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Crispy Chilli Chicken | Chinese Fakeaway

A piece of crispy chilli chicken being picked up with black chopsticks.
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If you catch yourself reaching for the Chinese takeout menu, again and again, we have a wonderful recipe here for you that will come together in just over 30 minutes, and will definitely satisfy the craving for sweet, salty, slightly spicy and umami flavours that only Chinese cuisine can offer! We present to you the takeaway of the year – Crispy Chilli Chicken (that sometimes goes by the name of Shredded Crispy Chicken in Chilli Sauce)!

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Chinese Fakeaway Tonight?

Chinese Takeaway is one of our favourites here, at Somebody Feed Seb. We love Kung Pao, Steamed Bao Buns and Crispy Chilli Beef, not forgetting Salt & Pepper Chicken. But let’s be honest, ordering takeaways can get very expensive… And that’s why we started making out own fakeaways at home!

Instead of ordering in, you can easily create beautiful replicas of your favourite dishes in your own kitchen. And the beauty of it is, you can often prepare the dishes quicker than the delivery driver would have arrived. What is more, it will be a lot less expensive!

A black bowl with brown rim with white rice and a tall pile of crispy shredded chicken piled on top.

Secrets To Crispy Shredded Chicken

One of the best things about Chinese cuisine for us is the crispy chicken coated in sticky sauce. This recipe is no exception and has all the best elements Chinese Takeout can offer. So how do you make that chicken super crispy without drying it out? Here are our best tips:

Coating

To coat the chicken fillet strips for the crispiest results, we use 2 ingredients in this recipe. First, we roll the chicken strips in a beaten egg, then dredge them in cornflour (an excessive amount of cornflour). After shaking off any excess coating, the chicken is ready to hit the pan. What each ingredient does, you ask?

  • egg is used to make the coating stick to the chicken better. It also helps create the puffed-up batter effect without making the batter. You may use egg whites only in this recipe for an even crispier chicken and save the yolk for other recipes 🙂
  • cornflour (cornstarch): is one of the best things out there to use for crispy chicken. Cornflour absorbs moisture very well, ensuring the chicken stays moist inside and crispy on the outside.
Coating chicken strips in cornflour in a metal bowl.

Cooking

There are a few things to note regarding the cooking of the coated chicken strips:

  • Make sure to use enough oil. Whilst we do not use a deep fryer to make our chilli chicken crispy, we do add enough oil to cover the strips at least halfway up.
  • Make sure the oil is hot before you add the chicken to the pan. This way the coating will be crispy, rather than absorb the oil in the pan creating a soggy coating.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. Adding too many chicken strips to the pan at the same time will result in pieces sticking to each other and the chicken stewing in its own moisture rather than frying and crisping up.
  • Cook the chicken quickly on high heat. Once again, it will prevent the coating from absorbing too much oil and the chicken will turn golden brown.
  • Once cooked place the chicken on a piece of paper towel which will absorb any excess oil. Do not cover the cooked chicken. It will heat up again in the sauce.

Step-By-Step Method

Step 1: Marinate The Chicken

Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips against the grain, that is, in a different direction from which the natural muscle fibres run in.

When the chicken is cut, place the thin strips in a bowl with sesame oil, soy sauce and caster sugar and leave the chicken to marinate, whilst you prepare all the other elements of the dish.

Step 2: Making The Sauce

In a small bowl, combine the clear runny honey, brown sugar, tomato ketchup, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Mix well and set aside for later. That’s it! It’s that easy!

Step 3: Prepping Vegetables

Using a large knife, crush the garlic clove with a swift sharp bang of the palm of your hand. Peel the garlic cloves and chop them up very finely. Do the same with the ginger. Use a wide-bladed knife, place it on top of your unpeeled garlic with the sharp edge facing away and slam the palm of your hand to crush it under the blade (take care not to cut yourself).

Julienne (cut into short thin strips) a small carrot and red bell pepper. You can use a mandoline slicer if you wish.

Chopped and sliced vegetables on a wooden chopping board.

Step 4: How To Make Crispy Chicken?

Crack a small egg into your chicken and mix well so all the strips are well coated. Spoon the cornflour into a large mixing bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Then add the chicken strips (let any excess egg drip off) into cornflour and mix well with your hands until all the strips are covered. Strips should now be separated from each other and each should have a full coat of cornflour. It’s essential to use an excessive amount of corn flour to make sure your chicken is crispy, so don’t be stingy.

Add about 120ml of vegetable oil (or other odourless oil) into your wok or a large frying pan. I tend to use a smaller pan and fry my chicken strips in three batches. Using a small pan means I need to add less oil for the beef to fully submerge (just me being extra frugal).

Make sure your oil is hot before you start adding the chicken. And don’t overcrowd the pan. Better fry in batches. It will only take 5 minutes per batch so you won’t save that much time if you do it all in one go.

Transfer the crispy chicken onto a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Then repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Step 5: Assemble Crispy Chilli Beef & Serve

In a separate large frying pan or wok, add a tbsp of oil (I just take a spoonful from my beef pan). Add carrots, pepper, chilli flakes, ginger and garlic and fry on high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then add the sauce that you prepared earlier. Stir and leave to vigorously bubble for a minute.

Add the crispy chicken and toss just enough to coat.

Serve your crispy chilli chicken with some spring onion and sesame seeds scattered on top and some fluffy white rice on the side!

What To Serve With Chilli Crispy Chicken?

To keep it traditional, we always serve Chinese-inspired dishes with white rice. But stir-fried egg noodles taste very nice with this shredded crispy chicken recipe as well. If you fancy some greens to do with your dish, we love serving Asian Broccoli Salad (recipe coming soon) or Chargrilled Pak Choi (recipe coming soon) on the side too.

What is more, this Crispy Chilli Chicken makes a great filling for Steamed Bao Buns, especially paired with Asian Cabbage Slaw!

Crispy Shredded Chicken With Chilli sauce on a white square plate.

Storage

Crispy Shredded Chicken is always best served immediately. When the chicken is covered in sticky sauce, it will start losing its crispiness, so we do not recommend making this dish ahead of time. However, if you do have leftovers and don’t mind (or even like) the slightly chewy texture of leftover chicken in sauce, you can place the rest of the chicken in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days!

How To Reheat Crispy Chilli Chicken?

To reheat leftover Crispy Chilli Chicken, place it in a large frying pan on high heat and stir fry for a few minutes until the chicken warms through. Unfortunately, the chicken will no longer be crispy, but we think it still tastes amazing!

More Chinese Takeaway Recipes To Try

If you like this Crispy Shredded Chicken recipe, you are sure to like our Crispy Chilli Beef version of this dish! But if you’re looking for slightly different flavours, why not make a lovely Chinese Tofu Kung Pao or Chinese-Spiced Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad?

For other Chinese Takeaway-inspired chicken recipes, have a look at some of our favourites below:

Recipe Card

A piece of crispy chilli chicken being picked up with black chopsticks.

Crispy Chilli Chicken | Chinese Fakeaway

If you catch yourself reaching for the Chinese takeout menu, again and again, we have a wonderful recipe here for you that will come together in just over 30 minutes, and will definitely satisfy the craving for sweet, salty, slightly spicy and umami flavours that only Chinese cuisine can offer! We present to you the takeaway of the year – Crispy Chilli Chicken (that sometimes goes by the name of Shredded Crispy Chicken in Chilli Sauce)!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 portions
Calories 667 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 450 g chicken breasts skinless, boneless
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 egg small
  • 200 g cornflour
  • 200 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 small carrot cut into thin short sticks
  • ½ red bell pepper cut into thin short slices
  • 25 g ginger peeled and cut into thin sticks
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

For The Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Garnish:

  • 1 spring onion sliced
  • a pinch of sesame seeds

Instructions
 

Marinate the Chicken Strips

  • Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips against the grain, that is, in a different direction from which the natural muscle fibres run in.
  • When the chicken is cut, place the thin strips in a bowl with sesame oil, soy sauce and caster sugar and leave the chicken to marinate, whilst you prepare all the other elements of the dish.

Make The Sauce:

  • In a small bowl, combine the clear runny honey, brown sugar, tomato ketchup, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Mix well and set aside for later.

Prepare Veggies:

  • Using a large knife, crush the garlic clove with a swift sharp bang of the palm of your hand. Peel the garlic cloves and chop them up very finely. Do the same with the ginger. Use a wide-bladed knife, place it on top of your unpeeled garlic with the sharp edge facing away and slam the palm of your hand to crush it under the blade (take care not to cut yourself).
  • Julienne (cut into short thin strips) a small carrot and red bell pepper. You can use a mandoline slicer if you wish.

Fry the Chicken:

  • Crack a small egg into your chicken and mix well so all the strips are well coated. Spoon the cornflour into a large mixing bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Then add the chicken strips (let any excess egg drip off) into cornflour and mix well with your hands until all the strips are covered. Strips should now be separated from each other and each should have a full coat of cornflour. It’s essential to use an excessive amount of corn flour to make sure your chicken is crispy, so don’t be stingy.
  • Add about 120ml of vegetable oil (or other odourless oil) into your wok or a large frying pan. I tend to use a smaller pan and fry my chicken strips in three batches. Using a small pan means I need to add less oil for the beef to fully submerge (just me being extra frugal).
  • Make sure your oil is hot before you start adding the chicken. And don’t overcrowd the pan. Better fry in batches. It will only take 5 minutes per batch so you won’t save that much time if you do it all in one go.
  • Transfer the crispy chicken onto a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Then repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Assemble:

  • In a separate large frying pan or wok, add a tbsp of oil (I just take a spoonful from my beef pan). Add carrots, pepper, chilli flakes, ginger and garlic and fry on high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then add the sauce that you prepared earlier. Stir and leave to vigorously bubble for a minute. Add the crispy chicken and toss just enough to coat.
  • Serve your crispy chilli chicken with some spring onion and sesame seeds scattered on top and some fluffy white rice on the side!

Nutrition

Calories: 667kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 28gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 1280mgPotassium: 647mgFiber: 2gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 3343IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chilli Crispy Chicken, Chinese Crispy Chicken, Chinese Fakeaway, Crispy Chilli Chicken, Shredded Crispy Chicken
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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7 Replies to “Crispy Chilli Chicken | Chinese Fakeaway”

  1. 5 stars
    This chicken looks perfectly crispy. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. 5 stars
    this was too good, it turned out so delicious. Also, it was so easy to make. Great recipe.

  3. Amanda Wren-Grimwood says: Reply

    5 stars
    We don’t have any takeaways near us so I’m always looking for good recipes that taste like the real thing. This chicken was perfect and I really enjoyed the sauce too.

    1. Thanks so much for giving it a go! It’s probably a blessing that you don’t have takeaways around you 😀 But I’m glad you liked our fakeaway!

  4. 5 stars
    This. quickly became a favorite at my house!! It is so simple and delicious!

    1. Oh this makes me very happy! So glad you enjoy it 🙂

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