Salt and pepper chips are a popular British takeaway favourite and they are easy to make at home whether you bake, fry or air fry the chips.
The timing of the recipe is very much governed by your cooking method. It takes around 25 minutes with air fryer chips, 30 minutes with oven chips and 10-15 minutes with deep-fried chips.
Chinese Takeaway Style Peppery Chips
My name’s Brian and I have a thing for “salt and pepper” stuff!
As a Brit, it would be remiss of me not to include salt and pepper chips on that list as well!
My love of these dishes comes down to one ingredient, Szechuan pepper, if I were to pick a single “spice” that I covet more than any other it is this one.
I’ve described many times on my site as being like grown-up “popping candy”. It delivers a fizzing almost numbing sensation combined with a floral taste that always makes me smile “out loud”.
Add a bit of chilli, some black pepper and Chinese five spice and you take chips to a whole new level!
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to cook the chips?
That really depends on your circumstances!
If I had no restrictions in terms of time, space and effort then I would fry my chip shop-style chips. However, most of us don’t live in that world, and as a result, I usually choose to cook my air fryer chips.
I certainly wouldn’t scoff at the idea of using some good oven-baked chips either.
Do I have to use Szechuan pepper?
Since returning to the UK I’ve eaten my fair share of salt and pepper chips and nothing frustrates me more than the omission of Szechuan pepper.
Please, please, please treat yourself and add them to this recipe, it really is the “point” of the recipe.
Do I have to add the chilli?
No, don’t worry about skipping the chilli, it adds a different kind of spice to the salt and pepper chips, but there is more than enough flavour to go around.
Can I make this in advance?
No, not really! Chips do not reheat very well, they become limp and soggy very quickly. This is a dish to cook and eat immediately.
Oh gosh, eating out in the UK right now it feels as though salt and pepper chips go with everything!
I disagree, however, they are very much the darling of the “affordable” world of eating out in the UK.
Whether you are heading out for a smash burger or are hitting up your favourite Chinese takeaway for some Singapore chow mein noodles with a side of Chinese spare ribs, you are almost certain to find them on the menu.
They also are a great side for chicken wings too and I’ve got plenty of wing recipes for you to choose from.
They are also superb with dishes like my air fryer mozzarella stuffed chicken breast.
Whilst it may not be traditional, I love them with the coconut milk sauce that coats my chicken adobo recipe.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Air fryer, oven or deep fat fryer to cook the chips, the choice is yours.
- 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
- Pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
- Stirring spoon.
- Kicthen knife.
- Chopping board.
- Weighing scales and measuring spoons.
Szechuan pepper does all of the heavy lifting when it comes to making homemade takeaway-style salt and pepper chips, it's glorious and just like grown-up popping candy as far as I am concerned!
- 550-600g (19oz) Cooked Chips
- 1 Medium Hot Red Chilli Pepper
- 3 Spring Onions
- 1 Small Red Onion
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Chinese Five Spice
- ½ Tbsp Szechuan Peppercorns
- ½ Tsp Black Peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- Cook your chips in any way you wish, I have instructions for air fryer chips and proper chip shop style chips and you could even follow the instructions on a packet of oven chips if you wish. Time this so that the chips are ready when the seasoning is finished.
- Remove the seeds from the red chilli pepper and dice it as finely as you can.
- Slice the spring onions as finely as you can.
- Top and tail the red onion, cut it in half, peel it and then cut it into strips from top to bottom around 5mm or ¼" thick.
- Heat a 30cm or 12" frying pan over a medium-high heat and toast the black peppercorns and Szechuan peppercorns for around 60 seconds. Then grind them in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
- Return the pan to the heat, add the cooking oil and red onion and cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Add the sliced spring onions and diced fresh chill and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Throw in the cooked chips and sprinkle over the salt, ground peppercorns and Chinese five spice, toss to coat and serve immediately.
The calorific data and timing for this recipe are based on using air fryer cooked chips made from fresh floury potatoes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 435Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 2072mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.