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Classic Cookbooks

Sze Chuen jar Gai
Fried Chicken, Szechwan Style
(adapted from
The Complete Asian Cookbook, by Charlene Solomon)


1 Lb Boneless Chicken Breasts

4Tbs cornflour (use cornstarch)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder

1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tsp sugar
1 Tb light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp Chinese wine or sherry (I've been using Japanese cooking wine)
extra 1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp cornflour
1 Tb cold water

1/2 cup oil for frying (peanut oil best)

15 dried red chilies, seeded (I use 3-6)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

4 spring onions, cut in 2 inch lenghts


cut chicken into bite size pieces. 

mix together the cornflour, 5 spice and salt

toss chicken in cornflour mixture

mix together: stock, sugar, soy, sesame oil, vinegar, wine, 5 spice and pepper

(if desired, mix the cornflour and cold water. this is used later to thicken the dish, but I don't usually find this step necessary)

heat oil in wok, and when very hot, add chicken pieces, 1/3 at a time and fry on high heat, tossing the chicken to brown all over (stir-fry, get it? :-)

Drain each batch on absorbent paper, and let oil get hot again before adding next batch.

When chicken is done, drain all but 2 Tb oil (or add if necessary to this level) and fry chilies, garlic and ginger until garlic and ginger are golden and chilies turn dark.  add spring onions and toss for few seconds (or more if desired), then add stock mixture and bring to a boil.  add cornstarch/water mixture at this point if desired, and bring back to boil.  Add chicken and toss to heat through.   Serve immediately with white rice.  brocolli is a good veggie side dish.


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