Salt and Pepper Chips on baking paper with ketchup

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Say no to boring plain chips! A British Chinese takeaway classic, these salt and pepper chips are bursting with flavour along with a little spice. They are super simple to make so you can enjoy this fantastic fakeaway whenever the mood takes you.

What are they?

Salt and pepper chips originate from the UK. Specifically, Liverpool. It has its roots in the more classic salt and pepper ribs and wings which are a staple of the British Chinese takeaway. The popularity of the flavours spread to the arrival of salt and pepper chips in the 1990s and has soon spread across the UK.

If you’ve never tried salt and pepper chips, then you are missing out. They are a combination of thick chips, pepper, chilli, Chinese five-spice and, of course, salt and pepper. They are the perfect way to jazz up plain old chips and are literally bursting with flavour.

If you love the salt and pepper flavour then check out these Salt and Pepper Prawns or this salt and pepper chicken. Or if you want more ‘jazzed up’ chips try these sweet potato dirty fries.

Are they spicy?

These chips are served up with a little spice. However, if you make them at home, you have the added benefit of being able to control exactly how hot or mild you want them.

You can either reduce the amount of chilli you use, or you could swap the chilli for a mild variety (larger chillies are typically milder than small ones) or you could even substitute for bell pepper/capsicum.

If you want a little heat but don’t want the hassle of cutting up chillies, then you can also use chilli flakes instead.

What kind of chips should I use?

As these are traditionally the realm of Chinese takeaways and British Chinese chippies then the best way to go is chip shop style chips. Thick, juicy and soft. However, if you prefer French fries or even another option like sweet potato chips then this will absolutely work well with any variety.

Salt and Pepper Chips on a fork

What can I serve them with?

You can serve these up as a snack, or with any of the usual subjects that you would normally serve up with a side of chips. They are pretty flavoursome so it’s a good idea to partner them with something that has either complementary flavours or is fairly bland. A few great meals to consider adding these with include:

As with any chips, a pot of something for dunking is compulsory. You can reach for a standard choice such as mayo, ketchup or BBQ sauce. Or you could go for something to add even more of a kick such as sriracha sauce, peri-peri, or sweet chilli if you want something milder.

Do I need to use Chinese five-spice?

If you are buying five-spice especially for this recipe then don’t worry – you will find it useful for a whole host of dishes. Use it as a spice rub on pork or chicken, add it into a batter or make these delicious hoisin duck wraps or healthy salmon tacos.

If you can’t find five-spice then you can use a combination of the flavours it includes. It is a mixture of star anise, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorn, cloves and fennel seed. Garam masala is also a great substitute, particularly if you mix some garam masala with ground star anise to match the unique aniseed flavour.


For a full list of ingredients with weights and measurements jump to the printable recipe card.

Salt and Pepper Chips Ingredients
  • Frozen oven chips
  • Large green and red chillis, sliced – make sure to buy a fairly mild chilli variety, bearing in mind that usually the larger the chilli the milder.
  • Chinese five spice powder (see above for substitutions)
  • Spring onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rice vinegar

How to make them

For more detailed instructions with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.

  1. Cook the chips according to package directions.
  2. Saute the chilli in a frying pan until slightly softened.
  3. Add the Chinese five spice and stir for a few seconds.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the cooked chips and toss everything together.

Looking for more great fakeaway recipes? Try:

Products that work well for this recipe:

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Salt and Pepper Chips on baking paper with ketchup

Salt and Pepper Chips

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Say no to boring plain chips! A British Chinese takeaway classic, these salt and pepper chips are bursting with flavour along with a little spice.

The default recipe serves 2


  • 200g frozen oven chips (see note 1)
  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 1 large green chilli (mild), sliced (see note 2)
  • 1 large red chilli (mild), sliced
  • 1 tsp chinese five-spice (see note 3)
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • large pinch salt
  • large pinch pepper
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar


  1. Layer the chips in a single layer on a baking tray and then bake in the oven according to the package directions. 
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet over medium-high heat. When hot saute the chilis for 2-3 minutes until softened. 
  3. Add the five-spice to the pan and stir around for 30 seconds until fragrant. 
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and tip in the salt, pepper and vinegar and stir. Add the cooked chips and the spring onion and toss everything together. Add more seasoning if needed.
  5. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce! 


  1. For the most authentic ‘fakeaway’ result serve with thick-cut, chip shop style chips. 
  2. Carefully note: generally the larger the chilli the milder the heat. However, this can vary a lot between chillis. If you aren’t a fan of too much heat or are unsure then set aside some of the chilli after sauteing and taste before serving, adding more in as needed. 
  3. If you don’t have or can’t find Chinese five spice then a mixture of garam masala and ground star anise is a great substitution. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Oven / Hob / Stove
  • Cuisine: British Chinese


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 215
  • Fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Protein: 3g

Keywords: british chinese, chips, fries, snack, side, fakeaway, spicy

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