Spicy Screamin’ Szechuan Stir Fry

"This was the other main dish at my Chinese New Year's party. Several guests declined a second chopstick load and requested large amounts of water, others went back for thirds. Depends on how much you treasure the continued existence of your taste buds...and don't be scared by the long ingredients list, they're all simple and easy. Serve this alongside something savory, follow with something cool and sweet, and vary the marinade and number of chilies according to taste. I used long, skinny 'pyro peppers' in this version. Oh, and try to resist the temptation to turn the heat down -- high heat is important to a quick stir fry, though it does make the chilies and chili oil quite pungent."
photo by Kumquat the Cats fr photo by Kumquat the Cats fr
photo by Kumquat the Cats fr
photo by Kumquat the Cats fr photo by Kumquat the Cats fr
Ready In:




  • Mix together the diced chilies, soy sauce, chili garlic paste, vinegars, and honey until well blended.
  • Add the szechuan seasoning, ginger, cayenne, and garlic.
  • Stir to mix.
  • Add the oils, mix, and then water down to desired spiciness.
  • Marinate the seitan / chicken / tofu for at least 2 hours, preferably 4-6.
  • Shake or turn occasionally to ensure even flavor distribution.
  • Heat the oil in your wok.
  • Add scallions, garlic, and chilies and stirfry to season, 1-2 minute
  • Turn on the fan above your stove.
  • Trust me.
  • Add the marinated chicken and about 1/3 of the sauce.
  • Saute on high heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add carrots, water chestnuts, and celery; stir fry for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add 1/3 more of the marinade sauce.
  • Add broccoli, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and bell peppers.
  • Saute for 3-5 minutes.
  • If you desire, thicken the remaining marinate sauce with 2 tsp cornstarch and stirfry for an additional 1-3 minutes after adding.
  • Serve over hot whole wheat spaghetti (trust me, this works) or brown rice.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This one is a keeper for us. Changed a few things; sub'd jalapenos, black bean sauce, green onions & used garlic peppercorn spice. Increased the chicken abit & snuck in some finely chopped tofu (even though we aren't crazy about it) & lastly some raw shrimp in the last few mins of cooking. I cut back the spice abit & it was perfect for us. We couldn't even tell there was tofu being that is was marinated with the poultry. Enjoyed this recipe, thanks for sharing.
  2. Oh I loved this. I stuck the marinated tofu in the fridge while I was off at karate, came back and threw it all together. I added more spice to mine because I'm an insane chilli addict and served on a bed of just wilted spinach because I didnt want rice or noodles to spoil it. Was so perfect and got rid of my hayfever quick smart. Will be making this again and again.
  3. Both deliberately and by necessity I made some changes here. First I could not find long, skinny, red and yellow 'pyro' peppers so I used green jalapenos. I also could not find Szechuan seasoning (or even Szechuan peppercorns - where the hell did they go?) so I used Chinese 5 spice powder (oddly enough, the McCormick brand I used did NOT have Szechuan peppercorns listed as an ingredient). Finally I did not add the mushrooms as I don't eat them. Initially I had planned to make this when my boyfriend was going to be away for supper, but I forgot so I was forced to tone down the heat so he would find this palatable. As a result, I used about 1/3 the chilis, 1 tablespoon chili and garlic sauce and minimum amounts of the other hot spices. If I had used the amounts the recipe called for, I think I might have been more pleased with the results, but I was pleased anyway. As far as the technique, since I used seitan I did not cook it nearly as long as the recipe specified (of course if you are using real meat you will have to). BF was very skeptical of trying this, but in the end he finished everything on his plate. I trusted the chef and served over whole wheat spaghetti. I think the 5 spice powder may have transformed the taste of this dish, but I will have to give this 5 stars as I made it too. Adso is right, don't be put off by the ingredients; after the marinade is done everything else comes together easily.


Student of many obscure academic fields, aspiring cook, all around oddball. Currently in China until mid-July -- so thank you for trying all my recipes while I'm gone, and I hope to come back with new ingredients all over the place!
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