Recipe: Taiwanese Salt and Pepper Chicken

Taiwanese Salt and Pepper Chicken (盐酥鸡)

By Margarita Lee

Margarita Lee

Ingredients A:

  • 450g Chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 60g Sweet potato starch or cornstarch 
  • 1 cup Thai basil (washed and patted dry with a kitchen towel)
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Cooking oil 

Ingredients B:

  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Rice wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp Finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Minced ginger
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Five spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt 
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Ingredients C:

  • 1/2 tbsp White pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Five spice powder
  • 1 tsp Salt 
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder (optional) 


Photo by Margarita Lee


  1. Mix Ingredients B in a big bowl to make a marinade.
  2. Marinate the chicken pieces and place in the fridge for 3 hours.
  3. Mix Ingredients C in a pan, then stir fry over low heat until aromatic. 
  4. Coat the chicken evenly with starch and let stand for a few minutes. Then, double coat the chicken. 
  5. Heat up the cooking oil in a wok, deep fry the Thai basil until crispy. Remove and keep for later use. Then, deep-fry the chicken pieces until golden brown. 
  6. Reheat the oil until 160℃ over high heat, then return the fried chicken pieces to the wok and stir fry for 30 seconds. Pour in half of the crispy Thai Basil. Stir well and plate. 
  7. Sprinkle with the prepared seasoning and garnish with more crispy Thai basil.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Check out more of Margarita’s recipes on her FB @ Umummy Food


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See Foon

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen has been writing a food column called Musings on Food in the Ipoh Echo since 2009. It is widely read both in print as well as online which receives more than 1 million hits a month. Her forte is in communications, having honed her skills after graduating from the University of Singapore where she worked for the Straits Times Group and was a food critic for the New Nation. Her knowledge of food and cooking come from more than 30 years in the hotel industry based in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and subsequently Kuala Lumpur. During this time, she has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best and worst restaurants. She is totally intimate with the subtleties and nuances of most cuisines of the world having been involved in opening over 50 hotels throughout the Asia/Pacific region and China where she helped to conceptualize Food and Beverage themes and critiqued on food quality. SeeFoon calls herself a global citizen and now chooses the serenity and friendliness of Ipoh to the bright lights of the many cities she has lived in. She also loves the food in Ipoh and is passionate about telling the world about it.

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