This is an authentic Sichuan Steamed Chicken in Chili Sauce Recipe from our team in China, featured in our Sichuan Recipe Box. The ingredients labeled with a * below are hard-to-find ingredients that we’ve sourced from China and are all included in our recipe box which is available for shipping throughout the USA and China. For more information and to purchase online, click here.
This dish (kǒu shuǐ jī) literally translates to “saliva chicken” in English. As the Chinese word’s appetizing connotation is lost in translation, this dish is usually translated figuratively to “mouth-watering chicken” or “steamed chicken with chili sauce” in English.
Classified as a cold dish in Sichuan cuisine, this cold chicken dish is enriched with multiple seasoning condiments, tasting spicy, freshness, fragrance and tenderness all at the same time.
The name of the dish actually came from a literary piece called “Tianbo Qu (賟波曲)” written by a renowned Chinese author, Guo Moruo, in the early 20th century. He wrote in the piece: “Till this day, I still can’t stop drooling for the dish every time it crosses my mind, the dish that I always ate when I was a child at my hometown in Sichuan, the boiled soft chicken meat infused with the fragrance of homemade red chili oil.” Written with an unintentional care by Guo, the word “saliva” was surprisingly favored by people when describing this dish. As time went by, this Sichuan dish was referred “formally” by many restaurants as “Saliva chicken”, and was known today to be a common home cooking dish in Sichuan.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
For the Sichuan Chili Oil:
1 cup cooking oil (we always use canola oil, but soy or peanut oil also works well)
2 thin slices of ginger, about a 1cm knob
1 green onion
1/2 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorn*
1 whole star anise*
1 cinnamon stick*
1/3 cup chili powder*
1/3 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp five-spice powder*
For the Chicken:
3 chicken legs or around 2.5 pounds (1.2kg) of dark chicken meat
2 thumbs of ginger (sliced)
2 stalk of green onions
1 tbsp cooking wine
For the Sauce:
6-8 tbsp your prepared Sichuan chili oil
2 tbsp Chinese vinegar*
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp cooking wine
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn powder*
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tbsp minced green onion
1/2 tbsp minced coriander
2 tsp of skinless peanuts, toasted
White sesame seeds
Watch us make our Sichuan Steamed Chicken in Chili Sauce Recipe
The best philosophy for mapo tofu is: The simpler, the better. Even though the ingredients are humble, mapo tofu is seen as a test of any aspiring chef’s skills. Importantly, the right ingredients are crucial in creating an authentic taste, which we’ve supplied for you here.
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