In this Chinese Fried Chicken Bites recipe, I toss the fried chicken in five-spice powder and a bit of soy sauce to season it through at the end. Super straightforward to make and packed full of flavour, these fried chicken bites are a winner every time…
Fried chicken varieties are present in nearly every cuisine around the world with different flavour combinations, techniques and secret ingredients to learn and discover. Despite the hundreds of thousands of variations available, we can certainly agree on what makes a fried chicken excellent…crunchiness on the outside and tender juiciness on the inside.
My secret to achieving this is double frying!
HOW TO ACHIEVE EXTRA CRUNCH WITH FRIED CHICKEN:
- There are a few tips you can incorporate to achieve extra crunchy chicken: (1) buy chicken with the skin on. The skin creates an extra layer of *crunch* when deep-fried. (2) deep fry the chicken not once, but twice! Once at a lower heat to cook the chicken through, and then a second time to achieve an extra-crunchy exterior.
- Finally, finish with a drizzle of my homemade chilli oil which you can make in less than 15 minutes. Using your OWN homemade chilli oil trumps store-bought stuff every time, I promise! This is my secret weapon for almost any Chinese dish, and a family recipe we have evolved over the years. I’ve never had storebought chilli oil like it!
COOKING A FULL MEAL? I RECOMMEND SERVING CHINESE THIS DISH WITH…
- A fresh and vibrant vegetable dish, like a cucumber salad. It’s super easy, with no cooking required. You’ll finish in 10 minutes.
- A wholesome, light chicken soup/broth. Make a chicken & soup broth in 30 minutes. We almost always start or finish dinner off with a soup/broth, and this is our go-to most nights. You just put ingredients in a small pot and let it simmer – that simple!
- Fluffy, white jasmine rice. When it comes to more flavourful dishes, I like to serve with white jasmine rice (as opposed to flavoured rice i.e. coconut-infused, ginger-infused, fried rice etc). Jasmine rice is usually go-to for Chinese & South East Asian cuisine & our go-to for home cooking.
Chinese Fried Chicken (EXTRA CRUNCH!)
- 7 thighs Chicken thigh or breast with skin ON
- 2 clove Minced garlic
- ¾ tablespoon Sugar
- ½ tablespoon Light soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon salt
- Corn starch
- Neutral oil for frying (e.g. vegetable, canola)
- ¾ tablespoon Five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon Light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Spring onion/garlic chives (garnish)
- 1 teaspoon Daikon (garnish)
- 1 teaspoon Homemade chilli oil (garnish)
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, add marinade ingredients. Mix well. Leave aside to marinade for at least 30 mins (ideal if left overnight).
- To prepare your chicken for deep frying, add corn starch into bowl (this gives the chicken a crispy 'fried' texture) and coat well.
Deep Fry #1
- Line a plate with paper towel and put aside. This is where you will place your deep fried chicken (the paper towel catches excess oil).
- You'll be frying your chicken twice. For the first fry, add neutral oil into a pan on medium-high heat. Ensure there is enough oil for the chicken to submerge under. The oil should not be too hot, otherwise the exterior will brown up without cooking the inside.
- To test for right temperature, place a wooden spoon or chopstick into the oil. If bubbles start rising to the surface, the oil is ready. Notice how aggressive the bubbles are. If they softly sizzle and rise to the surface, the heat is right for this first fry. If the bubbles charge up aggressively, the oil is too hot. To reduce the temp, turn to low heat and/or add more oil to the pan.
- Now, FRY! Place chicken into oil. It should sound like a soft sizzle, not an aggressive boil. Remove after 3 minutes/cooked through. Skin should be light golden, not too brown. Rest for 10 mins.
Deep Fry #2
- Second deep fry. Allow oil to get hot enough again, this time it should be HOT. Use woodon spoon/chopstick to test and notice the sound (louder more aggressive sizzling noise than first fry). You're looking to achieve a crispy exterior.
- Submerge chicken under oil. Because the pieces are bite sized it should only take a minute or so to become golden brown. Remove and let it rest for 5 mins. To check if it's fully cooked, cut into a thicker peice of chicken.
Season and Garnish
- Place chicken in a large bowl, add five spice powder, soy sauce and toss through. Adjust seasoning (salt/soy sauce) to your preferred level of saltiness.
- Garnish with chopped spring onions and grated daikon (optional). Note when you grate daikon there is a lot of liquid, so squeeze excess liquid out before garnishing. Drizzle with chilli oil.
- Serve immediately for hot, crispy crunch!