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a complete guide on the differences between Hunan Chicken and Szechuan Chicken. It will help you to understand all the differences so that you can order or make the right dish that you’ll enjoy!
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5 from 2 votes

How to Make Hunan Chicken and Szechuan Chicken

Learn how to make spicy Hunan Chicken and Szechuan Chicken with this step-by-step guide.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: hunan chicken, szechuan chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Cindy


Hunan Chicken:

  • 1 pound chicken breasts boneless/skinless, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce divided
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • 2 teaspoons spicy doubanjiang chili bean paste
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 carrot sliced

Szechuan Chicken:

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs boneless and skinless, cut to 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 stalks green onions chopped and divided
  • 3 slices ginger
  • Vegetable oil as needed for frying and stir-frying
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns whole
  • 15 dried red chili peppers cut into halves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


Hunan Chicken:

  • In a medium bowl, mix rice vinegar, cornstarch and soy sauce (1 tablespoon each). Then add egg white and mix well.
  • Add the sliced chicken and toss several times to coat. Cover and marinate for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  • In a medium bowl, add the remaining vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch together with chicken broth, oyster sauce, and sugar. Whisk until the cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
  • Place a wok or large pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil.
  • When hot, add the marinated chicken and fry for 3-4 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Lower the heat to medium. In the same wok/pan, add remaining oil. Stir in garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add broccoli, carrots, and red bell pepper. Stir fry for about 3 minutes until barely tender.
  • Give the prepared sauce a quick stir and pour into the pan.
  • Add back the par-cooked chicken and bring the sauce to a boil while stirring.
  • Stir fry until the chicken is evenly coated and the sauce has thickened (about 2-3 minutes) and serve immediately with rice.

Szechuan Chicken:

  • In a medium bowl, add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch, 1 stalk of 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.
  • Set aside a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in about 2-inch (5cm) oil.
  • When the oil is heated to about 350˚F (177˚C), use kitchen tongs to take the chicken pieces from the batter and add to the oil. Fry the chicken for about 3-5 minutes until browned and crispy. (Don’t overcrowd the pot. Fry in batches if needed.)
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken to a prepared plate.
  • Add oil in a wok/pan with medium heat.
  • Toast Szechuan peppercorn and dried red chilies in hot oil. Fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add in garlic, ginger and the remaining green onions. Stir fry for about 1 minute.
  • Add in the cooked chicken, salt and sugar.
  • Toss until combined and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with optional green onions or sesame seeds. Serve with rice or noodles and enjoy! (avoid biting into whole Szechuan peppercorn as they are for flavoring only)


  • Both recipes yield medium level spiciness. You can adjust the heat to suit by adding more or less spicy ingredients.
  • These dishes can be cooked ahead of time and reheated in a skillet or microwave for 3-4 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.