This saucy Schezwan Chicken is SPICY and the perfect comfort food to pair with fried rice or chowmein. It’s part of the Sichuan cuisine, (aka Szechwan or Szechuan) which is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan Province. It has bold spicy flavors that come from garlic, chilies and Sichuan peppers.
But no matter how you spell it, its spicy and delicious, which is all that matters honestly! And also comes together in less than 30 mins! win win! I love making this saucy Chicken alongside with some dry Chinese sides like dragon chicken or good old Dynamite Shrimps and a hearty Asian salad, when I feel like cooking a feast for the family. This recipe is spicier than its more humble competition, the chicken shashlik dry.
How to make Saucy Schezwan Chicken
1. Start with the Curry base
First step is to create a nice aromatic curry base. I used minced garlic, shallots and whole red chilies in oil to create this base.
- You can also use chili oil to further enhance that chili flavor in the curry.
- For the dried red chili you can use the round ones or long ones.
- And if you have some Sichuan peppercorns at hand, throw a few in. (but let’s be honest, we usually don’t)
I like to take the garlic and onions to a nice golden color before adding chicken. It just adds so much more depth in flavor. Make sure to turn the heat to a slightly higher temperature when the chicken is added.
2. Then add the Schezwan sauce.
This recipe requires Schezwan sauce as the name itself suggests. You can make the Schezwan sauce at home, or buy it at your local grocery store. Just make sure, the one you buy is made of chilies, garlic and Sichuan peppercorns.
3. Season the curry with other sauces and spices.
I added all the sauces, sugar and salt, and kept sauteing the chicken in it. The last addition was of ketchup. Again, I like to use ketchup because of it underlying sweet flavor. But you can substitute with tomato paste as well.
4. Adding bell pepper and corn-flour
Next comes red bell peppers. I personally prefer using the red ones because of how they taste (slightly sweet than green). They compliment the dish perfectly, taste wise and color wise. But you can of course substitute with any bell pepper you have at hand or skip it altogether.
After stir frying the bell peppers for 2 mins, add water and cornflour and let it simmer till the corn flour cooks. And viola! Garnish with white or black sesame seeds. Serve it with fried rice or Chow mein.
Alternates, Fixes and Remixes
- You can make the same recipe with beef steak strips, and boneless fish as well.
- If you are somebody who likes to have vegetarian days in the week, you can use cauliflower to make a vegetarian Schezwan recreation.
- This recipe definitely is on the spicier side, if its turns out too spicy for you, just add a tbsp of brown sugar and ketchup to balance the spice out.
- Feel free to add more veggies like square cut onions, or carrots etc.
Saucy Shezwan Chicken
- 500 gm boneless chicken cut in 1 inch cubes
- 1/3 cup of Shezwan sauce
- 1/4 cup chili oil or any oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 5 to 6 whole red chilies round or long
- 3 shallots finely chopped or 1/2 cup onions
- 2 tbsp of Hoisin Sauce
- 1 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 cup of square cut red bell peppers
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp of corn flour
- In a wok, add oil, chopped garlic, shallots and whole red chilies. Saute at medium flame till they turn golden brown.
- Add in boneless chicken and toss it around for 2 mins.
- Add in the schezwan sauce, salt, sugar, oyster sauce, vinegar, ketchup and hoisin sauce. Saute for 3 to 4 mins or until the chicken loses its pink color.
- Add in the bell peppers and saute for another 2 mins.
- Pour in a cup of water mixed with corn flour.
- Let the chicken simmer for another 5 mins or until the the gravy thickens.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds and serve with fried rice or chow mein noodles.
Recipe for Schezwan Sauce
- 1 cup of whole dried red chilies
- 1 whole garlic pod, peeled and all the cloves finely chopped
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- Soak whole red chilies in boiling hot water. Let it sit till the water comes down to room temperature.
- Grind the red chilies in food process to make a paste.
- In a pan, add oil and chopped garlic at medium flame.
- When the garlic turns golden brown, add the chili paste and water.
- Add all the other ingredients and let it cook for 2 to 3 mins.
- Turn of the flame and fill it up in a jar.