This Hunan Chicken recipe is the perfect homemade alternative to takeout! Hot, sour, and spicy, this Chinese chicken is the perfect 30 minute meal!

bowl of hunan chicken over rice with chopsticks

What’s in this Hunan Chicken Recipe?

So simple and easy to make, this stir-fried chicken recipe is loaded with flavor and lots of bright and colorful veggies. Tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce, I promise you, you will make this recipe more than once!

  • Chicken Broth: Forms the base of the sauce.
  • Oyster Sauce: Adds a salty and sweet flavor with a hint of caramel.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds a salty, umami flavor.
  • Chili Paste: Makes this dish spicy!
  • Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Cornstarch: Helps the chicken pieces brown and helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Salt + Pepper: Enhance the natural flavor of the chicken.
  • Chicken: I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you could also use thighs.
  • Vegetable Oil: Helps the chicken cook without burning, and
  • Sesame Oil: Helps the veggies cook without burning and adds a nutty flavor.
  • Vegetables: A combination of onion, garlic, broccoli, carrot, and bell pepper adds freshness, vitamins, and minerals!

Pro Tip: Cut the chicken into similar-sized pieces so that they cook evenly.

Variations on Hunan Style Chicken

This spicy chicken dish is delicious as is, but you can make it spicier (or less spicy) by adjusting the amount of chili paste. For a pop of freshness, try adding some orange zest and juice to the sauce.

I love to add cashews or toasted sesame seeds to this dish for a bit of extra crunch!

hunan chicken with wooden spoon in skillet
What is hunan chicken?

Hunan chicken is a delicious stir-fry dish from the Hunan province of China that incorporates hot and sour flavors.

What is the difference between Hunan and Szechuan chicken?

The main difference is the level of spice. Hunan chicken tends to be spicier and tangier than Szechuan chicken, and it usually incorporates more vegetables.

Is Hunan chicken sweet?

It is both sweet and spicy!

How spicy is Hunan chicken?

This recipe is a bit more tame than what you would get in Hunan; however, you can adjust the spice level to suit your individual tastes.

bown of hunan chicken over rice with chopsticks

How to Store and Reheat

This dish is best served as soon as it’s made so that the chicken coating is crispy. If you do have leftovers they can be stored, covered in the fridge, for 3 days. Reheat leftovers gently in a skillet.

How to Freeze

Freeze Hunan chicken in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve this stir-fried chicken on top of a bed of white rice. Nice and simple! It’s also great with noodles if you prefer those. This already has vegetables in it, but you can serve it up with some steamed broccoli or beans for some extra goodness if you like.

hunan chicken over rice
bown of hunan chicken over rice with chopsticks

Hunan Chicken

When you’re craving Chinese but don’t want to order out, this homemade Hunan chicken recipe has got your back!


For the Hunan Sauce

  • Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

    ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth, 3 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons red chili paste, 1½ tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the Chicken

  • Add the salt, pepper, and cornstarch to a bowl and whisk to combine. Toss the chicken pieces in the corn starch mixture.

    ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 20 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes per side until browned. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

For the Vegetables

  • Heat the sesame oil in the same pan used for the chicken. Once heated, add in the onion and cook for a couple minutes until softened.

    1 teaspoon sesame oil, ¼ cup minced onion

  • Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant.

    2 cloves garlic

  • Add in the broccoli, carrot, and bell pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes.

    2 cups broccoli florets, 1 carrot, 1 bell pepper


  • Cut the chicken into similar sized pieces so that they cook evenly.
  • Don’t overcrowd the skillet when you are frying the chicken. Fry it in a couple of batches if you don’t have a large skillet.
  • Don’t overcook the vegetables. They should still have some crunch to them.
  • If you are sensitive to heat, you can decrease the amount of chili paste used.

Storage: Store hunan chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts

Hunan Chicken

Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)

Calories 338
Calories from Fat 108

% Daily Value*

Fat 12g18%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Trans Fat 0.1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 5g

Monounsaturated Fat 3g

Cholesterol 91mg30%

Sodium 1153mg50%

Potassium 929mg27%

Carbohydrates 24g8%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 11g12%

Protein 34g68%

Vitamin A 4634IU93%

Vitamin C 98mg119%

Calcium 53mg5%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More Asian-Inspired Chicken Recipes We Love

Source link