Xiāng-Jī-Pái ( Fried Chicken Breast )

This one’s hard to miss, the popular Xiāng-Jī-Pái (Traditional Chinese: 香雞排 ), or fried chicken breast.

The transliteration may be hard to read for some, I’d prefer to pronounce it like: shang-chi-pai ( shang: the sha in sham: chi: the chi in chinook; pai: the ai in Thailand).

It is actually a simple, unmarinated chicken, breaded and deep fried. It is one of Taiwanese food any foreigner can come to warm up with very easily, primarily because the taste is not anywhere far from a common fried chicken. What makes it special is the peculiar cut which includes most part of the chest, although a few ribs may be included.

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There are not many variations. The only variation is the ingredients of the breading, and how hard the breading becomes after deep frying. If the breading turns hard on frying, the coating usually sticks with the flesh and it’s not easy to take the breading in case you prefer to.

The one I bought has a soft breading, and the coating easily peels off. Inside is the supple and tender chicken breast.

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The orange powder sprinkled all over is chilli powder, and some ground black pepper. You can opt out of the seasoning if you want. Make sure to tell the vendor when making your order.

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You may also ask them to cut it up for you if you prefer.

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