Pic of Stir-fried chilli chicken with szechuan pepper

Stir-fried chilli chicken with szechuan pepper

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Stir-fried chilli chicken with szechuan pepper

Main Serves 4 20 min
This hot and sharp chicken dish makes a good dinner with a pile of rice. Szechuan peppercorns or 'flower peppers' are not peppers at all, but berries from a shrub belonging to the citrus family. Their taste, which is sharp rather than hot, is best brought out by dry-frying them over a medium heat for a few minutes until slightly browned. Remove from the heat then grind with a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder, then keep in an air tight container.

Cook's notes

Szechuan dishes are typically fragrant and spicy - this is no exception. Serve with boiled rice.


  • 450g skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry or rice wine
  • 3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 225g mild green piquant peppers or chillies, sliced lengthways and seeds removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp szechuan peppercorns, roasted and crushed
  • 2 tsp brown sugar


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 min
  • Step 1

    Cut the breast meat into thin slices and marinate in the light soy, sesame oil and sherry.
  • Step 2

    Heat a wok or frying pan, add the groundnut oil and fry off the chicken slices (reserving the marinade) for a minute or so then remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Step 3

    When hot again add the chillies, garlic and szechuan pepper to the oil and stir fry for a minute then add a splash of water, the soy, sherry marinade from the chicken, and sugar.
  • Step 4

    Cook for a further minute then return the chicken to the pan and heat through (if you sliced it as thin as you should it will be cooked through). Serve over boiled rice.