Sichuan Chicken with Peppercorns and Chile Recipe

Dried red chilis and whole Sichuan peppercorns give this chicken a warm and tingling heat.


This chicken dish is something you'll find at Sichuan restaurants. It's crisp, slightly spicy, and you'll immediately wish you had the recipe and could make it at home. Well, you do, and you can. The trick is quickly dunking the cornstarch-coated chicken cubes in a wok of bubbling oil, to build up a crust before stir-frying all of the ingredients together. The result is a plate of glistening chilis and compelling crisp chicken pieces.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins

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  • 3 chicken thighs, skin-on, about 12 ounces
  • For the marinade:
  • 1/2 teapoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • To stir-fry:
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 inch chunk of ginger, thinly sliced
  • About 10 dried red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch squares


  1. Cut the chicken 1/2 cubes. Mix with the marinade ingredients and set aside.

  2. Heat wok over high heat. Add 1/3 cup oil and place all of the chicken into the oil, stirring gently to fry the meat. Cook until chicken is lightly browned, then remove the chicken from the oil and set aside. Pour off a few tablespoons of the oil; leave about 3 tablespoons left in the wok.

  3. Heat the wok over high heat until it's almost smoking. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the chillies and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry for a few seconds until they are fragrant, taking care not to burn them.

  4. Add the green bell peppers to the wok and stir-fry until they are tender-crisp.

  5. Add the chicken back to the wok and continue to stir-fry for 30 seconds, until the ingredients are well-combined. Serve immediately.

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