A Chinese chicken dish with a bit of a kick

Try this homemade, spicy and authentic Szechuan chicken recipe


 Szechuan Chicken is an easy-to-make, tasty and spicy traditional Chinese dish. 

Anna Liu | Cavalier Daily

I want to share a traditional Chinese dish — Szechuan chicken. This recipe is named after the region in China it originates from — the Sichuan area. However, Szechuan chicken is made very differently in the U.S., which is why I want to share this recipe with everyone — you all deserve the true, authentic recipe, which comes from my hometown, Guizhou, China. 

First of all, in the U.S., Szechuan chicken is over fried, very greasy and oddly sweet. Sometimes, the American version of Szechuan chicken doesn’t even include pepper, which is a staple ingredient used in China. In China, Szechuan chicken is really spicy, and it is definitely not sweet. Different families in China may have different Szechuan chicken recipes, but I have found that the taste does not differ much. Again, fair warning — unlike American versions, my authentic dish is extremely spicy.

If you’re looking for authenticity and the true Chinese experience, you’ve come to the right recipe. This dish is more popular in the southwest area of China, where people add peppers to everything. It is also super easy to cook and to store. Whenever I have leftovers, I will eat the chicken with leftover rice the next day. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20-30 minutes

Servings: 5


1 whole 5 pound chicken

3-5 spicy red peppers 

4 teaspoons of soy sauce

40 ml vegetable oil

2 slices of ginger

2 cloves of garlic


  1. Cut the chicken in small pieces, similar to the size of small potatoes. You could ask the butcher in grocery stores to help you do this. 
  2. Cut the ginger and garlic into small pieces.
  3. Cut the red pepper into very small pieces. You can even use a garlic press to do so.
  4. Heat the oil in a large fry pan for 4 minutes over high heat.
  5. Put the ginger and garlic into the pan and stir for 2 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat to medium-high. Put the chicken in and stir until they are all half-cooked.
  7. Put the half-cooked chicken in a bowl. Put red peppers in and stir for 4 minutes.
  8. Stir in chicken pieces and add 4 teaspoons of soy sauce. Then add four cups of water.
  9. Turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the fry pan and wait for 15-20 minutes.

Make sure to drain any water after the chicken is cooked — this dish should not be a soup. 

Any leftovers can be incorporated into other meals, including fried rice, pastas and noodles. You can also add some bok choy or any other vegetables for more color and nutrients! Just make sure you cook the vegetables once the chicken is almost done, as to not burn them. You could also cook this for a dinner party with friends, so they can get a taste of real Chinese cuisine — but make sure to warn anyone with a low spice tolerance! 

Szechuan chicken is also a perfect dish for winter because the spicy peppers will help you stay warm. It will also give you a whole new experience of Chinese food — the kinds of experiences you won’t find in P.F. Chang’s. Once you try this recipe, I guarantee that you will fall in love with this dish — you won’t go back to Americanized Szechuan chicken ever again! 

Give this a try if you want to shake up your typical frozen-meal dinners, or even if you just want to experiment with your spice tolerance.

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