The Best Popcorn Chicken With Sweet Basil (Popular Taiwanese Str

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 6 mins

I prepare and serve this popcorn chicken at a small cafe in Seattle. *** For this recipe, you may use boneless pork loin chop (pounded down 1/4 inch thick), chicken wings, drumsticks, or chicken breast. You must try the Potato Starch! It gives the chicken a light and pleasant crisp! The basil can be eaten together with the chicken. It's a delicious combo.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (3 lb) package boneless skinless chicken thighs (Cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 cup thick soy sauce (use Kimlan brand 'Soy Paste', or a thick Terriyaki paste, but try the Soy paste. It has a better fla)
  • 14 cup sweet cooking rice wine (Try Kikkoman brand Aji-Mirin or any other brand)
  • 3 tablespoons white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (you can choose to omit this ingredient if you absolutely cannot find it , but it adds such a wonderf)
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, minced. (cut a few into chips so that you can eat those deep fried too. it's really tasty!)
  • 3 tablespoons honey or 3 tablespoons sugar (sugar or brown sugar = 2 tablsp) or 3 tablespoons brown sugar (sugar or brown sugar = 2 tablsp)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 10 ounces sweet potato flour (aka SWEET POTATO starch, used for the coating of chicken)
  • sweet fresh Thai basil (not the Italian Basil)


  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the chicken, in a dish or bowl. Mix wel.
  2. Cut Chicken into bite size pieces.
  3. Combine the mixture and the chicken together.
  4. Marinade overnight. (this can keep in the fridge for a few days).
  5. TO Fry: Heat oil to 390 degrees (anywhere from 375-390 should be fine).
  6. Thoroughly, coat the chicken with Potato Starch.
  7. Deep fry in small batches until medium golden brown. (about 1.5 mins ).
  8. Toss with Fresh Basil. You could also add the fresh basil into the oil, with the chicken, for the last 3 secs of frying, but the basil will lose some of its flavor. Be careful of the hot oil splattering when you add in basil.
  9. Finally, you can sprinkle some extra pepper, salt, and 5 spice onto the chicken if you'd like.
  10. Enjoy!


Most Helpful

I recommend this x 100 ^^ When I saw that this was a restaurant recipe, I knew this was going to be the real thing. I love eating this chicken. My friends and I always order it when we go to a tapioca cafe :) I cooked it and it was PERFECT. Thank you so much! I've been looking all over for this recipe :)

misspinaypie January 13, 2010

This is the second version of Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken that I've tried making, and I must say..... it tastes EXACTLY like the ones you find when you go to any Lolicup Cafe's! I am thrilled to have found this recipe, thank you so much. The thick soy sauce really lets the sweet potato flour stick better onto the pieces of chicken, than does just using regular soy sauce as was in the other recipe. Both were delectably delicious, however this version takes the cake.

My only issue I've found when I served it was, my family wished it was a bit more crunchy. That could be because I needed to gather more starch onto the chicken slices! I will try to pack more together very closely and see if that solves my problem!

I also read another recipe in which after they fry the pieces of meat, they stuff more sweet potato starch on top of that and refry it... I will see if that helps also.

Again, thanks so much for this delicious recipe! I am so happy with it!

Ellyphant February 28, 2012

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