Sweet Chili Chicken Bites

This recipe was inspired by my new favourite restaurant in Miami called Uchi. Man, was it good and the stand-out menu item they had was the fried chicken bites, made with thighs, the best part in my opinion. They were drizzled with this sweet chili sauce and served with thinly sliced cucumber and pickled carrot alongside and it was insane! I just had to recreate it when I got back to Montreal but I needed to make it healthier. Booo! I know, but I don’t make fried food at home unless it’s for a special occasion of some kind. But I wouldn’t be posting this if they weren’t really good! So here’s my baked interpretation of Uchi’s chicken bites.

I use rice flour instead of wheat flour in my dredge because I read somewhere that it would make my breading crispier and after trying it I can confirm that it’s true! Game changer.

Whenever you have sweet and spicy foods, it’s always a good idea to pair them with cool, briny, pickled things like pickles for an easy, nothing to do option or quick pickled cucumbers or carrots. You can make them yourself by using a basic formula like salt, sugar, vinegar and some hot water. Depending on the thing you’re pickling, they can be ready to eat in 20-30 minutes and get better as they sit in the fridge and keep for around 2 weeks, fully submerged in brine.

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Sweet Chili Chicken Bites

Print Recipe
Crispy breaded chicken pieces tossed in a sticky sweet and spicy sauce! Serve them over rice or on their own. They're so addictive and will surely become a favourite.
Servings 4


  • 1 lb. chicken thighs (or breasts) boneless and skinless
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup rice flour or all purpose
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • cooking oil spray
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce homemade or store-bought
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon green onions finely chopped (for garnish)

Sweet Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 5-6 tbsp honey (or to taste) (or 4 tbsp brown sugar)
  • 3-4 tbsp Sambal Oelek (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  • Pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes. Place into a mixing bowl and season generously with salt, and paprika. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • In a large ziploc bag, add flour and cubed chicken. Seal the bag and shake well to coat.
  • Place 2 eggs, beaten in a shallow dish and place breadcrumbs in another. Dip the chicken pieces, one at a time, into the egg wash, allowing the excess to drip off. Then press into the breadcrumbs to fully coat and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.
  • Spray the chicken with cooking oil spray. This helps create a crispy crust.
  • Bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes until chicken is fully cooked. (This will depend on how big you cut your pieces.) The internal temperature for the chicken should be minimum 165F.
    Once cooked, add a generous grind of pepper over the chicken bites.
  • Transfer them to a large mixing bowl and add in sweet chili sauce overtop or add chicken to the saucepan with the sauce. Toss gently to coat evenly. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions/chives and sesame seeds.

Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

  • To a medium saucepan, add vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sambal oelek, cornstarch and water. Whisk thoroughly to combine until cornstarch dissolves and mixture is smooth.
  • Heat over medium/med-low for 3-4 mins. Mixture should be bubbling gently and thickened enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat.


  • Serving suggestions: Serve with a few quick pickled cucumbers or carrots, salad and or rice. With sticky-sweet and spicy foods, refreshing vinegary foods offer the perfect contrast.
  • Rice flour makes them extra crispy!
  • For my pictures, I used a little bit of store-bought sweet chili sauce to make the top pieces look more glossy. It’s not as healthy as homemade but it’s tasty. The brand I got is A Taste of Thai.
Air fryer instructions: Place chicken bites in a single layer in the air fryer basket and lightly spray with oil to coat evenly. Cook at 375 F for 12-14 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature for the chicken reaches 165F. Shake the basket halfway during cooking to brown the chicken bites evenly.

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