• YuHua Golnick

Vegan Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

If you like falafel and Taiwanese popcorn chicken, then you are going to love this vegan Taiwanese popcorn chicken made with chickpeas!

What is Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken?

You may have or may have not heard of Taiwanese fried chicken or popcorn chicken. If you haven’t had it yet, they are basically little pieces of juicy deep fried chicken with some of the most amazing crunch and flavor (basil is a must!). They are often sold at night markets, restaurants and cafes in Taiwan. The traditional way of making popcorn chicken is to marinate them in soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, five spice, white pepper, and sugar. After marinating, the chicken pieces are coated with sweet potato flour and into the hot oil. It is then fried with Thai basil for the last 20 seconds or so and then it is all dusted with some magical seasoning!

How I Came To This Creation

The creation came about when my mom was searching on her Ipad and she came across an article about how bad eggs can be for our health in terms of raising risks in getting different kind of illness. (This does not mean that I am telling you go Vegan or not as that this was what my mom was reading online and it is our choice to cut back on animal protein in general beyond just eggs. Please do not take our words for it.) When we were talking, I was wondering if anyone has ever tried to make vegan asian food, specifically Taiwanese food. I then came across Iamafoodblog. There, I found Vegan Taiwanese popcorn chicken recipe, however I had made some major changes due to last minutes decisions. For example, they suggest not using canned chickpeas (which I used because I did not have dried chickpeas.) and another major change I made was to bake it instead of frying it. (please feel free to fry it at 300F until crispy. and remember to add basil at the last minute. I didn't fry it because I did not want the house or me to smell. You know that feeling!)

This recipe is easy and quick to make and no, it does not taste like chicken, however the flavor is there and besides, no one will feel guilty eating it and its super healthy for you!

Vegan Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

PREP TIME: 5 Minutes

COOK TIME: 35 Minutes

TOTAL TIME: 40 Minutes

SERVINGS: 2 Servings


  • I cup canned or dried chickpeas

  • 1 large shallots, quartered

  • 6 garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp five spice powder

  • 1 tbsp white pepper

  • 2 tsp Japanese seven spice powder (optional)

  • 1 bundle Thai basil or other herbs (optional)


  • If using dried chickpeas. Soak overnight and dry with kitchen towel.

  • Preheat oven to 400F

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Make sure to drain and pat dry canned chickpea.

  • Grind until crumbly.

  • Spoon the mixture by the tsp onto greased foil or parchment paper. (I drizzle olive oil, so it makes it more crispy!)

  • Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Turn over at half way point.

  • Sprinkle some five spice powder and white pepper.

  • Serve hot and Enjoy!

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