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Spicy Sichuan Chicken Stir Fry

Tender bites of chicken. Tongue-numbing Sichuan pepper. Sweet, soft leeks. The tastiest (and spiciest!) 15-minute meal!
Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: chicken, Sichuan, Spicy, Stir Fry
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam


  • Wok


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4-6 thighs, depending on size)
  • 2 Tbsp (whole) sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp (whole) black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 leek, cleaned, halved, and sliced into 1-inch (half) rings


  • Crush black peppercorns and sichuan peppercorns with mortar and pestle. (Crush black peppercorns first, as they are harder and need a heavier hand. Then, empty the bowl and crush the Sichuan peppercorns next.) Or, put them in a plastic baggie and bash them with a rolling pin. The texture should be somewhat coarse and not too finely ground.
    mortar and pestle filled with sichuan peppercorns
  • Cut chicken thighs into bite-sized cubes, about 1 1/2 inches long. Add crushed peppercorns, corn starch, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
    cut up chicken pieces coated with sichuan peppercorns in white bowl
  • Heat wok on high heat. When the wok starts to smoke, add 1 Tbsp neutral oil and swirl around. Add chicken and sizzle until almost fully cooked (but not quite), about 4-5 minutes. Feel free to scrape down the sides, shake the wok, and toss chicken pieces around with a metal spatula from time to time. The goal is to get nicely charred pieces of chicken with crispy edges.
    chicken pieces in wok with spatula
  • When the chicken is almost done, add leeks. Mix with metal spatula until the leeks are soft with slightly browned edges, about 2 minutes.
    spicy chicken stir fry with leeks in wok with spatula on the side
  • Serve immediately with rice and vegetable of choice. Enjoy!
    spicy sichuan chicken stir fry in wok and small bowls on the side


* I thought 2 Tbsp Sichuan peppercorns + 1 Tbsp black peppercorns provided the perfect amount of spicy, mouth-tingling buzz.  
**To make things spicier, try 3 Tbsp of Sichuan peppercorns + 1 Tbsp  black peppercorns.
***To make things milder, try 1 Tbsp Sichuan peppercorns + 1 Tbsp black peppercorns.  Or, omit the Sichuan peppercorns altogether and add only 1 Tbsp black peppercorns instead.