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Salt and Pepper Chicken (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
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5 from 4 votes

Salt and Pepper Chicken

Salt and pepper chicken is a must have recipe in your fakeaway recipe rotation. It’s time to make tasty salt and pepper chicken thighs the maplewoodroad way!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 2


  • 15 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Five Spice
  • ¼ c cornstarch
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 hot peppers, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 5 scallions, chopped in ½" pieces
  • Basil (optional)


  • Before heating the pan, have all the ingredients measured, chopped, and ready to go.
  • Chop the onions, hot peppers, garlic, and scallions. 
  • Mix the Five Spice and cornstarch in a bowl.
  • Chop about 15 oz of boneless, skinless chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces. Make sure they’re dry so the spice/cornstarch mixture will be evenly distributed. 
  • Add the chopped chicken to the bowl with the spices and toss in the mixture. Use your hands to really rub the mixture into every nook and cranny of the chicken pieces. 
  • Heat about one cup of neutral vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. The idea here is to have enough oil that it covers the bottom of the pan by about ¼”.
  • Fry the chicken in batches if necessary. You don’t want them to touch each other in the pan. Depending on the size of the chicken pieces, it takes about 5 to 7 minutes to be fully cooked. If you’re not sure if they’re done, take one out and cut it in half. Better to check than to guess. 
  • When the chicken is done, place on a plate with a paper towel.
  • Drain excess oil from the pan, but leave about one tablespoon. Bring to high heat.
  • Add onion and hot peppers to the pan and stir for two minutes. 
  • Add the garlic, scallion, and a pinch of salt (⅛ teaspoon) to the pan for one minute.
  • Finally, toss in the cooked chicken, mix it all together, and you’re done!
  • Serve in a bowl with chopsticks. If you have some fresh basil around, chiffonade a bunch and sprinkle it on top. It’s a wonderful aromatic to add another layer of flavor. Enjoy!