Chefs' Recipes

Yama Kitchen & Bar's Taiwanese fried chicken

Yama Kitchen & Bar share their recipe for a spicy fried chicken cooked Taiwanese-style cooked with soy sauce and sake.

By Hamish Nugent, Rachel Reed & Michael Ryan
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus marinating, standing
  • Serves 6
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Taiwanese fried chicken
"Too many late, possibly drunken nights in Melbourne have meant too many late-night stops at Hot Star Large Fried Chicken," says Ryan. "But, as late-night fried chicken goes, it's very good. This is our version done, as is the theme of our restaurant, in a style that is easy to share. We wanted a dish that was a great way to get the evening started or, equally, a great drinking snack." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the chicken.


  • 2 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce (see note)
  • 1½ tsp sake
  • 1½ tsp finely grated garlic (about 3 garlic cloves)
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ¾ tsp five-spice powder
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts (about 200gm each), cut into thin strips
  • 35 gm cornflour (¼ cup)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150 gm sweet potato flour (see note) (1 cup)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Chilli sauce (optional), to serve
Chicken seasoning
  • 2 tsp five-spice powder
  • ⅛ tsp ground white pepper
  • 1½ tsp caster sugar


  • 1
    For marinated chicken, combine soy sauce, sake, garlic, sugar and five-spice powder in a plastic container, and stir until sugar dissolves. Add chicken and toss to coat (chicken should just be coated, not soaked, with marinade), then cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  • 2
    For chicken seasoning, combine ingredients and 1½ tsp fine salt in a bowl and set aside.
  • 3
    Mix cornflour and egg yolk with chicken mixture, then remove chicken from marinade and coat in sweet potato flour. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and stand for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • 4
    Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Carefully add chicken pieces in small batches (be careful, hot oil will spit) and deep-fry, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked (4-5 minutes). Drain on paper towels, then season to taste with chicken seasoning and serve hot with chilli sauce.
  • 5
    Note: Sweet potato flour is available from Korean food stores and select Asian supermarkets.
    Usukuchi soy sauce is available from Japanese grocers; it's lighter in colour and flavour, and saltier than regular soy sauce. If it's unavailable, use regular soy sauce.


Drink Suggestion: A Martini made with Mountain Pepper Gin (at Yama they serve their own house-made gin; any mountain pepper gin will work), vermouth and orange bitters. Drink suggestion by Rachel Reed

  • undefined: Hamish Nugent, Rachel Reed & Michael Ryan