Szechuan chicken, also spelled as “Sichuan chicken,” is a popular Chinese dish that originates from the Sichuan province of China. Sichuan cuisine is known for its bold and spicy flavors, and Szechuan chicken is no exception. The dish typically features bite-sized pieces of chicken that are stir-fried with a variety of ingredients, including Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and other spices and seasonings.

The defining characteristic of Szechuan chicken is its use of Sichuan peppercorns, which impart a unique numbing and tingling sensation to the dish, in addition to its spicy heat. The combination of these bold flavors creates a complex and rich taste profile that many people find incredibly satisfying.

Szechuan Chicken

Recipe by caion


Prep time


Cooking time



Szechuan chicken can be prepared in various ways, but it often involves marinating the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other seasonings before stir-frying it with the spicy and aromatic ingredients. Vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and scallions are commonly added to the dish for both flavor and texture contrast.
The dish can vary in spiciness depending on personal preference and the recipe, so some versions might be milder while others can be quite fiery. Szechuan chicken is usually served with rice or noodles, providing a balance to the intense flavors and heat of the dish.
Overall, Szechuan chicken is beloved for its mouthwatering combination of bold spices, heat, and distinct numbing sensation that characterizes Sichuan cuisine.


  • For the Chicken Marinade:
  • 1 lb (450g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced

  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (green onions)

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (for finishing)


  • In a bowl, mix the chicken pieces with soy sauce and cornstarch. Let it marinate for about 15-20 minutes.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, sugar, ground Sichuan peppercorns (if using), and chicken broth. Set the sauce aside.
  • Heat a wok or a large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil and let it get hot.
  • Add the marinated chicken to the wok in a single layer. Allow it to cook undisturbed for about 1-2 minutes until it gets a nice sear, then stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the wok and set it aside.
  • In the same wok, add a bit more oil if needed. Add minced garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the sliced bell peppers and onions to the wok. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften but are still slightly crispy.
  • Return the cooked chicken to the wok and pour the prepared sauce over everything. Stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken and vegetables.
  • Add chopped scallions and stir-fry for an additional minute.
  • Turn off the heat and drizzle sesame oil over the dish. Give it a final stir to incorporate.
  • Serve the Szechuan Chicken hot over steamed rice or noodles.

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