Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken


These Taiwanese popcorn chicken bites are incredibly delicious. Five-spice, ginger, and soy sauce flavor bite-sized pieces of chicken before they're dipped in tempura mix and fried until golden and crispy.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
55 mins


  • 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger

  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon rice vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup tempura batter mix, dry, or as needed

  • 2 cups peanut oil for frying, or as needed

  • 1 bunch Thai basil, chopped

  • 2 green onions, chopped


  1. Mix chicken, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, five-spice powder, white pepper, salt, vinegar, and cayenne pepper together in a large bowl until well combined. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

  2. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  3. Whisk egg in a small bowl until smooth. Place dry tempura mix into a second small bowl. Dip chicken pieces one at a time into egg, then dredge in tempura mix, shaking off any excess.

  4. Working in batches, lower chicken carefully into hot oil and fry until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and season with salt and pepper.

  5. Transfer chicken to a platter and garnish with basil leaves and green onions.


You can use chicken breasts instead of thighs and sweet potato flour for dredging instead of tempura batter mix.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

940 Calories
92g Fat
8g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 940
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 92g 118%
Saturated Fat 18g 88%
Cholesterol 126mg 42%
Sodium 655mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 6mg 29%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 286mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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