Chongqing Mala Chicken

Trust me it is not spicy as it looks! Chongqing Mala Chicken is a Chinese dish prepared by deep frying chicken pieces then stir frying it with tons of dried red chillies together with numbing Sichuan peppercorns.


My first-time encounter with this dish was quite recently, although I had seen this before in restaurants, back in 2020 when we visited Lily’s Garden in Albany was my initial experience. Before I was scared of how it looks, just the amount of chillies puts me off ordering them but when my Chinese friend ordered it on our table and insisted me on trying them, I was very surprised, it was darn good. Don’t get me wrong, it was still spicy but it is not spicy compared to how it looks.

A dish from the Chongqing in the Sichuan province popular with its numbing spicy dishes. Like the food from this place while its spicy you will be surprised how balanced the flavours are where it comes from a mix of the smokiness of the dried chillies, nuttiness of sesame seeds at the same time the savouriness of the chicken amped up with the aromatics, salt and sugar used. Typically, this dish is served with tiny bones in adding effort to pick the bones as you eat, the amount of chillies far exceeds the chicken as well making it harder for you to dig out that savoury meat and most important of all there are tons of Sichuan peppercorns which gives that tingling numbing sensation but don’t worry those chillies are not meant to be eaten, they are just used for flavours. Sounds like an exciting dish? Well try it out.

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Chongqing Mala Chicken

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 3
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

Chongqing Mala Chicken is a Chinese dish prepared by deep frying chicken pieces then stir frying it with tons of dried red chillies together with numbing Sichuan peppercorns.


 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Chicken

  • 500 g boneless skin on chicken thighs, cubed
  • 1 cup dried sliced red chillies
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 stalks spring onions, sliced, white and green section separated
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • salt
  • oil, for deep frying

Marinade


Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine all marinade ingredients, mix well. Add chicken then distribute marinade evenly, let it marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Try to remove seeds from dried chillies as much as possible then soak dried chillies in hot water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, fully drain chillies then set it aside.
  3. Prepare a large wok, heat oil for deep frying then once it reached 180C deep fry chicken pieces in batches until golden brown. Remove from the wok, fully drain of excess oil then set aside.
  4. Remove all but 1 tbsp of oil into the wok, bring heat to low. Add the chillies then stir fry chillies for 2 minutes or until chillies turn dark red.
  5. Add Sichuan peppercorns then continue to stir fry for a minute.
  6. Add 1 tbsp of oil into the wok, bring heat to medium then add in the garlic, ginger and white parts of spring onions. Stir fry for 30 seconds.
  7. Add the chicken cubes, toasted sesame seeds, sugar, salt and green sections of spring onions. Stir fry in medium heat for 2 minutes, mix well then serve immediately.

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5 Responses

  1. One of my absolute favoruite szechuan dishes! Yours looks authentic and very tasty.

  2. suituapui says:

    Very popular, this mala thing…but no, I’m not a fan.

  3. Chef Mimi says:

    Wow! I would love this!!!!!

  4. Wow – that looks amazing! It also looks really spicy, but I’ll take your word on it. I’d love to try this dish!

  5. I had the same reaction as you did when I saw the amount of chiles! I would I will take your word for it, but it still looks scary… (But it does look really, really good!)

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