Szechuan chicken or Sichuan chicken got its name from the name of its province of origin – Sichuan. The province is located in the southwestern part of China and their cuisine is famous for its fiery and pungent flavours, colourful appearance and abundant usage of seasonings.
This dish is a perfect combination of spicy, savoury and sweet flavours, resulting from the copious serving of chillies, garlic and Szechuan peppercorn that gives the dish the characteristic numbing sensation and a unique aroma. To get the best texture, I used chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, they are more juicy and holds more flavour. It is then marinated and fried to crispy perfection before stir-frying with other ingredients.
- 600 g Boneless chicken thighs (cubed into bite size pieces)
- 1 Onion (diced)
- 2 inch Ginger (minced)
- 5 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 stalk Green onion (chopped)
- 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorn
- 15 Dry red chillies (deseeded & cut into small bits)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Soya sauce
- 1 tbsp Rice wine
- 1 tbsp Sesame oil
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the marinade
- 1 tbsp Light soya sauce
- 1 tbsp Dark soya sauce
- 1 tbsp Rice wine
- 1 tsp Sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp White pepper
- 3-4 tbsp Cornstarch
- Combine the marinade and chicken pieces, set it aside for 30 minutes.
- Toast the Szechuan peppercorns on low heat, in a pan until fragrant. Let it cool and grind to a powder using a pestle and mortar.
- Heat oil in a pan and fry the marinated chicken pieces in small batched until golden brown and crisp. Strain and place them on plate lined with paper towel.
- Heat oil in a wok, add in minced ginger and garlic, saute for a minute. Add in diced onions and dry red chillies. Stir fry for two minutes.
- Into a small bowl, pour in 2 tbsp soya sauce and rice wine, mix in half a teaspoon of sugar.
- Add the fried chicken pieces and pour in the sauce mixture.
- Then, add in the ground Szechuan peppercorns, green onions and salt to taste. Stir fry on high heat for few minutes and switch off the flame.