Try this salt and pepper chicken, then check out our chicken chow mein, sesame chicken, beef stir-fry and more Chinese recipes.

How to make the perfect salt and pepper chicken: cook's tips

  • Add salt to taste – the soy sauce will add salt too, so taste as you go and add more if you like. Szechuan peppercorns add heat as well as warmth from the red chilli.
  • You can use this recipe with king prawns, tofu, strips of beef or pre-cooked chicken wings, if you prefer.

How to serve salt and pepper chicken: Serve immediately with rice or noodles as a main, or as part of a sharing feast with other plates such as pak choi, noodles, prawn dishes, or dumplings, if serving six to eight people.

Salt and pepper chicken recipe


  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 50g cornflour
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice, plus a pinch
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 spring onions, sliced into lengths
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • large pinch of flaky sea salt
  • ½ tsp szechuan peppercorns, ground
  • 3 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce


  • STEP 1

    Put the chicken in a bowl, sprinkle over the cornflour and add a pinch of five spice and a pinch of salt. Toss well.

  • STEP 2

    Heat about 2cm of oil in a wok or deep frying pan until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds when gently lowered in. Add the chicken and fry for 10-12 mins or until golden and crunchy. Drain on kitchen paper.

  • STEP 3

    Pour out most of the oil into a heatproof bowl, leaving 1 tbsp of oil in the pan. Add the onion, spring onion and chilli, stir-fry for 3 mins, tossing frequently, then add the ginger and garlic. Fry for another minute until fragrant, then add the chicken back to the pan with 1 tsp of the five spice, salt, pepper, wine and soy sauce. Give everything a toss to coat briefly in the sauce and spices. Serve with rice and steamed Chinese greens, if you like.

Discover more Chinese recipes.

Bowl of colourful fried cauliflower


Anna Glover profile
Anna GloverSenior food editor

Goes well with


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating