We’ve all indulged in a crispy fried chicken cutlet at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a classic breaded and fried chicken cutlet from the grocery store freezer aisle or one from our favorite local chicken spot, I think it’s safe to say that fried chicken cutlets are a universal comfort food. But have you ever considered taking this familiar favorite and giving it a taste of Taiwan? I recently discovered a recipe for Taiwan-style fried chicken cutlets that takes this childhood classic to a whole new level of crispy, crunchy deliciousness.
In Taiwan, chicken cutlets are called “chicken ham” (雞排) or Chi Pai (Ji Pai) due to their flattened shape resembling slices of ham. The traditional Taiwanese version gets its signature golden brown color and super crispy texture from being double fried in oil instead of a single breading and fry. This double fry method results in a chicken cutlet that is outrageously crunchy on the outside but still juicy on the inside. The cutlets are also coated in a light seasoned flour rather than a heavy batter, keeping them lighter but just as flavorful.
I’ve noticed them in a Taiwanese Resto here -called Hotstar XXL and was curious. I decided to give these Taiwan-style fried chicken cutlets a try after coming across the recipe online. As soon as I saw “double fried” I knew I had to give them a shot – anything twice fried has definitely piqued my interest! But going into it, I had no idea just how unique and insanely good these Taiwanese chicken cutlets would turn out. The flavor profile is familiar but the crispiness factor is taken to a whole new stratosphere. Like blast off to chicken cutlet heaven level of crispy!
Chi Pai Recipe – How to Make These Taiwanese Crispy Chicken Cutlets
To make Taiwan fried chicken cutlets, you start with chicken cutlets or thin chicken breasts which are pounded even thinner. I like to use a meat mallet or small saucepan to gently pound the chicken so it’s an even 1/4 inch thickness all over. This helps the cutlets cook up crispy without becoming tough.
Unlike breaded chicken cutlets, the Taiwanese method coats boneless skinless chicken thighs in a light sweet potato flour batter for an extra crunchy exterior. And the flavor profile is what really makes these thighs shine – a unique blend of soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, sugar, five-spice powder, and white pepper creates savory-umami chicken perfection.
To make these crispy chicken thighs, I started by marinating 4 boneless skinless thighs in the flavorful sauce overnight in the fridge. This helped intensely infuse the chicken with flavor before cooking. I suggest start with a tablespoon of 5 Spice if you’re not used to this ingredient. It can get overwhelming quickly. After marinating, I added an egg and cornstarch to the chicken pieces and coated in sweet potato flour.
Sweet potato flour creates an amazingly crunchy crust when deep fried. Also known as tapioca starch, it lets the chicken fry up super light and crispy without feeling heavy or greasy. I let the floured chicken thighs sit for 5 minutes before frying to ensure the coating adhered nicely.
Frying the thighs in medium-hot oil for 3-4 minutes per side until deep golden brown resulted in chicken with the most phenomenal crunchy exterior I’ve ever had. The sweet potato crust was insanely crispy without being too thick – almost like eating fried chicken potato chips! Inside remained so moist and tender.
This Taiwanese method of low and slow marinating combined with an egg+cornstarch+sweet potato flour coating takes crispy fried chicken to a whole new dimension. The unique blend of flavors in the marinade come through perfectly while still allowing the natural chicken flavor to shine. And wow, those crispy crunchy thighs are addictively good!
This is a really nice crunchy chicken recipe. The texture alone is mind-blowing – like eating fried chicken flavored potato chips, but better because it’s chicken! It’s also surprisingly easy to make for such incredible results. The seasoning is simple yet full of flavor. The 5 spice turned out to be such a secret ingredient. I also love that the breading didn’t turn out to be too heavy and the starch made sure that the chicken stayed cruncy even after a couple of hours. These Taiwan-style chicken cutlets are light, crispy, and totally addictive.
So if you’re looking for a twist on classic fried chicken that’s sure to become your new favorite, I highly recommend giving these Taiwanese fried chicken thighs a try. Grab some boneless skinless thighs, whip up the simple marinade and sweet potato batter, and get frying! Your friends and family will be so impressed by your new secret fried chicken recipe.
Let me know if you give these a shot and what you think! As always, stay tuned to my blog RelaxLangMom.com for more family recipe ideas and fun food adventures. Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list below for more recipes delivered right to your inbox each week.
Additional tips for guaranteed crispy chicken cutlets every time:
-Make sure your oil is hot (350F) before adding the cutlets
-Don’t overcrowd the pan or oil temperature will drop
-Pat cutlets very dry before dredging
-Fry in small batches to maintain oil heat
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