Indo-Chinese Schezwan Chicken {Restaurant Style!} (2024)

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Whether you call it chilli garlic chicken or you know it as the infamous Indo-Chinese Schezwan chicken, the one thing we can all agree on is it is delicious! This Schezwan chicken skips the deep fryer and gets a lighter air fryer twist. Tossed in a delicious savory sauce with just the right kick, this chicken is absolutely going to be a family favorite!

Indo-Chinese Schezwan Chicken {Restaurant Style!} (1)

This schezwan chicken comes together with a simple and easy chilli garlic sauce, and pairs perfectly with simple hakka noodles, plain jasmine rice, or even pineapple fried rice!

Jump to:
  • 👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works
  • 🥘 Ingredient notes
  • 📖 Substitutions
  • 🔪 Variations
  • ⏲️ Step-by-step Instructions
  • 💭Expert Tips
  • ⭐Recipe FAQs
  • 📝 More Asian Recipes
  • Indo-Chinese Schezwan Chicken {Restaurant Style!}
  • 💬 Comments

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • A lighter alternative: Traditionally, many indo-chinese chicken dishes include battered and fried chicken. While delicious, the deep frying not only adds time, but also a bit of heaviness to the dish. This recipe uses the air fryer instead, without skimping on flavor.
  • Easy store-bought swaps: While this recipe uses homemade chilli garlic sauce, you can easily swap it out for your favorite store-bought sauce instead. This cuts the time down even more!
  • Customizable spice level: You can make this sauce as spicy or as mild as you'd like, which is perfect for feeding kids who may be a little more sensitive to spice.

🥘 Ingredient notes

Indo-Chinese Schezwan Chicken {Restaurant Style!} (2)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: Chicken breasts work best for this recipe, as it tends to be much easier to get those big chunks of meat. Chicken thighs tend to be thinner and flat when deboned, which will result in smaller bites of chicken.
  • Chilli garlic sauce: If you have a favorite store-bought chilli garlic sauce, you can use it in this sauce. My homemade schezwan sauce which is packed with chilli garlic flavor is my choice, however. It is the right amount of spice and tang, which is the star of this chicken recipe.
  • Chicken broth: I prefer to use chicken broth in sauces instead of water, as it is a good opportunity to add layers of flavor. If you are watching your salt intake, I recommend using a low-sodium chicken broth so that you can control the salt on your own.

A full list of ingredients with measurements is located on therecipe card, below.

📖 Substitutions

  • Chicken breasts: You can opt for chicken thighs, or use chicken tenderloins in place of chicken breasts. Boneless chicken is a must for this recipe.
  • Chicken broth: You can substitute for chicken bouillon power or concentrate mixed with water, or use all water if you prefer.
  • White pepper: White pepper can be substituted with ground black pepper if needed.

🔪 Variations

  • Extra spicy: Add in additional dried red chillies to give the sauce an even spicier kick.
  • Balanced: Mix in your favorite stir fry vegetables to make this chicken recipe even more balanced and filling.
  • Deep fried: For a traditional restaurant version, deep fry the chicken instead of air frying it. This will give you an even better "crunch" factor!

Prep Work Before Cooking

  1. Collecting all your ingredients:This will make cookingsomuch easier. Gather all the spices you will need, and keep them nearby.
  2. Prep the chicken - Cut the chicken into even-sized bites. Try to make the pieces as uniform in size, so that all the pieces cook evenly.
Indo-Chinese Schezwan Chicken {Restaurant Style!} (3)

Add the corn starch, garlic powder and white pepper to a large mixing bowl. Mix well to combine. Add the cubed chicken to the corn starch mixture, and toss well using tongs. Ensure that each piece of chicken is fully coated in the corn starch mixture. [photo 1]

Transfer the coated chicken to an air fryer basket, and spray liberally with cooking oil spray - I used avocado oil spray. Air fry for 15-20 minutes @ 400°F. Shake the chicken regularly while air frying, so that each piece of chicken gets crisp on all sides. [photo 2]

While the chicken is cooking, mix together the sauce in a tall measuring cup or large bowl. Mix well so that the chilli garlic sauce and corn starch are combined in the chicken broth. [photo 3]

Add the sauce mixture to a large skillet, and turn on to medium heat. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken, while stirring regularly. [photo 4]

Toss the cooked chicken into the sauce, and coat in the sauce. Serve, and enjoy!

💭Expert Tips

  • Be liberal with the oil spray: One of the keys to successfully getting fully crispy and cooked chicken in the air fryer is to be liberal with the oil spray. If the chicken is air fried dry, it will taste like raw corn starch which will be unpleasant.
  • Taste for salt at the end: Both soy sauce and chilli garlic paste have a good amount of saltiness already. I recommend tasting the sauce for salt once it has reduced down, and adjusting to your taste.
  • For a dash of umami: Consider adding a small dash of MSG into the sauce for that restaurant "umami" flavor.

🍽Make Ahead & Storage

Cooked and cooled chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Leftover chicken can be frozen in a freezer-safe bag or container. The chicken will keep well in the freezer for 2-3 months, as long as most of the air is removed from the bag or container.

To reheat, stir fry briefly in a pan or reheat in the microwave. If the sauce has thickened too much in the fridge, add a splash of chicken broth to loosen the sauce up.

Indo-Chinese Schezwan Chicken {Restaurant Style!} (4)

⭐Recipe FAQs

Is Hakka-style schezwan chicken spicy?

This chicken is a good balance of flavor, heat, and tang. It is not overwhelmingly spicy, as the peppers used in the chilli garlic sauce are much more toned down than a thai chilli pepper, for example. The sauce can be made spicier if you wish!

Can I use different proteins for this recipe?

Absolutely - this schezwan sauce will go perfectly with pork, shrimp or even tofu!

Is schezwan chicken gluten free?

Depending on the brands & ingredients used, this recipe can be entirely gluten free. Always keep an eye out on the ingredients you are using to be sure!

📝 More Asian Recipes

  • Indian Hakka Restaurant-Style Noodles
  • Black Pepper Chicken {Panda Express Copycat}
  • Korean Glazed Chicken Meatballs
  • Dim Sum Cucumber Salad {Din Tai Fung Copycat}

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Indo-Chinese Schezwan Chicken {Restaurant Style!} (9)

Indo-Chinese Schezwan Chicken {Restaurant Style!}

Author: Sunena Anand

This Schezwan chicken skips the deep fryer and gets a lighter air fryer twist. Tossed in a delicious savory sauce with just the right kick, this chicken is absolutely going to be a family favorite!

5 from 1 vote

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 30 minutes mins

Total Time 40 minutes mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine Chinese, Hakka, Indian

Servings 4 Servings

Calories 281 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, cut in cubes)
  • ¼ cup Corn starch
  • 2 tsp Sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon White pepper

Schezwan Sauce

  • ¼ cup Chilli garlic sauce
  • ¾ cup Chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Brown sugar

Instructions

  • Add the dredge ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well to combine.

    ¼ cup Corn starch, 2 teaspoon Sea salt, 2 teaspoon Garlic powder, 2 teaspoon White pepper

  • Add the cubed chicken to the corn starch mixture, and toss well using tongs. Ensure that each piece of chicken is fully coated in the corn starch mixture.

    3 Chicken breasts

  • Transfer the coated chicken to an air fryer basket, and spray liberally with cooking oil spray. Air fry for 15-20 minutes @ 400°F. Shake the chicken regularly while air frying, so that each piece of chicken gets crisp on all sides.

  • Mix together the sauce in a tall measuring cup or large bowl. Ensure that the chilli garlic sauce and corn starch are combined in the chicken broth.

    ¼ cup Chilli garlic sauce, ¾ cup Chicken broth, 1 tablespoon Soy sauce, 2 tablespoon Brown sugar

  • Add the sauce mixture to a large skillet, and turn on to medium heat. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken, while stirring regularly.

  • Toss the cooked chicken into the sauce, and coat in the sauce.

Notes

  • Be liberal with the oil spray: One of the keys to successfully getting fully crispy and cooked chicken in the air fryer is to be liberal with the oil spray. If the chicken is air fried dry, it will taste like raw corn starch which will be unpleasant.
  • Taste for salt at the end: Both soy sauce and chilli garlic paste have a good amount of saltiness already. I recommend tasting the sauce for salt once it has reduced down, and adjusting to your taste.
  • For a dash of umami: Consider adding a small dash of MSG into the sauce for that restaurant "umami" flavor.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 2504mg | Potassium: 673mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

Have you Tried This Recipe?Don't forget to leave a comment and a star rating letting us know how it was!

Indo-Chinese Schezwan Chicken {Restaurant Style!} (2024)

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