Taiwanese Popcorn Chick’n (Vegan)

An incredible vegan version of Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken using chick’n patties. Boldly favored just how you find them on the streets of Taipei.

This recipe was sponsored by Gardein, a meat-free food company that aims to make a meat-less lifestyle easy. One of their most popular chick’n (vegan chicken substitute) products is the “crispy chick’n patties,” which eponymously contains pre-breaded chick’n burger patties. Turns out, you can replace breading on the frozen product with your own to create amazing, freshly fried vegan chick’n at home. And of course, I had to taiwan-ize it with local flavors and make Taiwanese-style popcorn chicken.

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken will always have a special place in my heart. There’s something about this particular Taiwanese street food item that makes me feel empowered and nostalgic at the same time.

Compared to tofu (which I normally use for vegan chick’n), these definitely have a more fibrous, chicken-like structure. Definitely worth a try if you are looking to make some incredibly realistic vegan chick’n at home.

Taiwanese Popcorn Chick’n

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by George L. Course: SnackCuisine: TaiwaneseDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



An incredible vegan version of Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken using chick’n patties. Boldly favored just how you find them on the streets of Taipei.


  • 1 package Gardein Crispy Chick’n Patties (4 pieces)

  • 1 bunch fresh basil

  • Wet Batter
  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Dry Dredge
  • 3/4 cup potato starch

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • Seasoning Salt
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground five-spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika/cayenne pepper


  • Prepare Popcorn Chick’n. Defrost the chick’n patties by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can place the patties on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for about 1 minute to thaw. Once thawed, remove most of the breading from the patties using your fingers. Then pull the patties apart with your fingers (to achieve irregular shapes) and reshape each piece into oblong pieces resembling popcorn chicken.
  • Prepare Wet Batter & Dry Dredge. In a bowl, whisk together water, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk well to ensure little to no lumps remain. In another bowl, combine potato starch and corn starch. Mix well and set aside.
  • Prepare Seasoning Salt. Simply combine all seasoning salt ingredients. You want to do this before frying to ensure it is ready as soon as the chick’n is fried.
  • Bread the Popcorn Chick’n. Set up dredging stations. Dip chick’n pieces into the wet batter first, shake off any excess, then into the dry dredge.
  • Fry the Popcorn Chick’n. Heat up a generous amount of vegetable oil in a pan/wok until around 180 C (356 F), or until a wooden chopstick immediately bubbles when placed in the oil. Once oil is up to temperature, carefully place chick’n in, being careful not to overcrowd the pan/wok. Fry until crispy and golden-brown, then remove from the oil and let drain on a paper towel. Immediately sprinkle on the seasoning salt.
  • Fry the Basil. Make sure your basil leaves are very dry. Lower the heat slightly (to around 140 C) and prepare a lid big enough to cover the whole pot. Drop the basil leaves in, and immediately cover the pot with the lid — the leaves have some water content which will cause splashing when hit with hot oil. Count for 3 seconds and you can remove the lid, then take out the basil leaves. Drain together on the kitchen towel with the popcorn chick’n. Serve together warm with chili garlic sauce or spicy bean paste.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to see your recreations!

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1 month ago

Nice recipe, I will try it !
Love your page 🙂

28 days ago

Looks wonderfully delicious 😋