- In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, green onions, soy sauce, mirin, Chinese 5-Spice, pepper, 1 tsp of starch and cayenne pepper together. Stir until the mixture is a paste-like consistency.
- In a large bowl, combine this mixture with the chicken chunks. Ensure that all of the chicken pieces are coated before wrapping in plastic wrap.
- Leave in a refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 mins. It can be left to marinate overnight as well.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg and cold water together with a fork.
- In a medium bowl, measure out your sweet potato starch.
- In a wok, heat up some oil for frying so that it reaches a temperature of 175°C.
- With a pair of tongs, dip a chicken chunk in the egg mixture then the starch before placing in the wok. Fry the chicken in batches ensuring that you do not crowd your work. The popcorn chicken is ready in a few mins or when it is a golden brown colour.
- Drain the excess oil by placing the chicken on a wire rack or paper towels.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and gently toss to combine well.
- Fry the Thai basil leaves as the final batch for 15-20 seconds until they are at desired crispness. Take care not to burn the leaves.
- Plate the chicken and basil leaves together.