Chili Chicken is an iconic part of the entire cult of Indo-Chinese Cooking. From the road side fast food stall, to authentic kitchens of China Town, Chili Chicken is omni present. Having grown up in Kolkata, India, I share an undying love for this classic. Chili Chicken and Hakka Noodles are a match made in heaven for any Indo Chinese lover.

India has had its share of Chinese immigrants. They brought their Cantonese cooking, and it adapted over the years in the various China Towns across Indian Cities. This strain of Chinese cooking, is very different from the Chinese food we get across our local Chinese takeouts spread across North America. It s a part of our nostalgia, its something we hold on to. Its something which is very difficult to not love.

What exactly is Chili Chicken? Chunks of skinless boneless Chicken thigh are crispy batter fried. Then cooked in an aromatic blend of chopped ginger- garlic, onions, peppers, soy sauce and chilies. The trick to a great Chili Chicken is cooking it on high heat, and in the right wok. It can turn from a delicacy to a mushy mess in no time, if you over cook it.

There are as many variations of the basic Chili Chicken recipe, as there are Indo-Chinese food connoisseurs in town. Every household might add its own special touch. My Husband has its own trick with it. We love it and keep demanding that he make it more often. Its the perfect home cooked Friday Night dinner .

If you don't prefer chicken, then you can substitute it with the protein of your choice. The cooking time will vary according to the protein. If you are cooking with prawns, then the cooking time with reduce, when you are frying your protein, and a meat tenderizer might be useful, if you are cooking with skirt steak.

Hope you enjoy making it at home. Be sure to write to me when you do.


Ingredients :
Chicken Thighs - Boneles & Skinless - 1 lb
Egg : 1
Salt : To Taste
Sugar : 1 tsp
White Vinegar : 1 tbsp
Soy Sauce : 2 tbsp
Sambal Olek : 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chilies : 10(Cut the number by half if you are also using Fresh Green Chilies)
MSG(Ajino Moto ) : 2 pinches
Chicken Bullion : 1 cube
All Purpose Flour : 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup
Black Pepper - Gound : 1 tbsp to 2tbsp
Canola Oil (for frying chicken and for gravy)
Sesame Oil
Red Onion : 1 large (Cubed)
Red Bell Pepper : 1 large : Cubed
Ginger : 1 inch Piece : Finely Chopped
Garlic : Half a large garlic : Finely Chopped
Shitake Mushrooms (Optional)
Corn Starch (Corn Flour) : 1 tbsp
Plain Water (Room temperature) - for Gravy and for making corn slurry
Red Chili Powder (or Paprika) : 1 tsp


Cut the chicken thighs in 2 inch chunks.

Make a dry rub of all purpose flour, a pinch of MSG(ajino moto), black pepper and a cube of chicken bullion.

Crach an egg in a bowl and whisk it. Dunk the chicken pieces first in egg and then in the dry mix. Keep aside. Heat Canola CaOil in a non stick pan. Fry the chicken in batches, till they are golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.

Finely chop  the ginger and garlic. Cube the red onion and bell pepper. If you have green chilies, you can chop them too.

We had soaked some dehydrataed Shitake Mushrooms in warm water. Drain the water , before you cook them.

In a wok or non stick pan, first add canola oil.

Then add some toasted Sesame Oil.

Add a teaspoon of plain white granulated sugar and let it caramelize .

Add in the cubed onions first, then the chopped ginger- garlic and chilies. We had messed the order a bit, but the taste didnt compromise .

If you are using MSG(Ajino Moto), add a dash of it now.

A dash of good black pepper powder.

Mix Mix Mix

Soy Sauce goes in next. Go easy on it .

Some Sambal Olek. Adjust acccording to heat preferences.

A touch of Red Chili Powder (or paprika if you want cut down on the heat, yet want the color) .

White Vinegar helps to tie in all the elements together.

Half a glass of water, to make a gravy .

Add in your fried Chicken Pieces and Shitake Mushroom(if you are using it).

Make a slurry (runny paste) of Corn Starch(Corn Flour) with plain water. Mix well, as it tends to clump. Add it to your gravy to thicken it. Make sure you stir well.

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