Spicy Hunan Chicken Recipe

Spicy Hunan Chicken Recipe is a classic Chinese stir fry dish made with tender pieces of chicken, bell pepper, carrot and broccoli tossed in a savory and SPICY ginger garlic sauce. Make this delicious restaurant favorite at home with the spice level that you can handle.

cast iron skillet with spicy hunan chicken along with a wooden spoon and a kitchen napkin wrapping the handle

Confined at home for the last year without any vacationing or dining out has been a real challenge for all of us. However, the only way we cope up is by making dishes from around the world that take our taste buds on a vacation (something is better than nothing, right?)!

Though not hugely popular like orange chicken, sesame chicken, sweet and sour chicken, this stir fry is more common in authentic menus and is perfect for a weeknight meal or even for entertaining. I will break down this chicken recipe and try to answer all your questions as well as offer some tips and tricks.  

The addition of dry red chili peppers might not be authentic, we loved the bold and complex addition. You can totally skip it, if desired.

Spicy Hunan Chicken Recipe is:

  • Made in one skillet
  • Quick and easy
  • Nutritious
  • Chicken and veggies together for a balanced meal
  • Ready in about 30 minutes
  • Adjust the heat level
  • Delicious with white rice (no need for a fried rice or noodles)
  • Family favorite
  • Budget friendly
  • DELICIOUS

Main ingredients:

The ingredients might look like a long laundry list, however all things can be easily found in all major US grocery stores or our favorite Amazon.

Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breast

Vegetables – Broccoli, green bell pepper and carrot

Pantry ingredients – Soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, black pepper and red chilies.

Flavorings – Ginger, garlic and onion

How to make Hunan chicken?

Make sauce – Stir soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, sugar and rice vinegar together.

Cook chicken – Toss chicken pieces with cornstarch and cook in a large non stick skillet, coated with some vegetable oil, until cooked yet tender. Transfer to a plate.

Make stir fry – In the same pan, add broccoli, carrot, green bell pepper and diced onion, cook in high heat until vegetables are tender yet crunchy. Stir minced ginger, garlic and red chillies for a about a minute.

Pour in sauce, cooked chicken and black pepper powder. Continue cooking on high heat until sauce has reduced and coats the chicken and vegetables.

Hunan chicken vs Szechuan chicken:

Szechuan chicken originates from Szechuan province of China which is located to the west of Hunan province. Though both are known for the spicy foods, Szechuan chicken is known for a more sweeter and less spicier flavor.

Hunan chicken vs General Tso’s chicken:

General Tso’s chicken is batter fried before being tossed in the sweet and slightly spicy sauce much like orange chicken and does not contain any vegetables. However, the former is more spicy, chicken is coated in dry cornstarch and is more of a quick stir fry.

Hunan chicken vs Kung pao chicken:

Kung pao chicken usually has the addition of roasted peanuts, dried red chilies and sauce is starchier and syrupy when compared Hunan chicken which is more more spicy, drier and packed with fresh vegetables.

Expert tips :

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used instead on breasts.

Cut chicken into about 1/2-inch thick strips and then each strip into 1 inch pieces.

Do not overcook chicken.

Don’t overcrowd the pan- If not using a large non stick skillet then we recommend cooking the chicken in two batches. This helps the chicken to sear instead of steam cooking which results in a longer time and might over cook the chicken, making it tougher.

Cut vegetables and instructed for faster cooking – Carrot into thin slices, broccoli into medium size florets, bell pepper and onion into 1 inch discs.

Use any vegetables that you have on hand like cauliflower, other color bell pepper, green beans, mushrooms, baby corn, zucchini or snap peas.

Adjust spice level. Chili garlic sauce does not add a ton of spice, so the main heat comes from the dry red chillies. Use as as much as you like.

Love a fiery stir fry? Break up the red chillies before adding to the dish, All the seeds and flavor infuses into the sauce and makes it super spicy.

Serving suggestion:

Serve Hunan style chicken with plain white or brown rice, your favorite fried rice or noodles.

Need help with fried rice? Some of our favorite fried rice recipes include : Better than Take out Fried Rice, Egg Fried Rice, Mushroom Fried Rice, Instant Pot Thai Chicken Fried Rice, Instant Pot Egg Fried Rice, instant Pot Shrimp Fried Rice or Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice.

Hunan spicy chicken variations:

Switch up the meat. Thinly sliced pork may be used instead.

Use your favorite veggies – Carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, various colored bell peppers, mushrooms, baby corn, zucchini are all great options.

Though not traditional, roasted peanuts or cashews tossed at the end, adds a delicious crunch.

Frequently asked questions:

How many calories in Hunan chicken?

One serving has 473 calories and the recipe makes four servings. However, that is subject to change depending on the vegetables used.

What is Hunan chicken?

Originating in Hunan province of south central china, Hunan cuisine (also known as Xiang cuisine) is known for its hot, spicy, sour and aromatic flavors & colors. This chicken stir fry is loaded with fresh vegetables, all coated in a bold spicy and savory sauce.

What is in Chinese Hunan sauce?

It is a complex yet delicious combination of spicy chili garlic paste, tangy rice vinegar, salty soy, sweet sugar and oyster sauce for some umami. Chicken broth adds body to the sauce.

What does Hunan chicken taste like?

This is more on the sophisticated and bold taste due to the combination of spicy, tangy, sour, salty and sweet taste. The chewy chicken and crunchy vegetables make it highly irresistible.

What percentage of carbs are in Hunan chicken?

The carbohydrates from this recipe is 37 grams which is approximately 9% for a 2000 calorie diet. However, please note the carbs will vary depending on the vegetables used.

Hunan chicken stir fry in white bowls along with purple chopsticks and red chilies in white bowls on the side

More Asian Chicken take out recipes:

Thai Red Curry Chicken Soup

Honey Sriracha Chicken

Ground Chicken and Green Beans Stir Fry

Authentic Tandoori Chicken <— in Oven

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

or more chicken recipes

Yield: 4 Servings

Spicy Hunan Chicken Recipe

Spicy Hunan Chicken Recipe

Spicy Hunan Chicken Recipe is a classic Chinese stir fry dish made with tender pieces of chicken, bell pepper, carrot and broccoli tossed in a savory and SPICY ginger garlic sauce. Make this delicious restaurant favorite at home with the spice level that you can handle.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Sauce

Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

Additional ingredients

  • 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into medium size
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cored seeded and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion 
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 4 to 12 dry red chillies (depending on spice level). optional 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

Instructions

Make sauce


Add all sauce ingredients into a medium bowl and stir well to dissolve sugar and set aside.

Cook Chicken


1. Add chicken and cornstarch into a large zip lock bag, seal and give a few good shakes for all the cornstarch to coat the chicken pieces evenly.

2. Add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil into a large non-stick skillet and place over high heat. When hot, place chicken in a single layer and cook for about 4 minutes, turn over and cook for additional 2 minutes or until thoroughly cooked yet tender. Remove chicken onto a plate (If using a medium size pan, then cook chicken in two batches).

Make Hunan chicken stir fry

1. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the same pan (still over high heat), add broccoli, green bell pepper, carrot and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes, until vegetables are tender yet crunchy.

2. Stir in garlic, ginger and dry red chilies, saute for an additional minute.

3. Stir in sauce (give a stir before pouring), chicken (along with any accumulated juices) and ground black pepper. Continue cooking over high heat (stirring occasionally), until sauce has thickened and coats the chicken and vegetables (about 2 minutes).

4. Serve immediately with white rice or your favorite fried rice or noodles.


Notes

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used instead on breasts.

Cut chicken into about 1/2-inch thick strips and then each strip into 1 inch pieces.

Do not overcook chicken.

Don’t overcrowd the pan- If not using a large non stick skillet then we recommend cooking the chicken in two batches. This helps the chicken to sear instead of steam cooking which results in a longer time and might over cook the chicken, making it tougher.

Cut vegetables and instructed for faster cooking – Carrot into thin slices, broccoli into medium size florets, bell pepper and onion into 1 inch discs.

Use any vegetables that you have on hand like cauliflower, other color bell pepper, green beans, mushrooms, baby corn, zucchini or snap peas.

Adjust spice level. Chili garlic sauce does not add a ton of spice, so the main heat comes from the dry red chillies. Use as as much as you like.

Love a fiery stir fry? Break up the red chillies and add to the dish, All the seeds and flavor infuses into the sauce and makes it super spicy.

Switch up the meat. Thinly sliced pork may be used instead.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 473Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 916mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 5gSugar: 17gProtein: 41g

I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com.. Although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact sources and algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting kitchenathoskins.com

All contents and images are my original work, unless and otherwise mentioned. Please do not use my recipes or images without linking back to www.kitchenathoskins.com. If you wish to republish a recipe, please rewrite in your own words and don’t forget to include a link back to the original recipe.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *