Popcorn Chicken With Basil – Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School

Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School

Recipe from Adam Liaw’s  Asian Cookery School  by Adam Liaw with photography by  Steve Brown-  published by Hachette Australia rrp$49.99

I have been updating my blog page sand my apologies Adam Liaw I thought had posted your Popcorn Chicken recipe but it appears that I haven’t. So I will redress that immediately.


Yan su ji


Taiwanese food is a great mix of local dishes with influences from China, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Popcorn chicken is a popular street food in Taipei, and once you try it you’ll see why. The crunchy

texture of the sweet potato flour coating is incredible.


600g boneless chicken thigh fillets,

preferably skin-on, cut into 3cm pieces

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp Chinese five spice powder

1 cup sweet potato flour

2 litres oil, for deep-frying

1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves

Spice salt

1 tbsp salt

¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder

¼ tsp white pepper

A pinch chilli powder



1 Combine the chicken with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce,

Shaoxing wine, sugar and five spice powder and set aside

to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Popcorn Chicken Step 1

Popcorn Chicken Step 1

2 Coat the chicken pieces in the sweet potato flour and

shake off any excess.



Pop Corn Chicken Step2

  PopCorn Chicken Step 2

3 Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan. When the oil reaches

150°C scatter the basil leaves into the wok and stir for

about 20 seconds, or until the basil turns translucent.

Remove the basil from the wok and drain on absorbent




Pop Corn Chicken Step3

     Pop Corn Chicken Step3


4 Increase the heat of the oil to 170°C and fry the chicken

in batches for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown and

cooked through, regularly skimming any floating flour bits

from the oil.

Pop Corn Chicken Step 4 Final

Pop Corn Chicken Step 4 Final


5 For the spiced salt, mix the ingredients together and

toast in a dry frypan over low–medium heat for 2 minutes,

or until fragrant. Toss the chicken with the fried basil

leaves and season with a good pinch of the spice salt.

Serve immediately.


Sweet potato flour is sometimes sold as ‘tapioca flour’. It’s available from

Asian grocers. The Taiwanese variety is a coarse-textured but light flour that

gives the characteristic crumbly texture to this dish. You could substitute

cornflour or rice flour but it won’t quite be the same.

When deep-frying, skimming oil is a really important step that many people

overlook. It preserves the oil by keeping it clear, and stops burnt flavours

creeping in to later batches.

Pop Corn Chicken Step 1


In The Mail 12th September 2015 Part One

In the mail 12/9/015

A great mix  of genres here – I have already read Sweet Wattle Creek  (review scheduled for next week) and found some amazing  references to some very current issues here, coincidence or not? And last night I couldn’t resist trying one of the recipes from Adam Liaws “Asian Cookery School” (I made Beef Chow Fun) – yum!  Next week I am  especially looking forward to  reading Bitter Fruits. The Marriage of Opposites and Tennison (and whatever else I can fit into what is shaping up to be a busy week) and trying out a few more recipes.

Beef Chow Fun - Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School

Beef Chow Fun- Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School