Spice Bag | DonalSkehan.com

Spice Bag

March 13

A dish that could nearly be considered one of modern Ireland’s national dishes at this point, and rightly so – this addictive combo of sweet and spicy chicken and chips is a winner any night of the week! This recipe is adapted from Laura & David Chan’s Lotus Restaurant in Wexford established in 1978.

  • serves Serves 4
  • time 35 mins


  1. 1. Slice the potatoes into thick chips and place into a pot of cold salted water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cook for 3-4 minutes then drain and allow to steam for 5 minutes.
  2. 2. Toss the potatoes with the neutral oil then place into your airfryer basket and cook at 200°C/400°F for 15 minutes. They may need less or more time depending on your airfryer model so keep checking them, cooking until they are golden and crispy.
  3. 3. For the spice mix, in a dry frying pan over a medium high heat add the ground szechuan peppercorns, five spice powder and salt until aromatic and toasted. Remove to a container and set aside.
  4. 4. For the chicken, in a bowl, mix together the cornflour, salt, white pepper and sesame oil. Add 1-2 tbsp of water to loosen the mix.
  5. 5. Add enough oil to a pan to come halfway up and heat to 180°C/350°f. Fry the chicken for 6-8 minutes or until crisp and golden. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
  6. 6. Remove most of the oil from the pan, reserving 2 tablespoons in the pan, bring back up to heat. When the oil is hot add the chilli flakes, garlic, sliced red chilli, onion and spring onions and stir fry for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables turn slightly tender.
  7. 7. Add the cooked chicken to the pan and pour in the Shaohsing wine around the edges of the pan to deglaze. Stir fry until the chicken is warmed through.
  8. 8. Add the chips, sesame oil and toasted spice mix and toss through until completely combined.
  9. 9. Serve straight away in a paper bag!

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Sunflower oil, for frying 

2 tsp chilli flakes 

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 

1 yellow onion, roughly sliced 

1 red chilli, thinly sliced

6 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally

1-2 tbsp Shaohsing wine

For the spice mix:

1 tbsp ground Szechuan peppercorn

1 tbsp five spice powder

1 tbsp salt 

For the chips:

1kg maris piper potatoes

3 tbsp neutral oil

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 rosemary stalks, leaves stripped and finely chopped 

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken:

8 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, roughly chopped into strips 

2 tbsp cornflour 

1 tsp salt

2 tsp sesame oil 

Splash of water

2 tsp white pepper