Sharing my Favourite Sichuan Chicken Recipe from the School of Wok:
You may remember I went to the School of Wok for a day of Chinese cookery. I was particularly thrilled with the Sichuan Chicken recipe we made and wanted to share it with London Unattached readers, but not until I’d checked with the School they were happy for me to do so. This is one of those dishes that makes you question why you might ever want to order a takeaway. It’s VERY tasty – and despite the chilli and Sichuan peppercorns, not ridiculously hot. Of course, you could always add more!
There are a few tips that I learnt at the School that make this dish so perfect.
- Firstly, you REALLY need to prepare absolutely everything before you start to cook. Make the chicken marinade up and leave it for 30 minutes or so while you prepare the vegetables.
- Try to cut the vegetables into neat, regular shapes. We sliced the spring onions diagonally to make pretty shapes.
- Arrange the ingredients in the order you are planning to cook them. The best way to stir-fry is to add the ingredients depending on the length of time they take to cook. So, you will start by cooking onions and peppers and add the delicate spring onions and cashews right at the very end.
- Have the wok hotter than you would imagine is correct. We were told that a normal electric hob won’t get the wok hot enough, you need either gas or an induction hob. And a very lightweight wok is best so that it heats up quickly.
- Make sure you use a high burn point oil to stir-fry. NOT olive oil or sesame oil both of which are far too delicate and have too low a burn point. Sunflower oil or corn oil are both fine.
We DID all pay attention, honestly! And the end result was totally delicious.
A delicious and easy recipe for spicy Sichuan chicken cooked in a wok
- 200 g Chicken thigh
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper corns
- 1 Onion
- 1 Pepper
- 2 Spring Onions
- 100 g Cashew Nuts
- 1 Birdseye Chili
- 1 tablespoon Corn flour
- 2 tablespoons Light soy sauce
- 1 pinch Chinese 5 spice
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon Chilli bean paste / chilli paste
- 1 tablespoon Hoi sin sauce
- 1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Rice wine (1-2 capfuls)
- 1-2 tablespoon Vegetable oil for stir frying
- Cut the chicken into large slices and place in a medium size bowl
- Throw all the liquid marinade ingredients into the chicken and mix well. Sprinkle the cornflour over the mixture and massage into the mixture. Leave to marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Slice the onion and pepper and place in a prep bowl (or on a board or plate organised in the order you will be cooking)
- Finely chop the chili and garlic and place in a small prep bowl (or on a board or plate organised in the order you will be cooking)
- Finely slice the spring onions and place in a small prep bowl (or on a board or plate organised in the order you will be cooking)
- Heat some vegetable oil in the wok till smoking
- Add the onions and peppers and stirfry for about 2 minutes
- Push the vegetables to the side of the wok and add a little more vegetable oil. Once it is at a high heat again add the crushed peppercorns, garlic and chicken. Stirfry until the chicken is golden brown (a few minutes)
- Add the cashew nuts to the wok and stir fry for a further 2 minutes
- Now add the chilies along with all the Sauce ingredients to the wok. Continue to stir-fry on
a high heat. If the mixture is too dry add a little water
- Add a little sesame oil and garnish with the spring onions. Serve immediately.
So this is the recipe I learnt for Sichuan Chicken. We used chicken thigh meat because it doesn’t dry out as easily as chicken breast, but if you prefer you can use chicken breast.
If you want to learn more about the School of Wok pop over to their website and take a look at the courses. I think there really is something for everyone.
Meanwhile, if you are thinking of making this recipe at home, why not pin it for later. And, while you are here, check the recipe I learnt at the School of Wok for Masaman Roast Poussin.