Salt and Pepper Chicken

Salt and Pepper Chicken

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You can modify the amount of heat in this recipe by using milder or hotter chillies (or even replacing the chillies with chopped bell peppers if you like it mild).

Salt and Pepper Chicken


60 g (½ cup) cornflour – (cornstarch)
1 tbsp table salt
1 ¼ tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp Chinese five-spice
6 skinless chicken thigh fillets – quartered
Vegetable oil for frying – (around 240ml/1 cup)
1 onion – peeled and chopped into large chunks (about 1.5-2cm across)
1 red chilli – chopped into small pieces (I use relatively mild fresno or serrano chillies)
1 green chilli – chopped into small pieces (I use relatively mild fresno or serrano chillies)
2 garlic cloves – peeled and minced
3 spring onions – (scallions) roughly chopped


  • Mix together the 60g (½ cup) of cornflour, ¾ tbsp of the salt, 1 tbsp of the black pepper, and the 1 tbsp of Chinese five-spice.
  • Sprinkle over the chicken thigh fillets and toss together to coat.
  • Take the 240ml (1 cup) of oil, and put one tablespoon of it to one side. Add the rest of the oil to a large frying pan and heat over a high heat until hot (you can test by sticking the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick in the oil – if bubbles form around it, it’s hot enough).
  • Add the chicken to the oil a piece at a time (to ensure the oil doesn’t boil over). You’ll probably have to work in two batches altogether.
  • Fry for about 5-7 minutes, turning once until cooked through and golden brown all over.
  • Using a set of tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
  • Repeat with the second batch of chicken, then turn off the heat when done.
  • As soon as the second batch of chicken is cooking, heat the reserved 1 tablespoon of oil in a separate frying pan over a medium-high heat.
  • Add the chopped onion, the chopped red and green chillies, the remaining ¼ tbsp of salt and the remaining ¼ tbsp of black pepper to the pan. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until the onion starts to soften slightly.
  • Then turn down the heat to medium and add in the 2 cloves of minced garlic and 3 chopped spring onions.
  • Fry for a further minute, stirring often.
  • By now both batches of chicken should be cooked. Add the chicken to the frying pan with onion and chillies in and toss everything together for 1 minute.
  • Turn off the heat and serve.

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