chicken pieces dipped in batter and deep fried

This is the best chicken ball batter for making homemade chicken balls. I’ve tried many other batter recipes but I keep coming back to this one. This recipe makes better tasting chicken balls than most Chinese restaurants that I’ve tried. For a small batch of deep fried foods I find it easier to just use a small stainless steel pot and fill the oil to about a third of the way up. Don’t go any higher with the oil or it may boil up and over the pot. Don’t let this batter sit too long after you make it, or it will lose its leavening punch. If you need to reactivate your batter, sprinkle a bit of baking powder over the batter and whisk it well.
More batter recipes here – https://www.urbanwhisk.com/fish-batter/  https://www.urbanwhisk.com/onion-rings-html/

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Deep frying and safe cooking tips

chicken pieces dipped in batter and deep fried
Print Recipe
4.55 from 11 votes

Chicken Ball Batter

Cuisine: American-Chinese

Ingredients

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch or two of salt
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 2 skinless boneless raw chicken breast cut into bite size pieces

Instructions

  • Cut raw chicken into bite size pieces. Lightly roll raw chicken pieces in flour, this helps the batter to stick to the chicken and it also keeps the batter from sliding off the meat. Shake off excess flour, only a thin dusting is needed.
  • Mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk, add enough very cold water until mixture feels like a pancake consistency, the thicker the batter, the puffier the chicken ball. Slightly thin batter is also good.
  • Fill a stainless steel pot only one third of the way with vegetable oil. (Over-filling a pot with oil may cause it to bubble and overflow and cause a fire.) Heat the vegetable oil to about 350°F. A deep fryer is recommended.
  • Using a fork, dip a piece of chicken into the batter to evenly coat. Carefully lower the battered piece of chicken into hot oil.
  • Deep frying at 350°F is the ideal temperature, but if you don’t have a thermometer, fry a small piece of battered chicken as a test first. Chicken ball should be a golden brown in about 7 minutes. If the chicken ball gets too dark too fast just lower the temperature. Remove the test piece and cut in half to check for doneness. Cooking times will vary, depending on how thick the piece of chicken is.
    To check for doneness insert a thermometer into the middle of a thick piece. The recommended doneness according to USDA is 165°F or 74°C.
frying battered chicken balls

FAQ:

Why use ice water?

The ice water slows the gluten in flour to give the batter a crispier crust. I use the same batter for onion rings, fish, mushrooms, broccoli and of course chicken. Try it thick or thin depending on your preferences. Also a pinch of cayenne pepper and paprika adds a little zing when making onion rings.

Can chicken balls be frozen?

If you need to freeze some of what your making you would need to deep fry first, cool, then freeze the balls separated on some parchment paper,so they don’t stick together in one big lump. Once they are frozen that’s when you can bag them into freezer bags.

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41 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We Modified to be Gluten Fee and it turned out perfect! Use a gluten free flour mix that states it is 1 to 1 measurements with reg gluten. We also substituted arrowroot for the cornstarch.

    Batter would also work with fish really well

    1. Great info! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Ken Steinman says:

    Excellent recipe. I used it to make pork balls using cubes of Canadian bacon (peameal bacon). It turned out amazing.

    1. Oh I never thought of that one! I’ll have to try it, thanks. It’s also a great batter for onion rings with a pinch of cayenne.

  3. 5 stars
    Awesome! Made me look good! I made the batter first and let it sit while I cut up the chicken. Definitely a recipe for life. Thank you!!!

    1. Glad you like it! One of my keepers too!

  4. Thanks for the recipe! Do you have a special trick to cook the chicken balls all the way around? Once they are cooked on one side, I try to turn them so they can cook on the other side but they always turn back to their original position! The only trick I found is to submerge them right into the oil with my slotted spoon so they can cook all around!

    1. Pushing the little buggers around helps, and sometimes crowding them a little helps too so that they don’t have much room to flip back. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed your chicken☺️

    2. Use your fryer basket to hold them under the fat while frying

  5. Luke white says:

    3 stars
    More of a fish and chips batter then chicken balls

    1. This was exactly what I thought it tasted like too. We now use it for fish instead!

      1. I love it for fish! Glad you like it too.

  6. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe, works perfect , thanks !

    1. Awesome! Glad you like it!

  7. Dave Janssens says:

    5 stars
    Don’t ever deep fry without a thermometer unless you have really good house insurance.

    1. 2 stars
      Too much corn starch in my opinion. Don’t like to taste the corn starch when eating the chicken balls

    2. Nancy Wilson says:

      My oil got too hot and a few chicken balls exploded spraying me with hot fat. The electric burner was on fire and I blew it out. My clothes covered in grease spots. Never had this happen before.

      1. I would recommend looking into getting a deep fryer, it’s a very handy addition to any kitchen.

  8. Can I use pre cooked chicken or turkey for this recipe?

    1. Yes, you can use precooked meats. Although I haven’t tried using precooked meats, Id imagine it would work out fine. Let me know if you do try it.

  9. 5 stars
    Honestly worth making. Loved the recipe!! Turned out better then I could have imagined. F**K yaaa haha thanks

  10. Cheryl DeGrace says:

    5 stars
    I asked my kids what they wanted for dinner and the both wanted chicken balls fried noodles with mixed veg but didn’t want to spend $30 on it so I found this amazing chicken ball recipe and the meal cost me $17 kids said best Chinse restaurant ever chicken balls huge hit. Will be making again and soon!

    1. Hi Cheryl, this is our favorite go to recipe for those nights we want a Chinese themed dinner at home. We also make fried rice with vegys to go with the chicken. I’m glad you liked it 🙂

    2. Dave Janssens says:

      5 stars
      I just finished making these and they turned out perfectly. My chicken was cut into about 3/4 inch chunks and it cooked in 4 to 5 minutes at 350. Please use a thermometer

      1. Thanks for adding those details! Very helpful 😊

  11. Looking forward to trying this tonight. Going to make a honey garlic sauce for it. Also wondering if you can make a baked version of this. Thanks

    1. Hi Mia, let me know how everything turned out for you. I use the same batter for onion rings and deep fried mushrooms although I make the batter a little thinner for the mushrooms. A baked version wouldn’t work because the batter is too wet. Chicken with honey garlic sauce sounds delish!

  12. 5 stars
    Love this batter turned out awesome!

    I’m wondering if I can batter and freeze for later?

    1. If you need to freeze some of what your making you would need to deep fry first, cool, then freeze the balls separated on some parchment paper,so they don’t stick together in one big lump. Once they are frozen that’s when you can bag them. Glad you like the recipe!

    2. Dave Janssens says:

      Don’t ever deep fry without a thermometer unless you have really good house insurance.

  13. Dennis Forbes says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely perfect. There are few recipes that are so spot on, but this one yielded results that simply can’t be improved.

    1. Thanks! I also use this same recipe for my onion rings with a little pinch of paprika and cayenne pepper added.

  14. What’s the ice water for

    1. Hi, thanks for trying this batter. The ice water slows the gluten in flour to give the batter a crispier crust. I use the same batter for onion rings, fish, mushrooms, broccoli and of course chicken. Try it thick or thin depending on your preferences. Also a pinch of cayenne pepper and paprika adds a little zing when making onion rings.

      1. crystaloh says:

        Hi Irene. I think Bill means, what do we do with the ice water? I believe your recipe may be missing a step? Like, how to we combine the ingredients to make the batter? What are we “mixing to a pancake consistency?” Thanks for clarification!

        1. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Sometimes I tend to over simplify things, not realising that I’ve left out some important details. I fixed it now 🙂

          1. Hi, quick question,
            Do we cook the chicken pieces first before we batter them?
            …and or is it possible for you to do a video? Thanks, am wanting to make these this evening.

          2. Hi thanks for stopping by! I only use raw chicken for this recipe, which I cut into bite size pieces. I like your idea for the video suggestion, I just need some decent equipment and someone to hold the camera LOL.

        2. I’m glad you explained what the water actually does to enhance the recipe because I was very curious! Going to try this tonight!

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