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What makes Taiwanese fried chicken so crunchy on the outside and juicy within? It's all about that marinade.

Taiwanese Fried Chicken on a Stick


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely grated

  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger, finely grated

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine

  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

  • Oil for deep-frying

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 cup potato starch

  • 1 bunch Thai basil leaves

  • Sweet plum powder


  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, five-spice, white pepper, cooking wine and sugar and toss to coat. Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes to overnight in the fridge.

  2. Pour oil into a deep pot for frying and heat to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Pour over marinated chicken, and stir to coat.

  3. Place potato starch in a large resealable plastic storage bag. Add a few pieces of chicken at a time and shake to coat.

  4. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside on a wire rack.

  5. Fry Thai basil leaves for 30 seconds to crisp up. Drain.

  6. Thread coated chicken onto wooden skewers, spacing pieces apart slightly. Serve skewers garnished with crispy basil and a sprinkling of sweet plum powder. Enjoy!

Taiwanese Fried Chicken on a Stick




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- I absolutely love friend chicken. And I know so many different cultures have their own variation, and today I'm gonna show you how to make Taiwanese fried chicken. It's the perfect snack food. Super crunchy and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy in the middle. And it comes together in just a few steps. Let me show you how. This Taiwanese fried chicken is so, so tasty right down into the middle, and that's because of the marinade. So I'm starting off with some chicken, and I've cut it up into bite-size pieces. And I like using chicken thighs instead of breasts because they're super juicy and they have a ton more flavor. I'm gonna go in with a little bit of soy sauce, and that's gonna give us the salty factor. A little bit of sugar. This is Chinese cooking wine, and it's just gonna tenderize the chicken and give it a really, really nice flavor. I have some fresh ginger. Oh, and that smells fresh. All right, give it a nice tap to get the excess off. And of course the classic pairing with ginger is garlic. And one of my tips for garlic is if you wanna get the shell of easily, give it a squeeze, kind of roll it around, and, look, it just pops right off like that. You don't need any fancy contraptions and stuff. Just use your hands. You want the garlic and ginger to be nice and fine. You don't want huge chunks, and that's why using a grater like this is super helpful. That in there. And then I'm gonna go in with a little bit of white pepper. And white pepper is kinda like the cousin of black pepper. It's smokier, it's a touch spicier. It's really, really good stuff. And then the defining flavor of a Taiwanese fried chicken is the addition of five-spice powder. Five-spice is used a lot in Asian cooking. It has a mixture of cloves and Szechuan pepper and star anise and a few other spices, and it just has a sweet profile. And then you're gonna wanna give it a nice mix. Get all those flavors smushed in together. Awesome, so I have a little bit of plastic wrap here. I'm gonna cover this and then pop it into the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, 'cause you really want those flavors to get in there. But if you can leave it in the fridge overnight, even better. My chicken has marinated, and now it's time to get it coated. I'm gonna use potato starch because I think it lends for a crunchier, crispier coating. In goes my potato starch. And we need to coat the chicken before we put it in the potato starch, so I have an egg. And to sort of loosen up the egg a little bit, some water. And you're just gonna whisk this up until it's nice and frothy. And this goes right into the chicken. And we're gonna drop a few chunks of the chicken into this potato starch and give it a shake. All right, this is my favorite part, shake, shake, shake. It's so hard to find them 'cause they all look super white. And you're gonna shake off the excess potato starch. I have some oil that I've been heating up. It's at 350 degrees. And we're just gonna fry these up for a few minutes to get nice and golden and crispy. Right now you can see a ton of bubbles in the pan, and that's all the moisture escaping from the chicken. As soon as those slow down and become smaller, that's when you know that they're almost ready. So one of the classic garnishes for Taiwanese friend chicken are fried basil leaves. And these are Thai basil leaves. They're super sweet and delicate. And I'm just gonna pick off a few of these leaves because we're gonna deep fry them. So I'm just gonna fish them out. The bubbles have quieted down. I wish we had Smell-o-Vision so you guys could smell this, 'cause it smells insane. Now is the fun part. Now is the exciting part. If you're kind of bored and you have a little bit of hot oil and some basil leaves, this is gonna give you a kick. These are only gonna take a few seconds to fry up, but be careful, 'cause they're gonna make a lot of sound. Ready? Be careful, because they do splatter. And then just pull them out just like that. And boom, look at that. Now, you could serve this just as is, but I wanted to take it to the next level, right? We're all about that street food life, so I'm gonna thread it onto skewers. So just get one skewer like this, thread on a whole bunch, and then do one of these numbers. One of the things that they like to do in Taiwan is season this up with something called sweet plum powder. And when you taste it on its own, mm, it's sweet, it's tangy. It's really interesting in its flavor profile. But let's give it a taste right now without it, and then we'll add some after. There go my basil leaves. Mm, oh my gosh, look at how juicy and tender this chicken is in the middle with that crispy, crunchy coating, the crispy basil leaves, and the sweet plum powder. What's not to love? This is Taiwanese street food at its best.

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