Updated: Nov 25, 2021
A popular Indian-Chinese small plates / appetiser recipe. Fresh, hot, mildly sweet, crispy, juicy chicken… Schezwan chicken ticks all the boxes for not just a quick and easy party snack but also an effortless meal by itself, when served with steamed rice.
This is a simple no-fuss recipe of Schezwan Chicken using readily available ingredients and can be prepared literally within 15-20 minutes.
The Schezwan sauce that is used in this recipe of Schezwan chicken already has most of the ingredients that you would add to the recipe: Chinese five spice powder, ginger, garlic, vinegar, chillies… so that’s a lot of work reduced for cooking time!
Though the restaurant version of Schezwan chicken calls for the addition of cornflour slurry at the end to make a thick sauce, I prefer to not use cornflour slurry to finish my recipe of Schezwan chicken, as I like the fried chicken pieces to be crisp till the last bite.
If you like, substitute chicken for meat or protein of your choice and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
You could easily make this recipe of schezwan chicken vegetarian or vegan by using paneer, tofu, soya chunks, cauliflower or just loads of veggies too, in which case your cooking time is still 15 minutes!
The use of rice flour or cornflour (corn starch) for coating the chicken pieces, makes this recipe of schezwan chicken naturally gluten free.
Here are a few more Indian small plates / appetisers recipes for you to try.
Batter-fried stuffed mushrooms
Take your pick from this selection of Indian Condiments to serve up with your small plates.
Oh! And these homemade Indian beverage recipes too!
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Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10-12 minutes
Ingredients to make Schezwan Chicken
500 gms chicken, cut in to bite size pieces, preferably boneless
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste
4 tbsp cornflour or rice flour
Cooking oil for frying
2 onions, medium size - diced and layers separated
2 capsicums, medium size – diced
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp schezwan sauce
1 tsp sesame seeds (garnish)
Method of making Schezwan Chicken
Marinate the chicken with salt and half of the quantities of red chilli powder and black pepper powder. Leave the chicken to marinate for about 30 minutes or a few hours, if possible.
Whisk the egg in a bowl and keep it aside. Keep rice flour / cornflour ready in a separate bowl, seasoned with salt, black pepper powder and red chilli powder.
When ready to fry, drain any excess water from the marinated chicken. One by one, dip the chicken pieces in egg and then coat with cornflour / rice flour.
* rice flour adds a nice crunch to the fried chicken. Highly recommended!
All the cooking for this recipe of Schezwan Chicken is done on high heat.
Heat enough cooking oil in a pan to shallow fry the chicken pieces for 4-5 minutes or until cooked. Boneless chicken cooks quicker than chicken on the bone.
Remember to let the chicken fry on one side first, without stirring at all for the first couple of minutes. This will seal the chicken juices in and will give you super juicy fried chicken.
Avoid overcooking the chicken or pressing it down while frying, as that will cook out all of its juices, giving you dry and not-so-juicy chicken.
Drain the chicken once cooked and keep aside, covered.
Carefully remove the cooking oil from the pan, leaving about 1 tbsp. Add diced onions and capsicum and stir fry for a minute. Add soy sauce, stir well and cook for less than a minute.
Finally, add fried chicken and schezwan sauce – give it a good mix and cook for another minute. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.
The onions and capsicum should be firm and the fried chicken still crisp, so avoid over cooking Schezwan Chicken in the sauces.
Note: we do not need to add salt to the diced onions and capsicum as there is enough salt in the sauces.
Sprinkle sesame seeds and serve schezwan chicken hot as an appetiser / party snack. The flavours of schezwan chicken go really well with steamed rice. You could serve this recipe of schezwan chicken with fried rice or hakka noodles as well.
Do take a look at the other small plates / appetisers and quick meals recipes
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