Skip to Content

Hunan Chicken Recipe (Spicy)

Spicy Hunan Chicken Recipe is a classic Chinese stir fry dish made with tender pieces of chicken and vegetables tossed in a savory and SPICY ginger garlic sauce. Make this delicious restaurant favorite at home tonight!

Love spicy foods? Check out this Spicy Cucumber Salad, Spicy Tacos, Chili Lime Shrimp, Air Fryer Buffalo Wings, Thai Spicy Noodles or Spicy Pasta.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases through our affiliate link. For more information read our Non-Disclosure Agreement.

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

Hunan Chicken Recipe

You will fall in love with the medley of tender vibrant veggies, tender meat tossed in a spicy, savory sauce. Though not hugely popular like orange, sesame or sweet and sour chicken, this stir fry is more common in authentic menus and is perfect for a weeknight meal or even for entertaining.

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 like this Recipe for Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken.

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.

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 stir fry is loaded with fresh vegetables, all coated in a bold spicy and savory sauce.

WHATS 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. Broth adds body to the sauce.

WHAT DOES IT 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.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE?

  1. Made in one skillet – Less clean cup
  2. Balanced meal – Meat and veggies together a balanced meal with protein and vitamins and minerals. Serve with rice for complete meal.
  3. Adjust the heat level – Although the recipe is on the spicy side, feel free to adjust based on your level.
  4. Customizable – Use your favorite veggies.

Hunan chicken vs Szechuan chicken

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

Hunan chicken vs General Tso’s chicken

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

Hunan chicken vs Kung pao chicken:

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

WHAT KIND OF VEGETABLES TO USE?

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

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.

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

PRO TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • 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.
  • 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 meat to sear instead of steam cooking which results in a longer time and might over cook, making it tougher.
  • Cut vegetables as instructed for faster cooking – Carrot into thin slices, broccoli into medium size florets, bell pepper and onion into 1 inch discs.
  • 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.

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.

How to make?

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

Cook Meat – Toss cut 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 meat and vegetables.

HOW TO SERVE?

Serve with plain white or brown rice, your favorite fried rice or noodles for dinner.

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.

Frequently asked questions:

How many calories in one serving?

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

What percentage of carbs are in one serving?

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 to try:

Hunan Chicken Recipe (Spicy)

Hunan Chicken Recipe (Spicy)

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Spicy Hunan Chicken Recipe is a classic Chinese stir fry dish made with tender pieces of chicken and vegetables tossed in a savory and SPICY ginger garlic sauce. Make this delicious restaurant favorite at home tonight!

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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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.

Skip to Recipe