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Crunchy Delights: Exploring the World of Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Sep 08, 2023 By Triston Martin

When it comes to street food that packs a punch of flavor and satisfies those cravings for something crispy and savory, look no further than Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken. This delightful snack has become a sensation not only in Taiwan but around the world.

In this article, we'll delve into the history of this dish, uncover the secrets behind the famous Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken recipe, and even explore a healthier twist with air fryer Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken. So, let’s dive in!

The Origins of Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Picture yourself strolling down the vibrant night markets of Taiwan, where the aroma of sizzling spices fills the air, and a myriad of food stalls offer a gastronomic adventure. It's here that Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken first made its appearance. Hailing from the bustling streets of Taiwan, this dish has captured hearts and taste buds with its irresistible combination of crispiness and bold flavors.

What Makes It Special?

Unlike your ordinary fried chicken, Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken is all about bite-sized pieces of succulent chicken marinated to perfection. The magic lies in the marinade – a blend of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a hint of five-spice powder. This concoction infuses the chicken with an explosion of umami and a touch of warmth that makes every bite an experience.

The Coating That Creates Crunch

The secret to the signature crunch of Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken lies in its double-coating technique. After marinating, the chicken pieces are first coated in a seasoned flour mixture. This layer not only adds crunch but also helps lock in the juices, keeping the chicken tender.

But the journey to ultimate crispiness doesn't end there. The second coating involves a light batter that turns golden and crispy upon frying. This dual-textured coating sets Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken apart – the contrast between the crunch and the tender chicken beneath is simply irresistible.

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken Recipe

Ready to embark on a culinary adventure in your own kitchen? Here's a simplified Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken recipe that captures the essence of the original:


  • 1 pound boneless chicken pieces (thighs or breast)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Oil for frying


Are you excited to embark on a flavorful adventure that brings the vibrant tastes of Taiwanese street food right to your home kitchen? Without further ado, let's dive into the steps below and master the art of creating this mouthwatering dish!

  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and marinate with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and five-spice powder. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Mix flour, cornstarch, salt, and black pepper in a bowl.
  • Coat each marinated chicken piece with the flour mixture.
  • Heat oil in a pan to 350°F (175°C).
  • Fry the coated chicken pieces in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per batch.
  • Place the fried chicken on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Serve your homemade Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper or a dipping sauce of your choice. Get ready to be amazed by the explosion of flavors and textures!

A Healthier Twist: Air Fryer Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

For those who crave the crunch without guilt, enter the air fryer Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken world. With the advancement of kitchen technology, you can now enjoy this delectable snack with a fraction of the oil.

The process is quite similar to the traditional recipe, with a few modifications to suit the air fryer:

  • After marinating and coating the chicken, preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  • Lightly brush the coated chicken pieces with oil or cooking spray.
  • Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring not to overcrowd.
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through for even cooking.
  • Once they are golden brown and crispy, your air fryer Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken is ready to be devoured.


Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken is more than just a snack – it's a culinary journey that encapsulates the essence of Taiwan's vibrant street food culture. Its unique combination of flavors, textures, and aromas has won the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide.

Whether you savor the classic recipe or opt for a healthier twist with the air fryer version, one thing is certain: Each bite is a burst of joy that keeps you coming back for more. So, gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and let the magic of Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken unfold in your kitchen!

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