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4.99 from 70 votes

Chilli Chicken

A popular and delicious Hakka, Indian Chinese takeout dish, chilli chicken is made with lightly battered crispy chicken chunks lightly tossed in a spicy chilli sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main, Takeout
Cuisine: Chinese, Hakka, Indian
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 574kcal
Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks


  • 1 ½ lbs boneless chicken (preferably dark meat)
  • ½ green pepper
  • ½ onion
  • 2 tablespoons garlic-ginger-onion mix (reserved from marinade)

Chicken Marinade

  • ½ small onion
  • 3-4 slices ginger
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon chilli powder (or cayenne pepper, see notes below)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 6-7 tablespoons corn starch (mix this in with the chicken after you are done marinating, right before deep frying)


  • 5-6 green chilli (or green thai chillis if you like it spicier), use 2-3 for a less spicy dish
  • 1 ½ tablespoon dark soy
  • 2 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch (mixed with 4 teaspoons of water)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chilli powder (or cayenne pepper, see notes below)
  • ½ cup water



  • With a food processor, blitz the ginger, garlic and half a small onion until it is a fine paste. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this for browning the onions and green peppers later.
  • Cut up the chicken into small bite-sized 1 inch pieces and marinate it in a bowl with the ginger-garlic-onion paste, soy sauce, chilli powder, black pepper, and water. (Do not add the corn starch yet. We will add that right before we deep fry the chicken.) Marinate in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight.
  • Chop the green peppers and remaining onion into bite-sized pieces and set aside

Making the Sauce

  • Chop up the chillis in the slices (keep the seeds) and add it to a small bowl
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients in the sauce ingredient list except the corn starch
  • In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of corn starch with 4 teaspoons of cold water, then add it to the sauce and stir to combine
  • Set the sauce aside

Putting it Together

  • Add in 6-7 tablespoons of corn starch to the chicken and mix until combined and chicken is coated lightly
  • In a wok, frying pan or deep fryer set the oil to 350F (177C).
  • When the oil is hot, add the chicken into the oil to cook in batches (careful not to over crowd the oil, which can drop the oil temperature)
  • Cook the chicken for about 5-6 minutes and set aside on a plate with paper towel or newspaper when it is done
  • In a wok or frying pan, set the stove to medium to medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil
  • When the oil is hot, add in the 2 tablespoons of ginger-garlic-onion mix that was reserved from preparation and cook it until it is toasty and brown. Approximately 1-2 minutes. Careful not to burn it.
  • Add in the onions and green pepper chunks and cook it for about 2 minutes. We want to keep the veggies somewhat crisp still, so do not overcook the peppers.
  • Give the sauce a quick stir (the corn starch likes to settle at the bottom) and add it to the pan.
  • Keep stirring the sauce until it thickens and becomes thick.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat.
  • Add in chicken and mix everything together until the chicken is coated with the sauce
  • Enjoy it with some rice! :)


  • The chilli powder at local grocery stores usually are a blend of cumin and other spices - this is not the type of chilli you would use for this recipe. That type of chilli powder has a more tex-mex kind of flavour. Indian chilli powders are just pure chilli peppers blended into a fine powder with no extra spices, so this gives just heat. When you are looking for chilli powder, make sure there are no other extra spices in the ingredient list - it should only be chillis. If you cannot find this, you can substitute it 1:1 with cayenne pepper.
  • This is a dry chilli chicken recipe. If you want to make the gravy chilli chicken, double the sauce ingredients and it will make it saucier for the gravy version of chilli chicken! :)
  • This is a spicy dish. For a less spicy dish use 2-3 chili peppers, instead of the 5-6 in the recipe card.


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 25g | Sodium: 2129mg | Sugar: 10g