Chicken in Salt & Chilli

chicken in salt and chilli

Chicken in Salt and Chilli has become increasingly popular in Chinese takeaways and restaurants across Scotland over the last decade and for good reason.  Descended perhaps from Chinese Jill Yuen dishes, the aromatic aroma and feel good factor provided by the classic mix of garlic and chilli combines perfectly with onions, spring onions, green pepper, rice wine and a sweet but hot and spicy salt mix to produce a dish bursting with flavour.

There are various ways to make the spicy salt mix and most Chinese supermarkets also now stock commercial brands.   Szechuan pepper, black pepper or even a little msg can be added to the salt mix for a bit of variety.  Some Chinese takeaway restaurants toast the salt in a dry wok and allow it to cool before combining it with the other ingredients, adding an extra depth of flavour from the cooking flavours drawn out of the wok by the salt. In all cases, some sugar is included in the salt mix.

The salt and chilli finish can be applied to various different dishes, from ribs and chicken wings to chips, mini spring rolls and even pizza crunch.  My personal favourite and arguably the original and best is chicken breast, deep fried in potato flour until crispy and then flash fried with the vegetables and spicy salt mix .  Deliciously addictive, devilishly spicy and definitely one to try.


4.83 from 17 votes
chicken in salt and chilli
Chicken in Salt & Chilli
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Takeaway
Servings: 1 portion
  • 113 g chicken breast 1 large fillet
  • 1 large egg whisked
  • 6 tablespoons potato flour or corn flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion finely sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli finely sliced
  • 1 green chilli finely sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt & chilli mix see recipe notes
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  1. Trim any excess fat from the chicken breast and cut into bite sized pieces or thin strips. Add a little of the whisked egg, just enough to coat the chicken pieces. Add the potato flour or corn flour and mix well until all of the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
  2. Heat oil for deep frying to 190c. When the oil is hot, carefully place the floured chicken pieces into the pan. Fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through, golden and crispy. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan, drain off any excess oil and set aside.
  3. Heat 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sliced onions, green pepper, spring onions, garlic, red & green chilli and dark soy sauce. Mix well and stir-fry for 30 seconds.Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Season with around 1/2 teaspoon - 1 teaspoon of the salt & chilli mix (or to taste) and stir-fry for 30-40 seconds until all of the chicken pieces and vegetables are seasoned. Finish with rice wine, stir once more and serve.

Recipe Notes

Salt & Chilli Mix

1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tablespoon Chinese 5 Spice
1-2 teaspoons dried crushed chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of ginger powder
Pinch of white pepper
Mix the salt and chilli ingredients thoroughly and store in a sealed container.  This recipe makes enough salt & chilli mix for around 5-7 portions.

37 thoughts on “Chicken in Salt & Chilli

  1. 5 stars
    Best recipe! Tastes better than take away and you know what’s in it.
    I used a little less salt than the recipe asks as I use full salt soye sauce.
    Whole family love it!
    I serve it with rice and homemade curry sauce on the side.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this tonight, was delicious! Whole family enjoyed. Worth the messiness of frying, the chicken came out perfectly.

  3. 4 stars
    Made this for my girlfriends birthday, everything was good apart from the salt overpowering everything. Made 4 portions so multiplied everything by 4. It’s her favourite dish and she couldn’t finish it. Will use the recipe again but the amount of salt definitely needs adjusting.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Michael – how much of the salt & pepper mix did you use? The recipe for the seasoning makes enough for several portions so wouldn’t need to be multiplied by 4 (just a teaspoon of the mix is used per portion and the mix is less than half salt). I’m sorry it didn’t quite work out for you!

    1. Hi Hector, I’m sorry to hear you found the recipe too salty – the salt & pepper mix makes enough for several portions and only around 1 teaspoon is needed per portion of the finished dish. Thanks for your feedback and for trying the recipe!

    1. You could brush the chicken with some oil after it’s been breaded and bake it, it’ll come out a little more dry and not quite as crispy as if it had been deep fried though – alternatively if you want to fry it, you can fill a large pot or a wok 1/3 full with oil and use that, I have a deep fat fryer but I tend to use a wok filled with oil most of the time because it’s just easier and more convenient.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for this, there was many recipes for this but this was the closest to what I had in my head

    I Made it for the family last night and it is their new number one favourite

    I made some slight alterations to suit tastes

    Spring onion
    Green chilli
    Less garlic

    Finely sliced Carrot
    Extra red chilli

    I added a sprinkle of sea salt and chilli flakes to the chicken coating

    I used the leftover egg to make egg fried rice

    I see others commenting that it was too salty

    I made enough for 3 generous helpings but I only sprinkled one tsp of salt+chilli mix as the smell was overwhelming enough to know not too use too much

    Now I have ordered for salted chilli chips and king prawns

  5. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe and it came out amazingly! ? it was delicious and the spicing was perfect. My family said it was the best Chinese meal ever. They are still talking about it a week later!

    1. I don’t think plain flour would work too well for this recipe unfortunately Cathy – if you can only get plain flour, you could make salt & chilli chicken wings instead, these are coated in plain flour and fried for 10 minutes which gives the correct texture to the wings – for smaller chicken breast pieces cornflour / potato flour will work better.

  6. Absolutely superb recipe, and better than anything I’ve had from Chinese take-away.
    Used red and green chillies and also some chillie flakes so had a nice kick to it.
    Kitchen looked a bit bombed afterwards but well worth the effort ??

  7. Looks delicious! Is this suitable for freezing? My boyfriend is a trucker and i know he’d love this to take away with him. Thanks!

  8. Thanks so much Lynn, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    You could certainly do the chicken in an airfryer – some of the coating will inevitably be lost (if using an actifry with a paddle) and it might not get quite as crispy as deep fried chicken would but it’ll still work! Let me know how you get on if you try it 🙂

  9. I’ve been using this recipe for about two years now, at least twice a month and this recipe is great. My wife and I absolutely love it. We are just about to eat it now ??. Cheers Kenny . 10 out of 10 ??

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and highly recommend! This is a hit for all that have tried this dish

  11. 5 stars
    OMG, so happy I have found this recipe, we have it twice a week now, once your seasoning is made, set aside the rest for the next time. Full of flavour, no dry meat, perfect ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating