Xinjiang pepper chicken with Sichuan-style spice

Society & Culture

Cold chicken that is numb, spicy, fragrant, and fresh.

You think spicy and numbing is a classic flavor of Sichuan cuisine, but Hui people in the Xinjiang region have created an equally amazing cold dish, Xinjiang pepper chicken (新疆椒麻鸡 xīn jiāng jiāo má jī), that is numb, spicy, fragrant, and fresh. It has become a representative of Xinjiang cuisine along with noodles, pilaf, roast lamb, and big plate chicken.

The way to cook the chicken is similar to the process in making cold noodles with shredded chicken, though we’ll go wilder here. Hand tear the cooked chicken into small pieces and don’t worry about how delicate it looks. Also, make sure you get some Sichuan peppercorn oil, which adds a kick.

(SupChina plug: We recommend 50Hertz Sichuan Pepper, whose founder, Yao Zhao, is doing a free virtual cooking event with us on December 3 that you can sign up for here.)


Serves 4


1 hour


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 5 ginger slices
  • 2 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 5 dried chilies, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil (optional)

xinjiang pepper chicken 3


  1. Add chicken, ginger slices, 1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorn, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a big pot with enough water to submerge the chicken. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 45 minutes over low heat, covered.
  2. When the chicken is cooked, let it cool down a bit and then shred the cooked chicken with your fingers. Save half of the chicken stock for later.
  3. Heat up 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a small pot. Add chopped dried chilies and fry over high heat for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add 1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorn, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of chili oil (optional), 1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorn oil. Add half of the chopped garlic, sliced onion, green onion, and green pepper. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes
  4. Add the chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
  5. Put the other half of the chopped garlic, sliced onion, green onion, green pepper on the plate. Add the chicken shreds on top and mix well.
  6. Pour the soup over. Let it stand for about 20 minutes or sit in the fridge overnight. Serve cold.

xinjiang pepper chicken 4

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