This is one of the most famous recipes coming from Sichuan Province. Our recipe is true to tradition, and nearly unaltered version of “辣子雞丁 Làzǐ jī dīng”. Be wary though, it’s hot, but so full of flavour. As it’s rapidly stir fried in a wok, lots of hot tianjin chillies are needed to create the heat, colour and aroma of the dish. A little bit of sugar is needed to offset the intense heat and create a better balance of flavours. We’ve also opened to use Pink Himalayan Salt as opposed to traditional sea salt for a little extra sour flavour and aroma. You may of course use ordinary salt.
Recipe: Sichuan style spicy chicken
- 400g skinless chicken cut into small, pieces
- 1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp. Chinese light soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 10g pink himalayan salt
- 4 tbsp. cooking oil
- More cooking oil for deep frying
- 4 chopped garlic cloves (or substitute for 5g garlic granules)
- 1 tbsp. freshly chopped ginger (or substitute for 5g ginger powder)
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- At least 3 cups (100 grams) dried Tianjin red chilies
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 scallions chopped, use only the green part
- Optional: 2 tbsp. chilli flakes.
- Marinate chicken in Shaoxing wine and soy sauce for about 20-30 min.
- Mix potato starch, Sichuan peppercorns and salt in a large sealable bag. Add the chicken into the bag, leaving any accumulated juices behind. Shake the chicken in the mixture until they are lightly coated.
- Heat wok on high heat until it starts to smoke and add enough oil to deep-fry the chicken. When oil is hot, add the chicken and reduce heat to medium;
- Keep turning the chicken every 10-20 seconds to get each side crisp. When the chicken appears to be cooked, it should look crispy on all sides. Then remove them from the oil.
- Pour out the oil, clean the pan and return to heat. When wok starts to smoke again, add the 4 tablespoons oil. Heat briefly on medium heat, then add the minced garlic and minced ginger and cook until softened. This should take around 10-15 seconds on the high heat of the wok. Stir the ginger and the garlic as you don’t want it to turn brown.
- Add the chicken again, then add the chilli flakes (only if you really like it HOT) and sesame seeds. Add the whole Tianjin chilli peppers and Sichuan peppercorns. Stir until the spices released their flavour and then add in the sugar.
- Finally toss in the chopped scallions, and stir-fry for another few seconds, just enough to mix the scallion with rest of the ingredients.
- Remove from heat and serve piping hot with a bowl of steamed rice.
photo: Moni Antonova