Best Szechuan Chicken Recipe

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
5 from 16 reviews

Asian food recipes Chicken Main Dishes Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 20 minutes

Szechuan Chicken is an easy recipe with a perfect harmony of sweetness and spiciness in one savory dish. Ready in less than 30 minutes, it is the ideal weekday dinner meal!

We love Asian recipes that are easy to make and ready in no time. Some of our all-time favorites are Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry, Hunan Chicken, and Instant Pot Cashew Chicken. Check them out!

Easy Szechuan Chicken Recipe

Szechuan Chicken is a classic Chinese dish that is pretty healthy with an explosion of flavors. If you crave for some delicious and easy to make Chinese food, then this dish is for you. Also, you can make it with any vegetables you have on hand or desire. This dish is very versatile and just perfect for a quick dinner. 

Making it at home is also budget-friendly and healthier. We like it on a spicier side, so we go with some extra chili pepper. However, if you do not like spicy food, feel free to reduce or even omit the chilis. 

This particular recipe is a fairly common traditional version, with true to authentic flavors. If you are craving for some Asian food that is hot and flavorful than you will love this mouthwatering dish.

What is Szechuan Chicken?

Szechuan chicken is a sweet and spicy dish from the Chinese province of Sichuan. This incorporates the Szechuan peppercorn which lends a slightly citrusy flavor to the whole dish. It is a dish on a spicier side, that because very popular all over the world. Nowadays, you can find this recipe pretty much in all Chinese restaurants.

What is the difference between Hunan and Szechuan Chicken?

Hunan Chicken is more oily and spicier than the sweeter Szechuan Chicken. Though both contain chili peppers, the Hunan chicken spiciness is brought about by the use of chili bean paste while in this dish, it is the mouth-numbing peppercorn that makes the difference.

How to make Szechuan Chicken?

Making this dish has three parts: preparing the chicken, cooking the stir-fry vegetables, and then mixing them together. 

Szechuan chicken is best prepared using chicken breasts cut into cubes. Also, we like to marinate the chicken in a mixture of seasonings with cornstarch. This takes some additional time, but it is definitely worth it. However, if you are short on time, then skip the marinade part.

The seasonings include rice wine, soy sauce, white pepper, and sesame oil. These alone make the meat super tasty. After marinating, fry the chicken until cooked evenly on both sides.

Next, stir fry the vegetables including the garlic, ginger, chilies, bell peppers, scallions (or green onions), nuts, and the famous Szechuan peppercorn.

After a few minutes, toss in the fried chicken to combine with the rest of the ingredients. Remove from heat, garnish with sesame seeds, scallions, and more chili peppers!

Serve with rice and you’ve got yourself a complete savory meal of carbs, protein, and fiber.

How spicy is Szechuan Chicken?

Usually, this is a hot dish intensified by the use of the Szechuan peppercorns or chili peppers. The Szechuan peppercorns have a trademark mouth-numbing effect. This helps the spiciness of the chili peppers stand out more.

If you cannot take the heat, you can tone down the spiciness level by reducing the chili peppers.

Also, if you do not have this ingredient, you can use some jalapeno, or habanero peppers as a substitute.

How many calories are there in Szechuan Chicken?

A cup of this dish has about 200 to 400 calories depending on the types of vegetables used. Boneless and skinless chicken breasts are merely 100 kcal per 4 oz.  The half-cup of peanuts alone can add up to about 400 calories in the dish.

What vegetables are in Szechuan Chicken?

The following veggies are mostly used in this recipe: green onions, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, chili’s and your choice of nuts.

Bell peppers are closely related to the spicy chili peppers. They are fruity and sweet when cooked which enhances the flavors of this savory dish. Using bell peppers of different colors also makes this dish visually appealing.

Garlic, ginger, and green onions are commonly used in Asian dishes for their flavor. They add a nice kick in the overall taste. Taking out one will definitely feel like you are missing something.

The nuts complement the overall texture of the dish. They add up more crunch in every bite. Nuts are also good sources of fats and protein.

Variations of this recipe incorporate vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, and celery. It is your call if you want to add other vegetables. Just remember to cut them evenly so that they will be cooked evenly as well.

Recipe Notes

  • While Szechuan chicken is best paired with steamed rice, you can also opt for noodles to tame the spiciness. Also, brown or jasmine rice works well with it.
  • Also, feel free to make a batch of Szechuan Sauce and refrigerate for late use. This way you can quickly use it during the week. 
  • If you have an Instant Pot, you can quickly make this recipe in the Instant Pot
  • Make sure to stir fry the vegetables just enough for about 2-3 minutes and not overcook them. Otherwise, they will lose the crispiness of them.
  • This dish can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator as long as properly sealed and cooled down before storing it. You can make it in advance and just reheat when needed.
Szechuan Chicken

Best Szechuan Chicken

Szechuan Chicken is an easy recipe with a perfect harmony of sweetness and spiciness in one savory dish. Ready in less than 30 minutes, it is the ideal weekday dinner meal!
5 from 16 votes
Save Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 333kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts (cubed into bite-size pieces)

Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

Other Ingredients:

  • vegetable oil (as needed for frying)
  • 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorn
  • 5 red chilis (cut into thin rounds)
  • 25 dried red chilis (whole)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into bite-size cubes)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (cut into bite-size cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 stalk green onions (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup peanuts or cashews (unsalted and roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Garnish:

  • Green onion (chopped)
  • Sesame seeds
  • More fresh red chilis

Instructions

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the cubed chicken. Marinate for 30 minutes or more.
  • Add about 2 inches of oil to a non-stick or cast iron skillet and place over medium heat. Once hot, fry the chicken until browned and crispy. Fry the chicken in one layer, if needed fry in batches. Remove and set aside on a plate.
  • Discard oil from the pan, leaving only about 2 tablespoons. Add the Szechuan peppercorns and dried red chilies. Fry for about 1 minute, just until fragrant.
  • Add the rest of the fresh red chilies, ginger, garlic, and bell peppers. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes.
  • Add chopped green onions and nuts. Fry for a minute.
  • Add back the fried chicken pieces, stir and add the sugar, rice wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Toss to coat.
  • Garnish with chopped scallions, sesame seeds, and more red chilis.
  • Serve as is or over rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 1396mg | Potassium: 805mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1575IU | Vitamin C: 174.7mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg
Made This Recipe?

Show me what you made on Instagram or Facebook and tag me at @sweetnsavorymeals or hashtag it at #sweetnsavorymeals.

Get free recipes to your inbox!

Comments

Leave a reply

Melanie Bauer

Such an incredible dish! Love all the flavors going on, can't wait to give this a try!

Reply

Cathy

This looks perfectly spicy and SO delicious!

Reply

Anne

I made this dish tonight. It was delicious. I did not use as many hot peppers, and I added baby bok choy and broccoli and used low sodium soy sauce. This dish is full of flavor--much better than what we get at our favorite Asian restaurant. Definitely a keeper. Thank you for posting this recipe.

Reply

Robyn Wozab

Wow, what a fun recipe, tasted great, the Real thing,,my husband and I had a good time cooking this together, we could not believe how good it tasted, terrific

Reply

Sven

This looks great! One question, 2 inches of oil? Like.. fill up the skillet so there’s 2 inches from bottom up of oil in it?! That’s like a whole bottle of oil.. or what do you mean with 2 inches?

Reply

Enough oil to deep fry the chicken, you can use less, as look as you make your chicken crispy.

Reply

Danielle

It was delicious! Thank you!

Reply

David Jack

Hi, I hope you read this often. Do you use ground szechuan peppercorns or whole? Thank you.

Reply

Hi David, we used whole in this recipe.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.