Chinese Salt and Pepper Chips (also known as salt and chilli chips) is a takeaway favourite. Total comfort food, and you can make them at home in under 20 minutes and they are much healthier too.
Salt and pepper chips are a popular dish in Chinese restaurants, and it's easy to see why. The dish consists of crispy cooked chips seasoned with a mixture of salt, five spice and chilli. The result is a flavour packed and addictive dish that can be enjoyed on its own or as a side dish.
As a lover of both salty and spicy flavours, and chips, this recipe ticks all the boxes.
If you are looking for some more chip recipes, why not try our spicy Peri Peri Chips, warming Paprika Chips or, for something a little different, Baked Polenta Chips?
Why you will love them
- Delicious fakeaway - If you are trying to save money on takeaway or want to make your own healthier alternatives, then this ticks those boxes.
- Healthier - No artificial ingredients used here and nothing is deep fried either.
- Quick and easy - If you are using frozen chips like we have, then this is a quick and easy recipe.
- Versatile - There are so many different ways that you can serve this salt and pepper chips recipe.
- Adaptable - The great thing about making these yourself if that you can change the seasoning and make them as spicy or as mild as you like.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Chips - Yep, we "cheated" and used oven chips. You can get some amazing quality ones now, with no hidden nasties and additives. We cooked ours in the air fryer to make it an even quicker dish. You could follow our recipe for Air Fryer Chips first.
- Oil - This is what the seasoning ingredients are cooked in.
- Onion - This adds a nice texture and base to the chips.
- Five spice - This is the key flavour in the recipe. You can make your own spice blend, but we find it much easier to use a store bought blend. If you want to make your own, then check out Feasting At Home's Five Spice recipe.
- Bell peppers - You can use any colour bell pepper you want here.
- Chillies - This is where all the spice comes from. We used a mix of red and green chillies as it makes the dish look nice and colourful. Feel free to adapt the amount used depending on spicy you like it.
- Salt - This might seem like a lot of salt, but it is in the name. This isn't an every day dish after all. You do need to generously season these to get the best flavour.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make salt and pepper chips - Step by step
One: Cook the chips according to the packet instructions. We cooked ours in an air fryer to make it quicker.
Two: While the chips are cooking, heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, peppers and chillies (a). Gently cook for 4-5 minutes (b).
Three: Add the five spice and salt to the pan. Mix well and cook for a further minute.
Four: Put the cooked chips into a large bowl and add the cooked vegetables (a). Toss everything together (b).
What are Salt and Pepper Chips?
Salt and pepper chips are essentially deep-fried potato chips (or oven baked or air fried) that are seasoned with a mixture of salt, chilli, and other spices like star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns and fennel seeds. You can have thin cut or chunky chips, depending on your preference.
One thing that sets this salt and pepper chips recipe apart from regular chips is their unique flavour. The combination of salt, pepper, and spices creates a savoury, slightly spicy taste that is both addictive and oh so comforting.
Whilst salt and pepper chips might not be very traditional in China, they are very popular in Chinese restaurants in the UK where they were first served up to chip loving Brits to make Chinese restaurants more appealing to them.
The classic way to serve these would be with salt and pepper chicken, or with a Chinese curry. Some other homemade Chinese inspired dishes that work well with these chips are Sweet and Sour Meatballs and Sweet and Sour Prawns.
Chips and dip are a must, right? If you want extra spice, then serve these with our Kebab Shop Chilli Sauce recipe. For something cooling, why not dip them in our Healthy Ranch Dressing?
Basically, anything you would serve chips with, add these salt and pepper fries to. Here are some suggestions:
In addition to being a tasty snack and side, Chinese chips are also a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. They can be added to salads, sandwiches, and wraps for an extra crunch, or used as a topping for soups and stews.
These salt and pepper chips are best served fresh. Reheating cooked chips results in soggy chips which just don't taste great. Luckily these are quick and easy to make, so just make as many as you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, as long as you use gluten free chips and seasoning, then these are gluten free. Just make sure that there is no cross contamination.
These do have a real kick of spice to them, which is how they should be. Put you can always pick out the chillies and give them to someone that wants extra.
• To save time, you can use frozen onion, peppers and chillies.
• If you still want all the colour from the chillies, but don't want all the heat, then remove the seeds and the membrane of the chillies.
• Toss everything together in a bowl to make sure all the chips are fully coated, so you get flavour with every bite.
• Use a warm mixing bowl to keep the chips hot.
• If you are using frozen chips, there is no need to add any oil for cooking them.
More potato recipes
If you’ve tried these salt and pepper chips, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Salt and Pepper Chips
- 200 g (7 oz) Frozen chips
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- 0.5 Red bell pepper - diced
- 0.5 Green bell pepper - diced
- 1 Onion - small; finely diced
- 1 Red chilli - finely sliced
- 1 Green chilli - finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- 2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- Cook 200 g Frozen chips according to the packet instructions. We cooked ours in an air fryer to make it quicker.
- While the chips are cooking, heat 1 teaspoon Olive oil in a pan and add 1 Onion, 0.5 Red bell pepper, 0.5 Green bell pepper1 Green chilli and 1 Red chilli. Gently cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add 2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice and 1 teaspoon Sea salt to the pan. Mix well and cook for a further minute.
- Put the cooked chips into a large bowl and add the cooked vegetables. Toss everything together.
- To save time, you can use frozen onion, peppers and chillies.
- If you still want all the colour from the chillies, but don't want all the heat, then remove the seeds and the membrane of the chillies.
- Toss everything together in a bowl to make sure all the chips are fully coated, so you get flavour with every bite.
- Use a warm mixing bowl to keep the chips hot.
- If you are using frozen chips, there is no need to add any oil for cooking them.
My kids couldn't stop eating these salt and pepper chips! They are so good!
These look yummy and I love that you can make them in 20 minutes! I am always looking for quick and easy side dishes. It doesn't get much easier than using frozen fries. So smart!
I love all the flavors and spices in these chips. And so easy to make, too!
This was such a tasty way to jazz up chips! Loved it.
Oh wow, this looks so delicious. My family is going to devour it!
dina and bruce miller
I had never had these before. We made them this weekend, and what a hit! The 5 spice was so good in this dish! Thank you!
They are absolutely delicious! I couldn't stop eating them. There wasn't a crumb left.
So much healthier and cheaper than takeaway!
Yes!!! Salt & Pepper chips (alongside cheesy chips) are my ultimate guilty pleasure! Chinese 5 spice makes everything better, and your recipe was amazing! So much healthier and tastes just as good, if not better!