This Szechuan chicken stir fry hits the spot whenever I’m craving heat. The silky chicken pieces and vibrant veggies are a healthy combination that’s packed with flavor. Ready in 25 minutes from start to finish!
I love Szechuan food.
It wasn’t until I lived in Taipei that I truly discovered Szechuan food. To me, it’s so much more flavorful than Cantonese food because they don’t hold back on spices. If you ask me what my favorite cuisine is, I will say that Szechuan isn’t too far behind Japanese. Every bite is a flavor bomb of exotic flavors I can’t stop eating.
Not only do I love the flavor profile, I’m also all over the texture of their chicken which is why I thought of sharing this Szechuan chicken recipe with you.
Today, I’m going to show you how to achieve the velvety texture that makes Chinese food so irresistible.
What is Szechuan Chicken?
Szechuan chicken is a spicy chicken stir fry that hails from China’s Sichuan province. It’s very similar to Hunan chicken in that they are both stir fries, contain vegetables and use the same chicken preparation. The main difference is the amount of heat that’s infused into the dish – Szechuan chicken is less spicy than the Hunan version.
This recipe is less spicy 🌶 than the original Szechuan chicken 🌶
Because I have a low tolerance for Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilies – I love spicy food but up to a certain point – I omitted them from the dish and used spicy chili crisp instead.
Spicy chili crisp is a chili oil condiment packed with Sichuan peppercorns, dried onions, garlic, spice and roasted nuts. It’s one of those sauces you can’t get enough of. In fact, spicy chili crisp is so loved that it’s quickly becoming China’s top-selling sauce!
Adding spicy chili crisp to my Szechuan chicken gives it the same numbing effect and infuses the dish with plenty of savory and smoky flavors.
It’s seriously good.
Ingredients For Szechuan Chicken
- Chicken: skinless breast of fillet are better because they marinate well and absorb a lot of flavor.
- Egg: To coat the chicken so it doesn’t dry out when stir fried.
- Cornstarch: What gives the chicken its velvety texture.
- Oil: You can use any type of neutral oil for this dish.
- Garlic: To add pungency and nuttiness.
- Ginger: To add heat to this already spicy dish!
- Onion: Thinly sliced onions to absorb the spicy and savory flavors.
- Bell Pepper: Bell peppers add a nice crunch and some sweetness.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Optional but I really love how they absorb the sauce and explode with flavor in my mouth after each bite.
- Scallions: They will be added in the end to add a nice crunch.
- Szechuan Chicken Sauce: A combination of chili paste, spicy chili crisp, chicken stock, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cornstarch.
How To Make Szechuan Chicken
- Add the chicken to the whisked eggs and cornstarch and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Mix the ingredients for the Szechuan sauce in a bowl.
- Cook the chicken until it’s cooked through and golden brown and transfer it to a plate.
- Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes and return the chicken to the pan.
- Add the sauce while stirring for 1 minutes, until it bubbles and thickens.
- Serve with white or brown rice. Enjoy!
Add a handful of dried red chilis for a spicier dish. Add them at the same time as when you return the cooked chicken to the pan. You can also serve this dish with congee, Ben likes to use Szechuan chicken as a topping for it.
Other Spicy Dishes Like This Szechuan Chicken
If you enjoyed this dish, I recommend trying these other fiery recipes:
- Tteokbokki (spicy Korean rice cakes)
- Spicy vegan Sichuan noodles
- Stir fry beef with spicy hoisin sauce
- Crispy honey sriracha tofu
- Smacked cucumber with chili oil
You can make this Szechuan chicken recipe ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until meal time. It will keep for up to 3 days.
Did you like this Szechuan Chicken Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!
These recipes constantly make “best dish” lists on sites such as Country Living, Self, Shape, Bon Appetit, The Cooking Channel, Men’s Fitness and Woman’s Day. They are favorites among my readers, friends and family!
Szechuan Chicken Recipe
Colorful veggies and chile paste make this Szechuan chicken vibrant and deliciously spicy! And it only takes 25 minutes to make from start to finish!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 people 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Stir frying
- Cuisine: Chinese
Szechuan chicken ingredients
- 1/2 pound skinless boneless chicken breast or fillets (chopped bite size)
- 1 large egg (whisked)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb size ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 fresh shiitake mushrooms (optional), chopped
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
Szechuan chicken sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili paste such as sambal oelek, 2 tablespoons for extra spicy
- 2 tablespoons spicy chili crisp
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- In a bowl, combine egg and cornstarch and season with a little salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces and marinade for 5 minutes.
- Add all the ingredients for the sauce into a bowl and whisk until well blended.
- In a large pan over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Drop chicken pieces and cook until both sides are golden brown. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Add remaining 1 tbsp vegetable oil to the pan (still over medium high heat) and add garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute and add onions, green and red bell pepper and shiitake mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Return chicken to the pan and add sauce. Stir and coat vegetables and chicken for 1 minute and turn the heat off.
- Transfer to a plate or bowl and serve Szechuan chicken with a side of white rice.
This Szechuan Chicken Recipe will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Keywords: recipe, Asian, easy