Homemade Popcorn Chicken

Crispy and crunchy bite-sized pieces of fried chicken which the whole family will love! Make this delicious Taiwanese-inspired Popcorn Chicken with step-by-step photos.

popcorn chicken on white plate with coriander

Popcorn Chicken

Anyone who knows me will know that I LOVE fried chicken! Nothing makes me happier than to see fried chicken on a restaurant menu, but as we haven’t been to a restaurant in the longest time, homemade fried chicken is a real treat at the moment.

The easiest fried chicken I know of making is this wonderfully delightful Taiwanese-style Popcorn Chicken.

popcorn chicken on plate with hot sauce

What is Popcorn Chicken?

Popcorn Chicken is essentially little bite-sized pieces of fried chicken.

They are perfect as they are, served simply with your favourite sauce for a snack or appetiser.

In my home, Popcorn Chicken also forms the basis for many more delicious meals, including my Crispy Honey Chicken and Chinese Lemon Chicken.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Use a few easy-to-find pantry ingredients to make delicious homemade fried chicken.
  • This Popcorn Chicken recipe creates small and tender pieces of chicken with a crispy and crunchy coating.
popcorn chicken with fresh coriander garnish

Popcorn Chicken Recipe

There are many ways to flavour your Popcorn Chicken, but as I often serve my Popcorn Chicken as part of a shared family meal, I like to use Asian flavourings.

Rather than coating the chicken pieces in a heavy batter for deep-frying, I light to make a light, floury batter which sticks to the chicken pieces to create a crispy texture.

The results are tender and juicy chicken pieces, with an addictive and more-ish crunchy coating.

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

My Popcorn Chicken recipe is more inspired by the Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken (or Taiwanese Fried Chicken) where I use a mix of soy sauce, Chinese five spice powder and a few other pantry ingredients for a flavoursome hit.

A traditional Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken is usually served with fried Thai basil leaves, which I have omitted from this recipe because it’s not always easy to find where I live.

How to Make Popcorn Chicken

Step 1

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cm/1 inch cubes) and place them into a medium-sized bowl.

Add the marinade ingredients, and give everything a good mix.

Set the chicken aside to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

white bowl with marinated chicken pieces

Step 2

Place the flour into a large bowl or baking tray. For this recipe, you can use either plain flour (all-purpose flour) or self-raising flour.

flour in large bowl with measuring spoon

Step 3

Pour the chicken, together with all of the marinade, onto the flour.

marinated chicken in batter in large bowl

Step 4

Use your hands to mix everything together. The liquid from the marinade will mix with the flour to create a light, floury batter.

Press the flour mixture into the chicken to create a craggy coating. It is these craggly bits which will make the chicken crispy and crunchy.

chicken coated in flour in large bowl

Step 5

Heat enough vegetable oil in a large saucepan to about 2 cm (1 inch) depth. The oil is ready when the temperature is 165°C (325°F), or when a wooden chopstick inserted in the oil creates lots of small bubbles.

Cook the chicken in batches until they are golden in colour.

Drain the chicken on kitchen paper or a wire rack.

fried chicken pieces on baking tray

What to Serve with Popcorn Chicken

For this Taiwanese-style Popcorn Chicken, I recommend any spicy sauce to go alongside, such as Sriracha, or Sriracha mixed with a bit of Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise.

This Popcorn Chicken recipe also forms the basis of my Crispy Honey Chicken and Chinese Lemon Chicken.

popcorn chicken on large plate with fresh herbs
Print

Homemade Popcorn Chicken

5 from 2 reviews

  • Marinating Time: 30 mins
  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Asian

Crispy and crunchy bite-sized pieces of fried chicken which the whole family will love! Make this delicious Taiwanese-inspired Popcorn Chicken with step-by-step photos.

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 700 g (1.5 lb) chicken breast fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese shaoxing wine
  • 1 egg white

For the Popcorn Chicken

  • 300 g (2 cupsplain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • vegetable oil for shallow frying

To Serve

  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • Sriracha mixed with Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise, or any sauce of your choice

Instructions

For the Marinade

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, about 2 cm (1 inch) cubes.
  2. Place the chicken into a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the marinade ingredients.
  4. Mix everything together until the chicken is well-combined in the marinade.
  5. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

For the Popcorn Chicken

  1. Heat a large saucepan with enough vegetable oil to about 2 cm (1 inch) depth.
  2. Place the flour into a large bowl or baking tray.
  3. Pour the chicken, together with all of the marinade, onto the flour.
  4. Use your hands to coat the chicken in the flour. The liquid in the marinade will mix with the flour to form a light batter.
  5. Press the flour into the chicken to help form a craggy coating on the chicken. It is this craggy coating which will make the chicken crispy and crunchy.
  6. The oil is ready when it reaches 165°C or 325°F, or when a wooden chopstick inserted in the oil creates lots of small bubbles.
  7. Cook the chicken in batches until golden in colour.
  8. Drain the chicken pieces on kitchen paper or on a wire rack.

To Serve

  1. Serve immediately with a sauce of your choice. I like to mix Sriracha with some Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise.

Kitchen Notes

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Did you make this recipe?

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3 comments

  1. Donna 31 January 2021

    Another great recipe! Super quick and easy to make and delicious, the kids loved it!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 1 February 2021

      Hi Donna,
      I’m so glad to hear that your family loved this recipe! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Huy Tam 23 March 2021

    Very good recipe! I would like more spice in the marinade but the recipe is easy to adapt. Great served with a couple of beers!

    Reply