Chongqing chilli chicken

Jill Dupleix
Chongqing chilli chicken.
Chongqing chilli chicken. Photo: Marina Oliphant

The spicy chicken is buried under a heaped pile of dried chillies that are there to flavour the chicken, not to be eaten.


400g boned chicken thighs or breast

1 tsp five-spice powder

1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely sliced

1 tbsp Chinese rice wine

1 tbsp soy sauce

½ tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

1-2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

100ml vegetable oil

1 cup small dried Sichuan chillies

3 spring onions, cut into 5cm lengths

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 tsp sesame seeds


Rinse the chicken, pat dry and cut into three-centimetre cubes. Mix with the five-spice, ginger, rice wine, soy, salt and sugar and set aside for 30 minutes.

Dry-fry the Sichuan peppercorns until toasty, then crush to a powder and set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot. Add the chicken (with marinade) in batches, frying each batch for about three minutes over high heat until cooked through and golden. Set aside to drain.

Transfer two tablespoons of the oil to a wok. When hot, add the chillies and fry for about 10 seconds to infuse the oil, tossing well, taking care not to let them burn. Add the chicken, green onions and one teaspoon of ground Sichuan peppercorns (add more for the brave), tossing well until coated. Scatter with sesame seeds and serve.