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What, you ask?  Szechuan Popcorn Chicken?  Yes, Dear Reader, Szechuan Popcorn Chicken!  This recipe is almost as fun to say as it is to eat!


If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a huge fan of sauce on chicken.  Plain and simple seasoned chicken is okay for a Sunday night dinner, but when I’m indulging in something delicious on a Friday night (or on a Saturday afternoon while watching back to back episodes of the Pioneer Woman) I need sticky, sweet, spicy, crispy, salty, and pretty much every flavour profile in between!


Szechuan Popcorn Chicken satisfies the toughest critic and the most stubborn food cravings.  Easy and fast to prepare, cheap ingredients, and large taste, this dish is far from mediocre.  In fact, I’d say it’s perfect, but I could be a little biased.


Szechuan is a style of Chinese cuisine which has bold flavours, in particular, the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers.  Rather than just coat chicken in sauce, I decided to up my game and try my hand at a take on Kentucky Fried Chicken’s famous popcorn chicken recipe.


With its mixture of chili, ginger, brown sugar, and soy sauce, Szechuan has a hot and spicy flavour with a bit of sweetness.  If you have a tolerance for dishes spiced with chilies, you’ll enjoy this dish.  If by chance you prefer a milder heat level, simple lower the amount of chili flakes and you’re set to go!


You’ll note that I fried the chicken bites first, then tossed them with the sauce, and then baked them in a skillet for a little while.  The last step is completely optional, but I wanted the sauce to bake onto the chicken itself rather than just provide a spicy coating. 


Szechuan Popcorn Chicken
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
350 calories
59 g
93 g
8 g
10 g
2 g
187 g
920 g
10 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350
Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 93mg
Sodium 920mg
Total Carbohydrates 59g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 10g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 8-10 chicken tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
  2. ¼ cup corn starch
  3. 2 large eggs, beaten
  4. 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  8. 5 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  10. 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes (or substitute fresh chillies)
  11. 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  12. 1 bunch green onions, chopped in 2-3 inch pieces
  13. 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  14. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  15. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  16. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  17. 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  18. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  19. ½ cup water
  20. Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Begin by setting up a dredging station. To do so, beat the eggs in a large bowl and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper; set aside. Lastly, toss the chicken pieces with the corn starch and set aside.
  2. In a deep skillet or pot, add enough vegetable oil to deep fry the chicken pieces. Bring the oil to proper frying temperature, somewhere between 350-375 degrees.
  3. In the meantime, shake off the excess corn starch and add the chicken pieces to the eggs. Toss to coat.
  4. Remove the chicken from the eggs and toss into the flour mixture. Toss well to coat each piece.
  5. When the oil has reached the right frying temperature, carefully fry the chicken pieces in batches. Once a golden brown crust has been achieved, drain onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
  6. In the meantime, in a sauce pan, add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, and dried onion flakes. Sauté on a medium heat for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the chili sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and water. Stir together and bring to a low boil. Turn off the heat and allow to rest.
  8. Once the chicken has been fried, transfer to a large bowl, add the green onions and sesame seeds, and toss with the sauce.
  9. Transfer the entire chicken dish to a large lightly oiled skillet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  10. Serve immediately.
Lord Byron's Kitchen

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This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Easy to make dishes that look like you spent hours in the kitchen make me very happy. I love this dish that you prepared. Delicioso!

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