Chinese Salt & Pepper Chips – Step-by-step Recipe

by Ella

Chinese salt and pepper chips, also known as salt and pepper fries, are a popular dish that combines crispy fried potatoes with a savory seasoning blend of salt, pepper, and aromatic spices. This tantalizing fusion of flavors and textures has gained popularity both in Chinese cuisine and among enthusiasts of international flavors. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of making Chinese salt and pepper chips at home, from selecting the perfect potatoes to mastering the art of seasoning. Whether you’re craving a satisfying snack or looking to impress your friends and family with a delicious appetizer, this recipe is sure to delight your taste buds.

Chinese Salt and Pepper Chips:

Chinese salt and pepper chips are a delightful twist on traditional french fries, offering a crispy exterior and a burst of flavor from the seasoning blend. The dish typically features thinly sliced potatoes that are deep-fried until golden brown and crispy, then seasoned with a fragrant mixture of salt, ground white pepper, five-spice powder, and minced garlic and chili peppers. The result is a savory and aromatic dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of dipping sauces or enjoyed on its own as a flavorful snack.


Key Ingredients for Chinese Salt and Pepper Chips:

Before diving into the recipe, let’s take a closer look at the key ingredients needed to make Chinese salt and pepper chips:


Potatoes: Choose starchy potatoes such as russet or Maris Piper for the best results. These varieties have a high starch content, which helps achieve a crispy exterior when fried.


Salt: Use fine sea salt or kosher salt to season the chips. The salt enhances the flavor of the potatoes and balances the other spices in the seasoning blend.


Ground White Pepper: White pepper has a milder flavor compared to black pepper and adds a subtle heat and depth of flavor to the chips.

Five-Spice Powder: A blend of aromatic spices such as star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds, five-spice powder lends a complex and savory flavor to the seasoning mix.

Garlic: Fresh garlic adds pungent flavor and aromatic complexity to the seasoning blend. Mince the garlic finely for even distribution.

Chili Peppers: Fresh chili peppers, such as Thai bird’s eye chilies or red chili peppers, provide a spicy kick to the chips. Adjust the amount of chili peppers according to your desired level of heat.

Vegetable Oil: Use a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil or vegetable oil, for frying the potatoes. The oil should be hot enough to create a crispy exterior without absorbing excess grease.

Now that we’ve covered the key ingredients let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making Chinese salt and pepper chips at home.

Step-by-Step Recipe for Chinese Salt and Pepper Chips:


  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small red chili peppers, finely chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Optional: chopped green onions and cilantro, for garnish


Prepare the Potatoes:

Wash and scrub the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Peel the potatoes if desired, or leave the skins on for added texture.

Slice the potatoes into thin, uniform strips, approximately 1/4 inch thick. You can use a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer for this step. Soak the potato slices in cold water for 30 minutes to remove excess starch.

Make the Seasoning Blend:

In a small bowl, combine the fine sea salt, ground white pepper, five-spice powder, minced garlic, and chopped chili peppers.

Mix well to incorporate the ingredients evenly. Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more salt or pepper as needed.

Fry the Potatoes:

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer, heat vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C). Carefully add the soaked potato slices to the hot oil in batches, ensuring not to overcrowd the pot.

Fry the potatoes for 4-5 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon or spider strainer to remove the fried potatoes from the oil and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

Season the Chips:

While the potatoes are still hot, sprinkle the seasoning blend evenly over the freshly fried chips. Toss the chips gently to coat them evenly with the seasoning mixture, ensuring that each chip is well-seasoned.

Serve and Enjoy:

Transfer the seasoned salt and pepper chips to a serving platter or dish. Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro for added freshness and color, if desired.

Serve the Chinese salt and pepper chips immediately while they are still hot and crispy. Enjoy them on their own or with your favorite dipping sauce, such as sweet chili sauce, sriracha mayo, or soy sauce.

Tips for Success:

To achieve crispy chips, it’s essential to fry the potatoes at the correct temperature. The oil should be hot enough to create a crisp exterior without burning the chips. Use a deep-fry thermometer to monitor the oil temperature accurately.

Soaking the potato slices in cold water helps remove excess starch, resulting in crispier chips. Be sure to pat the potato slices dry with paper towels before frying to prevent splattering.

Experiment with different seasoning variations to customize the flavor of the chips. You can add additional spices such as cumin, paprika, or onion powder to the seasoning blend for a unique twist.

For a healthier alternative, you can bake the potato slices in the oven instead of frying them. Arrange the sliced potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with the seasoning blend. Bake in a preheated oven at 425°F (220°C) for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crispy.

See Also: 15-Minute Chinese Chicken Curry Recipe


Chinese salt and pepper chips are a delicious and addictive snack that combines the crispy texture of fried potatoes with a savory and aromatic seasoning blend. By following this step-by-step recipe and incorporating fresh ingredients and aromatic spices, you can recreate the irresistible flavors of this popular dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether served as a snack, appetizer, or side dish, Chinese salt and pepper chips are sure to impress your taste buds and elevate any meal with their tantalizing flavor and crispy texture. So why wait? Gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to savor the irresistible crunch of homemade salt and pepper chips.



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