How To Make Crispy Honey Chilli Chicken
This honey chilli chicken recipe is a Chinese-style fakeaway that’s sticky, chilli, sweet and crispy. Made with simple ingredients, this recipe is not only easy to make but is ready in just 40 minutes.
Crispy honey chilli chicken is one of those recipes everyone should know. Soy sauce, honey, ginger, chillies and garlic provide a delicious combination of flavours that will transform regular chicken thighs into an Asian-style better than takeout delight. I’m a fan of eating this with vermicelli rice noodles, in a wrap or just by itself. If you like the sound of this, then you’re definitely going to love Chinese sweet and sour chicken balls too!
Despite how delicious this looks, when I say this recipe it quite simple to put together, I really do mean it. Homemade crispy shredded chicken is tossed in a sweet and chilli honey sauce which takes a matter of minutes to make. There’s no fancy ingredients or special equipment needed here; all you need is a frying pan or wok and at least one hungry belly!
Honey Chilli Chicken Recipe Ingredients
Below is a list of ingredients you need to make this honey chilli chicken stir fry recipe. What I love about making Chinese and Asian style fakeaway recipes are that most of the ingredients you’ll get to reuse again and again. For example, ginger, garlic and soy sauce are ingredients that are frequently used in Chinese cuisine.
To Make The Crispy Shredded Chicken:
- Chicken Thighs: I always use chicken thighs to make homemade honey chilli chicken. You can use chicken breast but as the chicken is deep fried at high temperatures, it is likely for the chicken breast to dry out.
- Cornflour & Self-Raising Flour: When cornflour is added to flour, it helps to prevent the development of gluten. This makes the batter which coats the shredded chicken pieces crispy when fried.
- Chinese Five Spice & Salt: These two ingredients flavour the batter that the chicken is dipped into before frying. Chinese five spice is a spice mix of spices used in predominately Chinese cuisine such as star anise and cinnamon.
To Make Honey Chilli Sauce:
Making the sticky honey chilli sauce stir fry that coats the crispy chicken thighs is the easiest part to this recipe. The sliced ginger and garlic are fried and left to simmer in a mixture of soy sauce, lemon and honey until thickened, bubbly and sticky. A mixture of cornflour and water is then added and left to reduce before the cooked chicken is added.
- Honey: Honey is one of the star ingredients in this dish, it’s also a great way to add a natural and unrefined sweetness to a dish instead of using sugar.
- Soy Sauce: A classic ingredient, dark soy sauce brings a salty depth to the honey chilli sauce and balances well with the sweetness from the honey.
- Lemon: Lemon juice is the perfect addition to add a touch of tanginess and acidity. It brings both sweet and salty flavours together.
- Ginger & Garlic: Both aromatic, full of flavour and essential. These two ingredients packed with flavour really do make a big difference to the chilli sauce.
- Cornflour: A mix of cornflour and water is used to help thicken the chilli sauce recipe.
My Top Tips
I’ve learnt a few tips and tricks over time that I find quite helpful and useful:
Prevent messy hands and crispy chicken batter from splattering all over your clothes by using tongs; it makes a big difference. They’re quite inexpensive yet very effective in staying mess-free.
Don’t be tempted to fry as many chicken pieces as you can at once, the oil temperature will drop resulting in soggy chicken. I like to cook 3 to 4 at a time, though you can add more or less depending on the size of your wok or frying pan.
If they oil gets too hot, it will start to splatter everywhere when you put the chicken in. If the oil begins to splatter turn the heat down before adding more chicken pieces. Trust me, when it splatters it splatters and goes everywhere, I speak from experience!
Due to the sugar content in honey, it can burn easily. When adding honey to make the honey chilli sauce, turn the heat down to a medium heat. When the mixture starts to bubble, add the water and cornflour mixture.
How To Make This Easy Honey Chilli Chicken Recipe
Ready to make this honey chilli chicken takeaway classic? Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom.
In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, cornflour, salt, Chinese five spice and water together until well combined and a batter has formed.
With a sharp knife, cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and place the diced chicken into the batter. With tongs mix the chicken into the batter until all pieces are coated. Depending on your wok or frying pan size, shallow fry 3 to 4 pieces of chicken on a medium-high heat (at one time) for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Continue until all chicken pieces have been fried.
Time to make the honey chilli chicken stir fry!
Once the chicken has been fried, heat a clean wok or frying pan on a medium heat and fry the garlic, ginger and chillies for 2 minutes before adding the lemon juice, soy sauce, and honey to the frying pan. Leave to simmer until the mixture starts to bubble, mix water and cornflour in a cup and pour into the bubbling mixture and stir.
Note: When you add the cornflour and water mixture into the frying pan it will be cloudy at first but will quickly turn back into the original sauce colour.
After mixing the honey chilli sauce for a minute or two add in the crispy shredded chicken pieces and mix until evenly coated in the sauce. And you’ve just made Chinese honey chilli chicken, the recipes quite easy right? Let me know in the comments below.
How To Serve
I love to serve this recipe with a side of vegetables like roasted tenderstem broccoli it can also be served with basmati rice or noodles. You can even go all out and accompany this dish with even more Chinese style fakeaway dishes such as:
How do I know when the chicken has done frying? After frying for a good 6 to 8 minutes and your chicken pieces are a light golden-brown colour. However, this does depend on the size of your chicken pieces; I have occasionally cut into the middle of a huge piece to double check (and then eat as a taster). But if you don’t want to go through cutting (and tasting) each piece, get a temperature probe.
How do I know when the oil is hot enough? To find out if your oil is hot enough to fry the chicken pieces, take a wooden spoon or chopstick and place it inside the oil. If bubbles immediately start to form, then the oil is hot enough.
Alternatively, you can put a small piece of chicken inside the oil, if the oil is hot enough it will start to sizzle instantly.
How many calories are in honey chilli chicken? One serving of honey chilli chicken contains 516 calories. For more nutritional information check the recipe card below. Nutritional information is calculated automatically, so should be used as an estimation.
Honey Chilli Chicken Fakeaway Recipe
To Make The Crispy Chicken
- 600 g Chicken Thighs 5-6 Chicken Thigh Pieces
- 40 g Self-Raising Flour
- 70 g Cornflour
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
- 125 ml Water
To Make Honey Chilli Chicken
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 15 g Ginger Thumb-Size
- ½ Juice From Lemon
- 80 ml Water
- 10 g Cornflour
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, cornflour, salt, Chinese five spice and water together until well combined and a batter has formed.
- With a sharp knife, cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and place the diced chicken into the batter. With tongs mix the chicken into the batter until all pieces are coated in the batter.
- Depending on your wok or frying pan size, shallow fry 3 to 4 pieces of chicken on a medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Continue until all chicken pieces have been fried.
- Once the chicken has been fried, heat a clean wok or frying pan on a medium heat and fry the garlic , ginger and chillies for 2 minutes before adding the lemon juice, soy sauce, and honey to the frying pan. Leave to simmer until the mixture starts to bubble.
- Mix water and cornflour in a cup and pour into the bubbling mixture and stir.
- After mixing the honey chilli sauce for a minute or two add in the crispy shredded chicken pieces and mix until evenly coated in the sauce.
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