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This Szechuan Chicken is the classic Chinese dish made with chicken thighs, Szechuan peppercorns, dried chilis, garlic, ginger and green onions. It makes a fabulous dinner idea for anyone who loves spicy food!
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4.5 from 2 votes

Szechuan Chicken (with video)

This Szechuan Chicken is an easy Chinese chicken recipe with the perfect combination of spicy, salty and sweet flavors!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Szechuan
Keyword: szechuan chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 450kcal
Author: TipBuzz



  • 1 1/2  pounds  chicken thighs boneless and skinless (680g)
  • tablespoons  soy sauce  low-sodium recommended
  • tablespoon  rice wine vinegar  or other cooking wine
  • tablespoon  cornstarch
  • 1 stalk green onions chopped
  • 3 slices ginger peeled
  • vegetable oil as needed for frying, canola oil or peanut oil recommended

Stir Fry:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns whole*
  • 15 dried red chili peppers  or cayenne peppers, cut into halves**
  • 1 tablespoon  minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon  minced ginger
  • 1 stalk green onions chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt or more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  • Cut chicken thighs into 1-inch cubes. (It’s best to use chicken thighs, but you can substitute chicken breasts.)
  • In a medium bowl, add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch, chopped green onions, and ginger slices. Mix well.
  • Add in the chicken pieces, and toss several times to coat. Cover and marinate for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
  • Set aside a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add 2 inches (5cm) of oil. Heat the oil to 350˚F (177˚C). You can also use a deep fryer.
  • Use kitchen tongs to take the chicken pieces from the batter and add to the oil carefully. Fry the chicken for 3-5 minutes until browned and crispy. (Don’t overcrowd the pot and fry in batches if needed.)***
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken to a prepared plate.
  • Add oil in a wok/pan with medium heat.
  • Fry Szechuan peppercorns and dried red chilies in hot oil. Fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add in garlic and ginger, stir fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add in the cooked chicken, salt, sugar and green onions.
  • Toss until combined and remove from heat.
  • Serve with rice or noodles and enjoy!



  • *If you're unable to get Szechuan peppercorns, substitute coriander seeds and black peppercorn (1:1 ratio between the two).
  • ** You need to cut dried red chili peppers into halves to bring out the heat. It’s best to remove the seeds too. If you don’t have any, substitute crushed chili flakes.
  • ***After you add the chicken, the oil temperature will drop. Make sure to keep the oil temperature above 300˚F. (Make sure your chicken is at room temperature before adding it to the oil.)
  • This recipe yields medium level spiciness. You can dial down the heat by adding less red chili peppers for people who prefer milder flavors. Add more if you want an extra hot dish.
  • Avoid biting into whole Szechuan peppercorns as they’re for flavoring only!
  • If you wish to add vegetables and peanuts, you can sauté them along with the garlic and ginger.
  • You can cook Szechuan chicken ahead of time and then reheat in a skillet or microwave for 3-4 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 621mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 710IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg