Lightened-Up Indo-Chinese Chili Chicken

Plate of Chili Chicken garnished with spring onion greens - close up of diced chicken pieces with diced red onion and green bell pepper.

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This Lightened-Up Indo-Chinese Chili Chicken is a quick and easy fusion stir-fry dish that packs a punch and is bursting with spicy, slightly tangy, and sweet flavors! Tender diced chicken pieces are coated in a light marinade, fried, and then tossed with bell pepper and onion in a garlicky chili sauce! Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!




  • 7 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 TBLS Ginger (about 1.5″ chunk) – minced
  • 58 Red Chilies (preferably Thai/Bird’s Eye Chilies), or to taste – chopped*
  • 2 Green Chilies (preferably Thai/Bird’s Eye Chilies), or to taste – chopped*
  • ¼ Red Onion – diced
  • ¼ Green Bell Pepper/Capsicum – diced
  • 2 Spring Onions (Scallions) – chopped, whites & greens separated




  • 4 & ½ TBLS Peanut Oil (or any other oil with a high burning point)
  • 1 TSP Chili Oil (optional)
  • 1 TSP Sesame Oil
  • 2 Chicken Breasts (about 400g), boneless, skinless – diced into bite sized pieces
  • 23 Thai Dried Red Chilies, or to taste*
  • 23 TBLS Water



  1. Chopping: Chop all your ingredients. Add the garlic, ginger, and spring onion whites to a small bowl. Add the fresh red chilies and green chilies in a small bowl. Add the spring onion greens into another separate small bowl. (Note: Discarding the seeds of the chilies is optional and depends on your personal preference.)
  2. Chicken Marinade: Mix together the corn starch, low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, a dash of sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the diced chicken and mix to coat them well with the marinade. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the other items.
  3. Sauce Bowl: In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients for your Sauce bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
  4. Prep for Thai Dried Red Chilies: Heat the wok on the stove – about 20-30 seconds. Add about 3 tablespoons of peanut oil to the wok (you will use this same oil later to semi-fry the chicken). Lift the wok and swirl it in a circular motion so that the oil spreads around the perimeter and then place it back on the stove to let it heat up. Add the dried red chilies and gently stir them around the wok until they get slightly crispy – about 10-20 seconds. Be careful not to burn them! Remove them to a strainer and hold the strainer above the wok to let any oil drain back into it. Empty the chilies into a small bowl. Once they are not too hot to handle, cut each dried red chili up into two or three pieces with cooking scissors (cut the longer ones into three pieces and the shorter ones into two).
  5. Prep for Marinated Chicken: Turn on stove again and add a dash of sesame oil to the peanut oil already in the wok. Lift the wok and rotate it in a circular motion again and place it back on the stove to let the oil heat up. Once heated, add the chicken and spread evenly in the work. Let the chicken cook and brown for about 1 minute before starting to toss and flip the pieces. Once they are about three fourths of the way cooked, remove the chicken pieces to the fine mesh strainer and hold above the wok to let the oil drain. (You can gently shake the strainer to speed up the draining process, but be careful not to shake too violently as that’ll cause some of the cornstarch to come off and make the chicken a bit mushy.) Remove the chicken into another clean large bowl and set aside. Discard the oil in the wok and wipe with paper towels. Set back on stove.

Lightened-Up Indo-Chinese Chili Chicken:

  1. Turn on the stove and let the wok heat up for 20-30 seconds. Add 1 & ½ TBLS peanut oil, 1 TSP chili oil (if using), and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Once the oil is hot – about 30-40 seconds later, add the green bell pepper and the red onion. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the garlic, ginger, and spring onion whites. Give it a quick stir to prevent the garlic from burning.
  2. Add the fresh red and green chilies and continue stir frying for a few seconds.
  3. Add the semi cooked diced chicken and the Thai Dried Red Chilies. Toss to combine everything in the wok.
  4. Stir the contents of the sauce bowl with a spoon (the corn starch will have clotted up at the bottom of the bowl) and then pour in the sauce in a circular motion to coat as many of the chicken pieces. Stir-fry to combine with everything else in the wok for about 40 seconds.
  5. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water. Continue stir-frying.
  6. Once the sauce starts to thicken up – after about 30-40 seconds, add ¾ of the spring onion greens and toss to combine for 30 seconds.
  7. Turn off the heat and remove to a dish or plate. Garnish with the remainder spring onion greens. Serve with warm steamed white rice.


  1. *Deseed the fresh red and green chilies and the Thai Dried Red Chilies if you prefer the dish to be less spicy.
  2. **You can usually find Garlic PasteGinger Paste, and also Ginger Garlic Paste at an Indian or Asian Grocery Store or try online. If using Ginger Garlic Paste, use 3 teaspoons. If you can’t find either of them, blend equal amounts of roughly chopped garlic and ginger together with 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable/olive oil. I recommend making a small quantity – ½ cup chopped ginger and ½ cup chopped garlic, as you will only need 3 TSP in total for this recipe. This paste can be stored in the fridge for about a week and used for quick and easy cooking in other recipes such as pasta, noodles, and stir-fries.
  3. ***Word of Caution: Mad Dog 357 Hot Sauce is VERY hot so I wouldn’t suggest including this if you are not very big on spicy food. It ranks 357,000 units on the Scoville scale so this one is definitely not for the fainthearted. Having said that, if used in the smallest amounts or cooked as I’ve done in this recipe, it gives a fruity and smoky spicy flavor to the food. It can be quite delicious in certain dishes, but again, only use it if you know you have a good tolerance for spicy food. Some of my friends and I love a drop or two of this on Mexican food such as chimichangas and nachos! You decide if this is something you would like to include in this recipe, but use with caution and sparingly!


Keywords: quick & easy, chicken dinner, fusion, stir-fry,