Spice up your next meal with this delicious and easy-to-make chilli chicken. This Indo-Chinese delight showcases the perfect marriage of flavors, combining fiery spices, tangy sauces, and succulent chicken. Check out my collection of delicious Indian chicken snacks here.
Chilli chicken is a delightful Indo-Chinese dish that features crispy fried chicken cubes, bell peppers, aromatics, and a medley of Chinese sauces. It strikes a balance between being mildly sweet, tangy, and just a touch spicy.
With its roots in Hakka Chinese cuisine, chilli chicken comes in two versions: dry and with gravy. It is the meaty counterpart to the vegetarian alternative, chilli paneer. Also, check out these recipes to make crispy, crunchy popcorn chicken and chicken nuggets.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Flavorful blend: Chilli chicken offers a harmonious fusion of flavors. It combines the heat of spices, the tanginess and mild sweetness of sauces, and the savory notes of chicken and vegetables.
- Versatility: Chilli chicken can be enjoyed as an appetizer, a snack, or a main course.
- Crispy texture: The chicken in chili chicken is typically deep-fried, giving it a satisfyingly crispy exterior. The contrast between the crunchy coating and the tender chicken inside adds an enjoyable texture to the dish.
Chicken: Use boneless chicken thigh pieces for this chilli chicken recipe. You can also use chicken breast; however, make sure you marinate it for a longer time so that it does not turn dry and rubbery.
Vegetables: I use bell peppers (a mix of red and green pepper), onions, and scallions (spring onions). I also use slit green chili peppers.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Cut the boneless chicken pieces into small cubes and place them in a bowl. To this, add ginger-garlic paste, soy sauce, vinegar, and hot chili sauce. Mix well and let it marinate for one hour.
Step 2: Crack one egg in a small bowl and whisk it well. We will need two tablespoons of the whisked egg for this recipe. Add two tablespoons of whisked egg, cornflour, all-purpose flour, and salt to the marinated chicken. Mix well and make sure all the chicken cubes are coated.
Step 3: Heat oil in a
Step 4: In a wok or
Step 4: Add vinegar, soya sauce, red chili sauce, tomato ketchup (tomato sauce), salt, and black pepper powder. Mix well and stir fry for one minute. Add cornflour water mixture, followed by the fried chicken, to the spicy sauce.
Step 5: Stir fry on high flame for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and garnish with green onion. Serve hot.
Marinate the chicken pieces for an adequate amount of time, at least for around 30 minutes to 1 hour. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in more flavorful and tender chicken.
Add the cornstarch and plain flour just before frying the chicken. Ensure the marinated chicken is coated properly with it, and there are no dry bits of flour. This helps create a crispy texture on the outside of the chicken when deep-fried.
Whisk the egg and measure it before adding it to the marinated chicken. Use precisely what this recipe calls for (2 tablespoons).
Ensure that the oil is hot enough before adding the chicken. Fry the chicken in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. This ensures even frying and prevents the chicken from becoming greasy. After frying the chicken, place it on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain off any excess oil. This helps keep the chicken crispy and prevents it from becoming soggy.
When stir-frying the chicken with vegetables and sauces, use high heat. This allows for quick cooking and helps retain the crispness of the vegetables while sealing in the flavors.
Chilli chicken dry versus gravy
Chilli chicken comes in two versions: dry and with gravy, each offering unique characteristics. The dry version features intense flavors and a crispy texture, while the gravy version provides a saucier and more balanced experience.
This recipe covers the dry version of chili chicken. For the gravy version, start by marinating and deep-frying the chicken and prepping as per this recipe. Stir-fry ginger, garlic, and vegetables, then add vinegar, soy sauce, hot chili sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, and two cups of vegetable stock. Thicken the mixture with the cornstarch slurry, incorporate the fried chicken, and finish with spring onion greens for a flavorful dish.
Chilli chicken is often confused with chicken 65, a popular South Indian dish. While they are both fried chicken dishes, they have completely different tastes and flavor profiles. Check out what is the difference between chili chicken and chicken 65 here.
Chili chicken pairs well with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some popular options:
Steamed rice: Chilli chicken is commonly served with steamed rice. The fluffy and neutral flavor of rice complements the bold and spicy flavors of the dish. Jasmine rice or basmati rice are popular choices.
Fried rice: Vegetable fried rice or egg fried rice are some popular Indo-Chinese recipes that are a delicious choice to serve alongside chilli chicken. The combination of flavors and textures adds to the overall meal experience.
Noodles: You can serve chilli chicken with noodles like Hakka noodles, chow mein, or even plain noodles. The noodles provide a satisfying base and soak up the flavorful sauce of the chilli chicken.
More chicken recipes
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Chilli Chicken (Indo-Chinese Style Chili Chicken)
- 1 lb chicken thigh boneless
- Oil for deep-frying
To marinate the chicken:
For the stir-fry:
- 3 tablespoon oil
- ½ inch ginger finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 cup bell pepper diced (I used red and green)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2-3 green chili slit
- ¼ cup scallion whites
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce
- 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper powder
- 2 tablespoon green onions
Marinate and fry the chicken:
- Cut the chicken into small cubes and place them in a bowl.
- To this, add ginger garlic paste, soy sauce, vinegar, and hot chili sauce.
- Mix well and let it marinate for one hour.
- Crack one egg in a small bowl and whisk it well. We will need 2 tablespoons of the whisked egg for this recipe.
- Add 2 tablespoons of whisked egg, cornflour, all-purpose flour, and salt to the marinated chicken. Mix well and make sure all the chicken cubes are coated.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. Deep fry the chicken pieces until they are golden and crispy. Drain on a paper towel and set them aside.
- In a wok or frying pan, heat oil and add ginger and garlic. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add onion, bell peppers, and green chili. Stir fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add vinegar, soya sauce, hot chili sauce, tomato ketchup, salt, and pepper. Mix well and stir fry for one minute.
- Add cornflour water mixture
- Add the fried chicken and stir fry on high heat for 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with green onion. Serve hot.