Sichuan Hot Sweet and Sour Chicken




500g chicken diced into 2cm pieces
1/2 cup cornflour
300ml vegetable oil for shallow frying
1/2 cup spring onions sliced


2TB peanut oil
2TB ginger finely chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
4 birds eye chillis
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1TB Sichuan peppercorns
4TB chicken stock
2TB chilli oil
4TB white sugar
4TB Chianking or black vinegar
1TB dark soy
1TB light soy

This is not your typical sweet and sour from the local Chinese and not for the faint hearted!

It is very heavy on the chilli and pepper which has a wonderful numbing effect on your face...

This could be my favourite chicken dish from anywhere in the world. Enjoy!


Cut the chicken into 2cm squares, dust with the cornflour, and spread the pieces out on a tray to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside while you make the sauce.

In a heavy bottom pan dry roast the peppercorns and grind in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

In the same pan heat the peanut oil and fry the ginger, garlic and birds eye chillis until fragrant. Add the dried chilli and pepper and cook for around 30 seconds.

Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Add the chilli oil, sugar, vinegar, dark soy and light soy and simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Turn off pan.

In a large heavy bottom frypan heat 300ml vegetable oil almost to the point of the oil smoking and carefully place the chicken pieces into the pan.

Cook the chicken pieces for around 3-4 minutes on each side - or until crispy and golden. You will likely need to keep the pan on the highest setting throughout to maintain the heat.

Drain the chicken on paper towel, reheat your sauce if required, and toss the chicken through the sauce with the spring onions.

Serve with steamed rice and your favourite greens. Enjoy!

Chefs Tip: This dish could easily be made with pork fillet next time...