Hunan Chicken Recipe

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
4.89 from 9 reviews

Chicken Main Dishes Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 20 minutes

Hunan Chicken is an easy recipe to make and ready in about 30 minutes. It is filled with vegetables that make this savory dish nutritious, flavorful and very colorful!

We like to pair this dish with steamed rice or noodles. Our other favorite Asian dishes are Honey Cashew Shrimp, Korean Ground Beef, and Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs.

Best Hunan Chicken 

This Hunan Chicken is a quick and easy stir-fry dish to prepare. It is also quite healthy since it uses white meat. We love making it at home quite often because it is the perfect and quick weekday dinner. It is easy to make with a few budget-friendly ingredients and ready in less than 30 minutes.

This is a classic Chinese dish that will please everyone. We love making it with chicken breast, as the meat comes out juicy and tender. The meat is cooked together with vegetables in a deliciously spicy and savory sauce. If you have a celebration coming up, and want something delicious and quickly made, then this recipe is the one to make.

What is Hunan chicken?

Hunan chicken is stir-fried chicken breast with lots of vegetables that originated from the Chinese province of Hunan. This dish incorporates the Hunan sauce which makes it, well, distinctively Asian. It is made with chili and lots of veggies and has a distinctive sweet and spicy taste.

It is one of those dishes that quickly became popular in American-Chinese restaurants, and is now enjoyed pretty much everywhere in the States. However, unlike the original Chinese version, this recipe was modified a bit to be on a sweeter and savory taste, and less spicy, but equally delicious.

What is the difference between HUNAN and SZECHUAN CHICKEN?

While both dishes have the same origin and have chicken as their main ingredient, there are some minor differences between the two.

Hunan version is generally hotter and spicier, while the Szechuan Chicken is generally battered prior to being added to the pan and is sweeter and less spicy. 

What does Hunan chicken taste like?

This dish has a sophisticated taste and texture because of the variety of ingredients used. The chicken itself is battered in cornstarch and fried, making it crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. It has a rich Asian flavor because of the sauce.

The chili bean paste adds that Chinese flair to this recipe alongside the oyster sauce.

It is on a spicier side, but you can tone it down by limiting the amount of chili paste that goes into it. In addition, the sugar, fermented rice wine, and soy sauce balance nicely out all the spiciness. It has the right amount of sweetness to it, with some hint of sourness all rolled into one savory hot meal.

What vegetables are in Hunan chicken?

The vegetables that are most commonly used in this recipe are garlic, ginger, green onions, and chili peppers. These four vegetables add spice and zest and enhance the flavor of the chili bean paste. 

However, you can easily modify it with your favorite veggies. Some nice addition would be carrots, broccoli, zucchini, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and corn. These vegetables are rich in vitamins, high in fiber, and low in calories. Also, they add a nice color and texture to this dish. 

What is in Hunan chicken Chinese food?

Aside from the battered chicken seasoned with salt and pepper, Hunan chicken has a spicy and flavorful sauce. It is this sauce that ties together the whole dish. There is a number of variations of the sauce but one thing that makes it Hunan is the use of chili.

To make the sauce, combine minced garlic, ginger, chili bean paste, green onions (or scallions), soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, salt, and chili peppers or sauce. Then, add in some rice wine and chicken broth. To thicken the sauce, add a mixture of cornstarch dissolved in water.

What percentage of carbs are in Hunan chicken?

The carbohydrates from Hunan chicken amounts to about 12 to 16% of your daily caloric requirement. As vegetables also have carbohydrates, this value will vary depending on the vegetables that you incorporate.

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • You can make the sauce in one batch and freeze it in small containers. When the time comes, simply defrost it and cook it with chicken.
  • Though chicken breast would be the most ideal chicken part as it is healthful, you can also use other chicken parts.
  • Also, other types of meat can be used such as pork, beef, and fish! That proves how versatile this recipe is.
  • Cut the meat against the grain. If you find it difficult to cut, a simple trick is to freeze the meat first and then cut it.
  • You can use any type of vegetable that you desire in this recipe. It is quite versatile and can be adjusted easily based on own preferences.
  • I love serving it over white rice or brown rice
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4.89 from 9 reviews

One Pan Hunan Chicken

Hunan Chicken is an easy recipe to make and ready in about 30 minutes. It is filled with vegetables that make this savory dish nutritious, flavorful and very colorful.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 30 mins





Nutrition information

Calories: 276 Carbohydrates: 16 Protein: 27 Fat: 11 Saturated Fat: 6 Cholesterol: 72 Sodium: 1227 Potassium: 796 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 8 Vitamin A: 6460 Vitamin C: 51.3 Calcium: 30 Iron: 1.3
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Oh my goodness! You're hunan chicken recipe looks like a delicious new idea for me to make, and seems easy enough. I'll have to book mark this to try later.


Brianne Tursi Manz

That looks so delectable and it looks easy to make! Hunan style dishes are one of my favorite Chinese foods. I can't wait to make this!


Amy Desrosiers

I love this chicken and often enjoy it at Chinese restaurants. I would love to make this at home!


Liz Mays

I could really go for this kind of meal right now. The spice sounds really nice. I'm interested in trying the sauce!



I so miss making stir fry at home. I lost our wok in a move and still haven't found a great replacement!



This recipe looks so good! I love chicken, and I'm excited to try this recipe out. I really think this would be a great recipe to try for my family.



Yum. I love quick stir fry recipes. This looks so packed with flavor.


Toni | Boulder Locavore

That looks really good! Would love to give it a try!


Claudia Krusch

I've never heard of that! I looove Chinese food! I can't hardly wait to try your recipe!



That looks heavenly! I truly love Asian dishes that are full of flavor. 



What a great way to bring take out favorites right into your home! This looks delicious! 


Annie & Will Kearns

This looks incredible! It will definitely replace takeout night!


Ruth I

I bet my family would love this, it looks so tasty! I'd love to try this recipe.


Celebrate Woman Today

I LOVE Hunan chicken! I see you've got a couple ingredients that I would love to try in my kitchen. Thank you, our Cook Master!


Gggg Dr yeh

How much cornstarch???? It says 1/4...1/4 what?


sorry, 1/4 cup.



Doesn't anyone try the recipe before rating? I was nervous to try it once I realized all the 5 star reviews were just because it *looks* good! I don't usually comment on recipes, but since I went ahead and made it and it turned out so well I thought it deserved a review. The sauce is incredible. Salty, sweet, savory, spicy, all perfectly balanced. It's spicy enough to leave a nice warm tingle that keeps me going back for more. The sauce is smooth and glossy but not gloppy, thick enough to really coat everything and the zucchini soak it up nicely. This is better than takeout. I had a little trouble with the chicken - the cornstarch seemed to glue it all together into a mass, and I had to put some gloves on and get my hands in there to work the cornstarch around evenly. But once I peeled the chicken pieces apart and tossed them in the hot oil they were fine. I wouldn't change a thing; using more cornstarch to loosen it up would have been too much. Thank you so much for this recipe! Since moving to a more rural area I miss my hometown Chinese restaurants. All I'll say about the options around here is that I'd rather just make my own. This Hunan chicken is even better than from my favorite place back home!



I doubled the recipe and added shrimp ro the shortage of chicken. I love spicy foods but im thinkin this wasnt meant to be so hot. I swear i put 4 tbsp of chili paste! Anyway...ill be the only one eating it. And regarding Katie's complaint regarding reviewers...Right on girl!



I totally agree...I made it....why the hell am i gonna rate a picture of a recipe? Too much time on people's hands perhaps. Oh wait!! Fill that time with actually cooking, chopping etc.


Christopher Lupold

Did my other review go thru? Forgot to do the stars. Only 4 cuz it was way spicy hot. I doubled the recipe but maybe the chili paste could be lessened....great still...i love hot. Nobody else did though.


Alice Carroll

Ever since I was a kid, I always didn't like eating the breast part of the chicken because it's not as tasty as the other parts. I do like how Chinese food tends to be savory with its sauces so it makes chicken breast quite flavorful. I hope I can find spicy chicken like that in a takeout place near me.



It's so simple to make and turns out delicious. It deserves 5 start. No doubt. Thanks


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