comment below and show us how it turned out by sharing it on Instagram with the #swsociety hashtag!

http://saltandwind.com/recipes/344-taiwanese-night-market-five-spice-chicken-recipe

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