Salt & Pepper Chicken Recipe

Chinese salt and pepper chicken holds a special place in the culinary landscape of British Chinese takeaways, blending traditional Chinese flavours with British preferences to create a beloved dish enjoyed by many.

In its simplest form, Chinese salt and pepper chicken features succulent pieces of chicken seasoned with a blend of spices then deep-fried to crispy perfection. This dish embodies the essence of comfort food. The crispy chicken pieces, twinned with the crunch of the fresh vegetables and that amazing umami tastes of salt and pepper seasoning means this dish is very moreish.

I’ve seen many recipes for salt and pepper chicken by various influencers but they’re missing one key ingredient – MSG. Unfortunately there is an old wives tale that suggests MSG is harmful but this is not true. Think of it as being as bad for you as salt is. It’s all about moderation.

Using my salt and pepper seasoning means you’ll be able to get the same taste you crave from your favourite Cantonese takeaway / Chinese takeaway.

Key Points

  • The salt and pepper seasoning needed for this recipe can be purchased here.
  • Rather than slicing carrot, I buy bags of shredded carrot. Most supermarkets will sell them.
  • Some takeaways will use sliced green chillis in their veg mix. Feel free to use 1-2 for added heat
  • Some takeaways will use rehydrated garlic. The seasoning has garlic powder in so additional garlic is not needed.
  • Be generous with the seasoning and add to your desired taste
  • You barely want to cook the veg in the wok. The whole cooking process in the wok should only take 2-3 minutes.
  • You can use supermarket battered/breaded chicken for convenience

Salt and Pepper Chicken

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Servings 2


  • 1 wok


  • 300 g chicken breast diced
  • 100 g cornflour
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 tbsp Matt Cooper Bites Salt & Pepper Seasoning 1tbsp to be used in the flour mix
  • 0.5 white onion sliced
  • 1 bell pepper sliced
  • 0.5 carrot finely sliced – optional
  • 3 spring onion sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes optional for heat
  • 200 ml vegetable oil enough to shallow fry
  • 1 splash Chinese rice wine vinegar optional but desired for best results


Cooking the chicken pieces

  • Add the cornflour and 1 tbsp of Salt & Pepper Seasoning to a dish and mix
  • In a separate dish, add the beaten eggs
  • Toss the chicken pieces in the cornflour mix. Then toss them in the egg mixture. Then toss them back in the cornflour mix again.
  • In a frying pan, add enough vegetable oil to be able to shallow fry. On a medium heat, heat the oil for 2-3 minutes and then carefully place the chicken pieces into the pan. Turn the pieces frequently and cook until golden brown.
  • Remove the chicken pieces and drain off any excess oil by placing on a paper towel.

The rest of the dish

  • In a wok on a high heat, add 1 tsp vegetable oil and add the onion, pepper and carrot and cook for 30 seconds, tossing frequently.
  • Add the chicken pieces and rice wine vinegar and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Generously add the Salt & Pepper Seasoning whilst tossing the wok for 30 seconds. I tend to free pour until I feel the chips and veg have all been consistently seasoned. This usually works out around 1-2 tbsp of seasoning.
  • Add the spring onions and chilli flakes if using, toss and serve.


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