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Taiwanese Salt and Pepper Chicken (Yan Su Ji) 1

Taiwanese Salt and Pepper Chicken (Yan Su Ji)

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 mins
  • Total Time: 28 mins
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Taiwanese


Taiwanese Salt and Pepper Chicken, Basil Peppercorn Chicken or Yan Su Ji is a type of fried chicken very popular as a street food in Taiwan.




  • 500g boneless chicken thighs, cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup sweet potato starch
  • 1 small bunch of basil leaves, stems removed
  • oil


  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • salt


  1. In a bowl combine all marinade ingredients. Add the chicken, using your hands mix it well to evenly distribute the marinade. Set aside for 1 hour.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of the sweet potato starch into the bowl with chicken. Mix it again with your hand to evenly distribute the sweet potato starch.
  3. Prepare 2 deep fryers or pot with oil, on first fryer set heat it to 180C then on another set it at 150.
  4. In a large container that you can cover place the remaining sweet potato starch then add the chicken pieces and close the container. Toss to evenly coat the chicken.
  5. While waiting for the oil to heat up combine all seasoning ingredients in a small pan, place in medium-low heat until fragrant. Set it aside.
  6. Cook chicken in the 180C oil for 3 minutes or until lightly golden brown in colour. Remove chicken from the fryer set aside for 5 minutes to cool down.
  7. On the 150C fryer add the basil leaves followed by the chicken then continue to cook for 3-5 more minute or until cooked, this depends on how large is your chicken pieces. Remove the chicken from the fryer then set aside.
  8. Place chicken with the basil on serving platter, sprinkle roasted seasonings on top then serve while hot.