Recipe: Salt and Pepper Popcorn Chicken by The Dumpling Sisters

28 May 2018 | Schwartz
Dumpling Sisters

By the Dumpling Sisters

"Salt and Pepper" is a popular flavour combination found in Chinese takeaways and restaurants the world over. It’s often paired with prawns, squid and even tofu. Our favourite way to enjoy it is with extra-naughty popcorn chicken.

These bite-sized treats are easy to make at home and offer a generous ratio of crispy coating to juicy meat. The secret to the perfect Salt and Pepper Popcorn Chicken is to unlock the flavour of the pepper, salt and aromatics by frying them in a little oil first, and then coating the popcorn chicken in that heavenly flavoured oil. It’ll be an explosion in your mouth!


500 g chicken thigh, skinless and boneless, cubed
Oil for deep frying


½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1½ tsp light soy sauce
½ tsp sugar
2 tbs cornflour
1 tbs oil
3 tbs water


120 g plain flour
60 g cornflour
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 pinches of salt

Dry fry seasonings

2 tsp oil
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
⅛ tsp salt
1 fresh red chilli, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
3 spring onions, sliced


Combine the cubed chicken thigh and marinade ingredients in a bowl. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

On a walled baking tray or large platter, combine the coating ingredients. Roll each cube of chicken in the coating mix, ensuring the entire surface is covered in flour.

Black pepper chicken curry with mint

In batches, deep fry the chicken at 180°C for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Drain in a sieve or on kitchen towels.

Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan. Fry the black pepper and salt, followed by the red chilli, garlic and then spring onions.

Add the fried chicken to the wok, toss everything together, and serve.

Black pepper chicken curry with mint