Szechwan Chicken

Here's a Szechwan Chicken recipe that I like. It was originally from Betty Crocker's International Cookbook []. I use a wok, but a big non-stick pot will work about as well. I don't know how authentic this is, but it tastes close to what you would get at a Chinese restaurant -- that's mainly because of the Hoisin Sauce and ginger.

I've tried this using grated fresh ginger instead of the dried ground ginger, but I actually prefer it with the ground ginger -- go figure.

The "trick" to cooking stir fried foods is to cook each ingredient separately, being careful to only cook each ingredient until it is done, and combining all at the end. If you try to cook the ingredients together, some will get overcooked while others are undercooked. You want your vegetables to be crisp, not mushy, and your chicken to be tender and juicy, not overcooked and dried out, or undercooked and still pink in the middle.

Recipe by: Betty Crocker and craig

Servings: 4

Categories: Chinese, Main Dishes


2 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 cup cashews -- * see note 1
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup peanut oil
6 green onions -- * see note 2
1 green pepper -- cut in 1" squares
4 ounces button mushrooms -- canned
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce -- * see note 3
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper -- * see note 4
½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups rice -- cooked

Preparing the Dish

Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch chunks, this is easier to do if the chicken is partially frozen. Mix the egg white, one teaspoon cornstarch, one teaspoon salt, and ginger in a glass bowl large enough to hold all the chicken chunks. Add the chicken and stir until the chicken is thoroughly covered with the egg mixture. Refrigerate at least an hour, overnight is better.

Assemble all other ingredients, mushrooms, reserve mushroom liquid, chopping onions and green pepper, measuring spices, etc.

Heat one tablespoon oil in wok, stir-fry cashews until browned, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, set aside in a colander that is in another dish, or a pie plate.  This allows oils and juices to drain so they can be combined with the sauce later.

Heat two tablespoons oil in wok. Add chicken mixture and stir-fry until chicken turns white. You want the chicken to be just cooked through, tender and juicy, not overcooked.  Put chicken into the colander with cashews.

Heat remaining oil, add  green pepper, mushrooms, Hoisin sauce, and red pepper. Stir-fry only one minute.  Remove to colander. Put chicken broth and reserved mushroom liquid into wok.  Drain any liquids that are in the dish under your colander back into the wok.

Mix one tablespoon corn starch with the cold water and add one tablespoon soy sauce, stir well. When mixture in wok begins to boil add corn starch mixture, stirring well for about a minute until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat, and add the chicken, cashews, and vegetables from your colander, and the onions, mix well. Transfer the mixture to a serving dish.  Garnish with the reserved green onion tops.  Serve with, or over, white rice.


  1. Raw unsalted cashews are preferable, but if they cannot be found, then the more easily obtainable roasted and salted cashews are acceptable.
  2. The green onions should be chopped, reserving two tablespoons of the green tops as a garnish.
  3. The Hoisin sauce is not optional! It must be the type made from soy beans, not plumbs.
  4. The crushed red pepper is optional, or to taste.  I like to add extra.