Posted in Beijing, Cooking

Sichuan Spicy Chicken (辣子鸡丁)

One of the most loved dishes by foreigners is the Sichuan Spicy Chicken or La Zi Ji.  A typical dish would have either chicken cubes with bones or boneless.  The difference between the two is the flavor as the one with bones will taste much better than pure chicken meat.  However, even though it’s flavorful, it’s more difficult to appreciate if you have to remove the bones once in awhile while eating it.
So with nothing to do during Valentines Day, I grabbed the chance to learn how to cook this dish from Hutong Cuisine.  It was quite a learning experience for a non-chef like me.  The teaching method was perfect for newbies and in the end, I can’t believe that I was able to prepare such dish by myself.

Sichuan Spicy Chicken

  • 150g Chicken Breast fillet
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Ginger, same amount as garlic
  • 1 strand of Spring Onion (white portion only)
  • A handful of dry chillies
  • 2 tsp Sichuan Pepper
  • 1 tsp Chili paste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 beaten egg
  • 2 tbsp corn starch

Ingredient preparation:

  • Dry chilies:  cut into sections and remove seeds by moving the chilies left to right using a cleaver.
  • Spring onion:  cut into 1.5cm sections the white portion
  • Garlic:  slice into thumbnail sizes.
  • Ginger:  slice into thumbnail sizes in similar amount as garlic
  • Chicken:  cut into 1.5cm cubes.  Create a light crisscross pattern on one side of the meat to retain marinade and coating.

Cooking instructions:
1.  Put chicken in a bowl and mix in the marinade mixture of 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp rice wine and 1 tsp light soy sauce.  Let the mixture seep in the chicken for 15 minutes.

2.  Add 2 tsp of coating (1/2 beaten egg and 2 tbsp corn starch) into the chicken and mix well.
3.  Put 3 tbsp cornstarch in a container (ziploc bag or tupperware), put chicken inside, seal and shake it well.  Make sure that the chicken is well coated before putting it on a plate.  Let the coated chicken stand for 15 minutes until the cornstarch turns wet.

4.  In a wok, pour enough oil to cover all the chicken over middle flame.  When the oil starts to warm, add the chicken inside and deep fry for 3 minutes.  (Note:  To check if oil is warm, dip a portion of the chopstick or fork with some starch in the oil.  If the portion with starch, bubbles continuously, the oil is ready for deep fry).

5.  After deep frying for 3 minutes, remove the chicken from the oil and turn to high flame.  When the oil starts to smoke, put the chicken back in the oil and deep fry till it changes to golden brown color.
6.  Take out the chicken, remove excess oil and put it in a plate.
7.  In another wok, put half a small bowl of oil in the wok over low flame, add ginger, garlic and spring onion.  Cook till slightly burn.
8.  Add chili bean paste, stir, add sichuan pepper, stir for 1 minute, add dry chili, stir till chili turns slightly brown in color.

9.  Add chicken and sugar.  Continuous stir-frying is required for a few minutes.

Enjoy!  I guarantee you it’s good!  Now I need to re-create it without the teacher hovering beside me.