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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 3.64 / 5 (66 votes)

Prep time:
10 min
Cook time:
15 min

Fuchsia Dunlop shares an authentic Chinese recipe for delicious fried chicken in a hot and sour sauce


1. For the marinade: To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in small bowl.

2. Unfold the chicken thighs and lay them, skin down, on a chopping board (if some parts are very thick, lay your knife flat and slice them in half, parallel to the board).

3. Use a sharp knife to make a few shallow criss-cross cuts into the meat – this will help the flavours to penetrate. Then cut each thigh into bite-sized slices, an uneven 5mm or so in thickness. Put the chicken slices in a bowl, pour over the marinade and toss until well coated.

4. In a deep-fat fryer or wok, heat enough groundnut oil for deep-frying to 180-200C. Add the chicken and deep-fry until golden. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.

5. For the sauce: mix the tomato purée and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl, then add the potato flour, soy sauces, rice vinegar and set aside.

6. Use a pair of scissors to snip the dried chillies into 2cm pieces.

7. Heat a wok with 2-3 tablespoons of groundnut oil. Add the dried chillies and stir-fry briefly until they are fragrant and just changing colour (do not burn them). Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds longer, until fragrant.

8. Pour in the combined ingredients from the bowl and stir until the sauce thickens. Return the chicken to the wok and stir vigorously to coat the pieces in sauce.

9. Remove the wok from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve the chicken with steamed rice.


  • 4 boned chicken thighs, with skin, about 340g total
  • groundnut oil, , for deep-frying
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • steamed rice, , to serve

For the marinade

  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp potato flour
  • 2 tsp groundnut oil

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp double concentrate tomato purée
  • ½ tsp potato flour
  • ½ tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp clear rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp stock, , or water
  • 6-10 dried red chillies
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic

Tips and suggestions

“This version of the dish is based on the one I learnt in the kitchen of the Peng Yuan restaurant in Taipei. It was invented by veteran chef Peng Chang-kuei, who still runs the restaurant with his son, Peng T’ieh-cheng. The dish is hot and sour, and lacks the sweetness of the Americanised version. You can use chicken breast instead of thigh meat if you prefer.”

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Latest Comment


potato flour is also known as Farina

BrendaI74490 BrendaI74490  Posted 23 Sep 2012 12:16 PM

BrendaI74490 BrendaI74490  Posted 23 Sep 2012 12:16 PM

Fantastic recipe. I found potato flour in a Chinese Supermarket and have recently noticed it is in my local Tesco. This is also really good with tiger prawns.

spencer.barnett2075 spencer.barnett2075  Posted 02 May 2010 12:09 PM

I really want to make this recipe as I thought it looked delicious when I saw it on the show, but can't find potato flour anywhere?? Did anyone else have trouble finding it?

WendiM81799 WendiM81799 Posted 30 Oct 2009 10:55 PM

This is a wonderful recipe, very easy to make and very tasty. It was a real hit with my husband!

docasha docasha Posted 30 Oct 2009 6:27 PM

This was so quick and easy. Loved the flavours. Good and spicy with an agreeable tang. Definitely going to make it again

Cheeky Spouse Cheeky Spouse Posted 21 Oct 2009 1:08 PM

I made this last night for a dinner party. It was so delicious. Very easy to make. Everyone asked for the recipe. Delicious.

amyB68043 amyB68043 Posted 19 Oct 2009 11:59 AM