Hot and spicy Chinese chicken is one of the easiest, tastiest, and most delicious chicken recipes. With simple and easy tips, you can’t go wrong with this hot and spicy chicken. Not to mention, it tastes better than the takeout!
By making this recipe at home, you'll be able to enjoy a homemade meal that's even better than your favorite takeout place. Plus, you'll save time and money by avoiding the wait times and money.
I make quite often Chinese style take out recipes. When we are in the mood of eating spicy, I prefer making this super spicy Szechuan chicken. The the other side, I make this Chinese style garlic chicken, when we think of eating milder version.
How to make Hot and spicy Chinese chicken
This recipe is so simple that you don't need any special equipment other than a stove, a pan, and the ingredients, which include the sauces and chicken.
Chicken. When making this dish, you can choose between using chicken tenderloins, chicken breast, or chicken thighs, depending on your personal preference.
If you're using frozen chicken, it's important to thaw it to room temperature before cooking to ensure that it cooks evenly. Allow the chicken to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before getting on with this recipe.
Personally, I prefer buying organic chicken from a local butcher shop to ensure the quality of the meat.
Soy sauce. I have used light soy sauce. However, you can use dark soy sauce, far more depth of flavor, but make a note that dark soya sauce is slightly salty and add it according to your taste.
Chili garlic sauce. Chili garlic sauce adds depth and flavor to the recipe and is the only source of heat I used. This is good to substitute with store-bought bottled Hunan sauce or Szechuan sauce.
Rice wine vinegar. An Asian style ingredient that brings up all the flavors and adds a bit of acidity to this hot and spicy Chinese chicken. This is good to replace with another Asian ingredient called mirin.
Garlic. The star ingredient that brings all the warmth and comfort to this Chinese spicy chicken. A reliable source to boost the flavors and enhance the deliciousness of a dish.
Corn starch. Its thickness also provides a body and a glossy finish to the sauce.
Spring onion. Makes the dish pleasing to look at with its contrast color. On top of it, it adds up a complex flavor and nutrition to the dish.
How to make
Are you using frozen chicken? be sure to thaw it to room temperature before cooking.
When preparing the chicken for this dish, cut strips along the grain, which will make it look as if it's from a Chinese takeout.
In a mixing bowl, add chicken, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and cornstarch. And give a gentle stir and the sauces coat the chicken evenly.
Allow it to sit for about 10 to 20 minutes.
Next, place a pan over medium heat. Now add chicken and cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the edges turn crispy.
Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate. And set aside.
Make the sauce
Place the same pan over medium heat, add cooking oil and add minced garlic.
Sauté until garlic is fragment.
Reduce the heat to low. And stir in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili garlic sauce, corn starch, and water.
Stir continuously, until the sauce thickens.
The sauce thickens quickly(within a minute), hence make sure the heat is set to low.
Now add the cooked chicken to the sauce. And toss until the sauce coats the chicken pieces well.
Sprinkle chopped spring onion, and ENJOY!!
How to serve
Steamed rice. Rice is the perfect complement to this hot and spicy Chinese chicken, as it balances out the heat. It's an unbeatable combination.
Vegetables. Serving this chicken with stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, snow peas, or bokchoy makes for an awesome dish. Roasted vegetables also work well with this recipe.
Soup. A clear Chinese-style soup such as tomato soup, Tom Yum soup, hibachi soup, makes the dinner a delicious one.
Dumplings/wontons. Popular Chinese appetizers like dumplings or wontons are fabulous side dishes that the whole family will enjoy.
Fried rice. Fried rice is a classic and perfect pairing for spicy chicken.
Noodles. You can also serve this hot and spicy Chinese chicken with noodles, such as chow-mein, lo-mein, udon or ramen, for a heartier meal.
The store. Store this hot and spicy Chinese chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator to use up for 4 days.
To freeze. Place the hot and spicy Chinese chicken in a freezer-safe bag or a sealed container, and store it in the freezer for up to two months.
To thaw. You can either leave this spicy chicken in the refrigerator overnight to thaw, or gently microwave it in 30-second intervals until it's heated through.
Frequently asked questions
The chili garlic sauce is the primary source of heat in this recipe, and you can adjust the quantity according to your personal preference. If you find the dish too spicy, you can reduce the amount of chili garlic sauce or use a milder hot sauce.
If you still find it hot, you may serve the dish with steamed rice, steamed vegetables, or creamy sauces like ranch. These will help to neutralize the spiciness and balance out the heat.
If you want to increase the heat in the hot and spicy Chinese chicken recipe, you can add more chili garlic sauce or use hotter peppers. Authentic Chinese Szechuan peppercorns can also be used to add more spice to the dish. Hot sauces like Sriracha or bottled sauces like Sichuan sauce or chili oil can instantly spice up the heat.
Yes, you can definitely add vegetables to the hot and spicy Chinese chicken recipe. Vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, snow peas, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, and onion are all great options to consider. You can add stir fried or steamed vegetables along with chicken to the sauce.
You can absolutely make this recipe vegan by swapping the chicken with the tofu. You can use firm tofu, cut it into cubes, and follow the same steps in the recipe.
To make the hot and spicy Chinese chicken recipe keto-friendly, you can replace the cornstarch with a low-carb thickener or you can skip using the cornstarch altogether. Additionally, serving the dish with low-carb vegetables instead of rice or noodles is a great way to reduce the carb count of the meal.
Recommended tools for making this recipe
Wok. This spreads heat evenly and makes sure your chicken is cooked perfectly. Plus, it's the authentic way to prepare this dish!
Sharp Knife. This is needed to cut your chicken into uniform pieces for even cooking.
Tongs. These will help you stir and flip your chicken pieces ensuring they are well cooked and evenly coated.
Printable recipe card
Hot and spicy Chinese chicken
For the chicken
- Cut the chicken into slices along its grain.
- In a mixing bowl, add chicken, one tablespoon of cornstarch, one teaspoon of rice wine vinegar, one tablespoon of soy sauce.
- Mix until chicken stirps coated well with other ingredients. And set aside.
Make the sauce
- In a small mixing bowl, add corn starch, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and water.
- And stir until it turns into a smooth consistency. And set aside.
Cook the chicken
- Over medium heat, place a pan, and add marinated chicken.
- Toss until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
- Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Make the spicy chicken
- To the same pan, add one tablespoon of vegetable oil and minced garlic.
- Saute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Turn the heat low and add the prepared sauce.
- Stir continuously until the sauce turns glossy and slightly thicker consistency.
- Now stir in cooked chicken and toss until the sauce coats evenly to the chicken.
- Sprinkle chopped green onion, and remove from the heat.