Chili Garlic Chicken Fried Rice (Sichuan Yu Xiang Style)

Top view of plate with spicy chicken fried rice garnished with chopped spring onion.

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Tender shredded chicken, plenty of garlic, chilies, mushrooms, bean sprouts and a DELICIOUS spicy-sweet & tangy sauce come together in this tantalizing Chili Garlic Chicken Fried Rice!



For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 250 grams/ 0.55 pounds Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless (see note 1) – cleaned and pat-dried, cut into thin slivers
  • 2 TSP Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
  • ½ TBLS Shao Xing Rice Wine
  • 1/8 TSP Kosher Salt
  • ¼ TSP Sesame Oil
  • 1 TSP Potato Starch (or Corn Starch)

For the Sauce:

  • 2 TBLS Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
  • 1.5 TBLS Shao Xing Rice Wine
  • 1 TBLS Chinkiang Vinegar
  • 1 TSP Dark Soy Sauce
  • 23 TSP White Sugar, to taste
  • 1 TSP Sesame Oil
  • ½1 TSP Pure Chili Oil (without flakes/seeds)

For the Chili Garlic Chicken Fried Rice:

  • 10 grams / ¼ cup dried Cloud Ear Mushrooms (or wood ear mushrooms – see note 2) – soaked in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes, rinsed, drained, finely sliced
  • 6 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 TBLS minced Ginger
  • 1 Spring Onion (Scallion/Green Onion) – finely chopped, white and light green parts separated from dark green parts
  • ½ medium Yellow Onion – finely chopped
  • 28 fresh Red Chilies (Bird’s Eye or any other small hot red chilies), to taste – finely chopped
  • 1 cup Mung Bean Sprouts – rinsed and drained
  • 26 Chinese Dried Chilies (optionalsee note 3), to taste – destemmed and snipped into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 TBLS Canola Oil (or any neutral flavored cooking oil)
  • 3 cups cooked Long Grain Rice (such as Thai Jasmine rice – cold day-old rice works best)
  • 3 TBLS Lao Gan Ma Pickled Chilies Sauce (or Sambal Oelek – see note 4)
  • ¼ TSP ground White Pepper



  1. Soak and blanch the mushrooms: Soak the dried cloud ear (or wood ear) mushrooms in a bowl filled with warm water for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Once tender and rehydrated, drain into a fine mesh strainer and rinse well. Slice into thin strips. Bring a pot of water to a boil add the sliced mushrooms. Boil for 1-2 minutes, then drain and run cold water over the mushrooms to halt the cooking process. Set aside.
  2. Marinate the chicken: Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips. Then slice the strips into thin slivers. Add to a medium bowl, followed by the low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, kosher salt, sesame oil and potato starch. Mix well to combine, then set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.
  3. Make the sauce: Mix together the low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, Chinkiang vinegar, dark soy sauce, white sugar, sesame oil, and pure chili oil in a measuring cup (or small bowl) until combined well.
  4. Prepare the fresh & dry ingredients: Chop the garlic, ginger, spring onion (separate the white and light green parts from the dark green parts), yellow onion, and fresh red chilies as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section. Rinse and drain the mung bean sprouts. Remove the stems of the Chinese dried chilies (if using) and snip into ½-inch pieces. (Pro-tip: You can remove and discard the seeds of the fresh and dried chilies to make this fried rice milder.)

For the Chili Garlic Chicken Fried Rice:

  1. Cook the chicken: Heat 3 tablespoons canola oil in a large wok over high heat. Once hot, add the marinated chicken slivers and stir-fry for 1 minute until 80% cooked. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and place over a clean bowl.
  2. Stir-fry the aromatics: Add a little more oil to the wok if needed (there should be 3 tablespoons in the wok) and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pickled chilies sauce and sauté for 20 seconds. Add the yellow onion, spring onion white and light green parts, ginger and stir-fry for 20-30 seconds or until slightly softened. Add the garlic, fresh red chilies, and dried red chilies and stir-fry to combine until fragrant – about 20-30 seconds.
  3. Cook the veggies: Add the sliced cloud ear mushrooms and mung bean sprouts. Toss briefly to combine until the bean sprouts have slightly wilted.
  4. Add the chicken: Add the partially cooked chicken and the juices in the bowl back into the wok and briefly stir-fry to combine.
  5. Add the rice and sauce: Add the cooked rice and pour the sauce on top. Stir-fry using a scooping motion until everything is combined and coated well in the sauce – about 1 minute.
  6. Toss through spring onion greens: Add the the spring onion dark green parts and sprinkle with ground white pepper. Toss briefly to combine, then switch off the heat.
  7. To Serve: Transfer to a serving plate or divide evenly into bowls. Garnish with more chopped spring onion dark green parts and serve immediately.



  1. Chicken. You can use boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs chicken thighs based on your preference. Note that breasts will be easier to finely slice than thighs due to their firmer texture.
  2. Dried Cloud Ear/Wood Ear Mushrooms. Chinese black fungus – wood ear mushrooms are traditionally used in “yu xiang” dishes. I used dried cloud ear mushrooms as they’re both similar in appearance, texture, and taste. You can use dried or fresh mushrooms. If using fresh mushrooms, you’ll only need to rinse and slice them before blanching. You’ll need ½ cup (about 60 grams) if using fresh cloud or wood ear mushrooms. Feel free to swap for dried or fresh shiitakes or other mushrooms of your choice.
  3. Dried Red Chilies. I used Chinese Xiao Mi La dried red chilies which are very hot. You can use any type of medium to hot Chinese dried red chilies or Thai dried red chilies. Use less if using Thai Bird’s Eye dried red chilies as they tend to be hotter than most Chinese dried red chilies. They are optional and can be omitted completely for a milder dish.
  4. Lao Gan Ma Pickled Chilies Sauce. Traditionally, pickled fresh er jing tiao chilies (pao la jiao – 泡辣椒) is used in “yu xiang” dishes in the Sichuan region. I find that Lao Gan Ma Pickled Red Chilies sauce is an excellent substitute. It has a similar and delicious hot and tangy flavor profile. Look for it an Asian or Chinese supermarket, or purchase it online. Substitute with sambal oelek or chopped Mexican or Thai pickled red chilies to yield a similar flavor.
  5. Adjust spice level to taste. Omit the chili oil in stir-fry sauce and use less of the fresh and dried red chilies to make this fried rice milder. You can use less pickled chilies sauce too, but you may need to add more kosher salt to taste as it adds salty and briny umami flavors to the fried rice, not just heat.
  6. Storage and leftovers. Store in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for on high 1 to 2 minutes until hot throughout.
  7. See ‘Variations’ section in post if you’d like to customize this fried rice.


Keywords: yu xiang fried rice, chili garlic chicken fried rice, chili garlic fried rice