schezwan chicken

Schezwan Chicken

By Swasthi on July 16, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Make Schezwan Chicken easily at home with my time-tested recipe that’ll give you the real deal Chinese restaurant style taste & kick! A super simple recipe with tender, juicy and crisp chicken, a sweet and hot sauce with plenty of red chilies and green onions. Serve this as an appetizer or as a side with Noodles or Fried rice.


schezwan chicken

Sichuan is the name of a province in China. It is also spelled as Szechuan or Szechwan in different regions of the world. Sichuan cuisine is well known and loved for its bold flavors which comes from the generous use of garlic, red chilies and Sichuan peppercorn.

Originally foods from Sichuan cuisine are hot, spicy, pungent & sweet. Most Chinese restaurants serve foods that are toned down to suit the local palate.

About Schezwan Chicken

Schezwan Chicken also known as Szechuan chicken or Sichuan chicken is a Chinese style chicken appetizer popular on the Chinese restaurant menus & takeaways. Schezwan chicken is crisp fried chicken tossed in a spicy, sour, hot & tongue tickling Sichuan sauce.

We love dipping our chicken appetizers in Schezwan sauce. In fact that’s our favorite way to enjoy both the sauce and the chicken as well. This dish takes your fried chicken to the next level because it’s tossed in a wok at a high heat with all of those magical sauces and aromatics.

The resulting dish is super flavorful and delicious!

I have also included lots of tips & substitutes for the ingredients. The recipe does not turn out to be very hot or spicy and it is basically my toned down version. For a spicier version you can simply triple the amount of red chilies and paste in the recipe.

This recipe is roughly adapted from the variations I have tasted over the years in many Chinese restaurants.

More Chicken Recipes
Chilli Chicken
Chicken Manchurian
Chicken Lollipop

Chicken Biryani

schezwan chicken recipe

How to Make Schezwan Chicken (Stepwise Photos)

Fry Chicken

1. Add the chicken to a bowl along with soya sauce, salt, pepper powder and flour. Next add eff white only as needed and coat the chicken well. You can alternately skip egg and brine the chicken overnight following my tip in the recipe notes above.

For spicier chicken you can also add little chilli paste like I did here.

marinated chicken

2. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a small pan. When the oil is hot enough, regulate the flame to medium. Then slide chicken pieces one after the other and fry them in batches. When the chicken turns golden & crisp, remove them to a steel colander.

Tip: Do not crowd the pan by adding a lot of chicken to the pan while frying. Do not over fry as they tend to turn hard.

Alternately you can also grill the chicken in oven by placing on a wired rack. More details in the recipe notes.

frying chicken for sichuan chicken recipe

Make Schezwan Chicken

3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Alternately remove the oil you used for deep frying to a small bowl. Turn off the stove for a minute and bring down the temperature of the oil slightly.

4. Add the red chilies and fry for 30 seconds or until it turns crisp. Then add ginger and garlic. Saute for 1 minute.

frying red chilies

5. Then saute the spring onions for a minute on a high flame. Next add the sichuan peppercorn (ground for intense flavor, whole for milder flavor). Saute for 30 seconds.

6. Then pour soya sauce.

pouring soya sauce for szechuan chicken

7. Next add red chilli paste or fermented chilli bean paste, vinegar, salt and sugar.

adding red chilli paste for szechuan chicken

8. Saute for a minute and then pour 3 to 4 tbsps water or oil.

pouring water to bring the sauce to consistency

9. Mix and let the sauces bubble. The sauce will thicken slightly. Taste the sauce and add more chili paste, sugar etc to suit your taste. Ensure the sauce is tasting like you want it, then proceed further. You can also add more water if the sauce turns too thick.

bubbling sauce in the pan

10. Add fried chicken and toss well in the sauce for 1 minute until the sauce coats the chicken well.

szechuan chicken in spicy and hot sauce

11. Then add ground pepper (powder) and green onions.

garnishing szechuan chicken with spring onions

Serve szechuan chicken hot as a appetizer or side with fried rice or noodles. It is best served hot asthe crisp fried chicken begin to soften when it cools down.

szechuan chicken sichuan chicken

Tips & substitutes

Sauce: This recipe needs Szechuan sauce or Schezwan sauce. You can easily make it following my instructions below or buy it from a store. If using store bought do choose one that has Sichuan peppercorn, red chilies and garlic as the key ingredients since they are the flavour enhancers here.

Sichuan peppercorn is the star ingredient of the Sichuan chicken recipe. These tiny little peppercorn have a citrusy aroma with a tongue numbing & tickling sensation. I have shared a picture below. In case you prefer to make your own sauce like me then look out for these online.

sichuan peppercorn

If you are not accessible to Sichuan pepper corn then simply substitute with ground pepper. The dish will still turn out great but you will miss the most important flavors of Sichuan food.

Chicken: We love the crisp fried chicken in the Sichuan sauce so I either deep fry or grill it. The grilled version is healthier but the chicken does not crisp up like the fried version. You can also fry the chicken in a air fryer if you have.

If you are into healthy eating you may pan fry but it will surely not turn the way I have shown in the pictures.

Optional ingredient: Fermented bean paste known as Doubanjiang is another ingredient that is used in the authentic Sichuan cuisine. This is an optional ingredient and you can use it if you like it.

Alternately you can also use fermented chilli bean paste to make the sauce & skip the red chili paste I mentioned below.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

szechuan chicken sichuan chicken

Schezwan Chicken

Schezwan chicken is a popular Chinese dish made by tossing crisp chicken in moderately hot, spicy, sweet and flavorful Sichuan sauce. This dish is moderately hot and not too spicy. For more heat, triple the red chilies and paste in the recipe.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings3
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

For chicken

  • 250 grams chicken or ½ lb cubed boneless
  • 1 egg white (refer notes on brine)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soya sauce (chose naturally brewed)
  • 3 tablespoon Corn starch or (white corn flour)
  • ¼ cup oil or as needed for frying or grilling

other ingredients or use bottled sichuan sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or any
  • 2 to 4 dried red chilies (refer notes)
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn ground (refer notes)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger chopped
  • 2 to 3 sprigs spring onions or scallions (greens & whites separated)
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce (naturally brewed)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon red chilli paste or 1 tablespoon chilli powder or 15 red chilies (notes)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground pepper or pepper powder

Instructions

Preparation

  • Make the red chilli paste by mixing red chilli powder with 2 tbsps water. Or Soak red chilies in hot water for 30 mins and drain. Blend them with little water to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl add chicken, salt, pepper, soya sauce & flour.
  • Add egg white & mix everything well until the chicken is well coated. (refer picture below).
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
  • When the oil is medium hot, gently slide the chicken pieces one after the other. (fry them in batches)
  • Fry them on a medium high flame until crisp and golden. Remove to a plate.

How to make Schezwan Chicken

  • Turn off the stove & remove the oil to a small bowl, retaining 1 tbsp in the pan.
  • Cool down the oil a bit and then fry the red chilies until crisp without burning.
  • Add the ginger garlic. Saute them on a high flame for 30 seconds.
  • Then add the spring onions whites & fry for 1 min.
  • Add the ground sichuan peppercorns & saute until aromatic for 30 seconds.
  • Next add red chili paste, soya sauce, sugar, vinegar and very little salt. Stir well.
  • Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons water or oil and allow the sauce to bubble & thicken slightly.
  • Taste the sauce and add more chilli paste, sichuan peppercorns, sugar, salt, vinegar etc to suit your taste.
  • Stir in the fried chicken and toss on the highest flame for 1 minute until the sichuan sauce coats the chicken well.
  • Sprinkle ground pepper and spring onion greens.
  • Garnish schezwan chicken with more spring onion greens. Serve hot with noodles or fried rice or as a appetizer.

Notes

  1. Dried red chilies: You can use as many as you wish. These add a smoky hot flavor to the dish.
  2. Sichuan peppercorn give a characteristic unique flavor to the Szechuan chicken. But if you don’t have just replace it with coarsely crushed pepper. But you will miss the citrusy flavor, tongue numbing & tongue tickling sensation in the dish. 
  3. Red chilli powder or paste : If using red chilli powder, mix it with 2 tbsps of water and make a paste. OR You can use plain store bought red chilli paste or fermented chilli bean paste. Alternately you can soak 12 to 15 red chilies in little hot water for 30 minutes & then blend them to a smooth paste with 2 to 3 tbsps water. 
  4. Overall the dish is not spicy and my kids could eat it. But the heat level depends on the kind of chili paste and sichuan peppercorns used. 
  5. Grilling chicken here works best with overnight brining and skipping the egg.
 
Substitute: You can simply skip using sichuan peppercorns, red chilli paste & red chilies in the recipe and use store bought sichuan sauce. But make sure you use the sauce that has sichuan peppercorns, garlic and red chilies as the main ingredients.
Brine: For the Chinese restaurant style crisp chicken that is soft and succulent inside, brine the chicken overnight in the fridge. Simply stir in 4 tbsps yogurt with 3/4 cup water and rest the chicken in it overnight. Drain and use the next morning. You can skip egg if you brine.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Schezwan Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 476 Calories from Fat 333
% Daily Value*
Fat 37g57%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 63mg21%
Sodium 1174mg51%
Potassium 403mg12%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 1668IU33%
Vitamin C 46mg56%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Schezwan Chicken

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.

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Recipe Rating




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5 stars
This was a great recipe! First time I’ve made Szechuan chicken. I would definitely recommend using the fermented soy bean/chili paste. It had an amazing flavor. I had ordered some extra numbing Szechuan peppercorns online a while ago, and finally got to use them. Left my mouth feeling pretty numb. Thank you for the recipe!

5 stars
Hi swathi
I tried many of your recipes.everything turned out good.now I had store bought schezwan sauce.how much can I use in this recipe?

From where can you buy Sichuan peppercorn in India as most online stores do not deliver in india??

4 stars
Nice. But terrible idea to fry flour and egg in a wok, should be done in deep fat fryer.

u r just awesome

What do you mean by pepper powder?

Just regular black pepper powder or some type of chili pepper powder?

It is good that
you details every small things

I like the way you details every small things

5 stars
Chilli was not introduced to China or India until 16th century from S. America due to Columbus.
So in terms of world cuisine ..what used to spice Chinese and Indian dishes..probably peppercorn/ nutmeg and cumin

5 stars
Are you not suppose to remove the Szechuan Peppercorns, or at least grind them? Most recipes call for them to be ground or discarded after infusing them? Thanks! Planning to try this soon.

I made this with the peppercorns whole and made again with them ground. Very good both ways but I really like the peppercorns so I really loved it more ground up.

5 stars
tried it today for the first time. didnt have szechuan chilli or red chill paste. i used sriracha sauce. it was still awesome . i didnt deep fry the chicken.
thank for such a simple yet awesome recipe.

5 stars
I made this with tofu instead of chicken. Wow! A hundred times better than anything I’ve ever had from a takeaway or restaurant. Will definitely be making this again. Thank you for the recipe.

5 stars
How many bell peppers ? ..its not in recipe

5 stars
Very nice

pls post cough drop recipe dea..

5 stars
mouth watering flavours… nice recipes

5 stars
Tastes divine… love it like anything.. i have tried many chicken recipe but it had came out very well…

5 stars
Very nice

I have made this recipe multiple times now and it’s amazing everytime. As someone who is new to cooking, it is very easy to make and tastes great everytime. However, I halve the amount of chilli stated in the recipe and even with halving the chicken remains very spicy. Apart from that it’s a wonderful dish!

5 stars
I made this today, turned out great! thanks for the recipe

4 stars
Dear Swasthi,

Tried the recipe of schezwan chicken came very good. I didn’t add water to get the peppers crispy, and also i added roasted peanuts which gave an additional taste.

Thanks for your recipe.

5 stars
Made this turned out simply awesome. Great job