Spicy Chinese Recipes

The spicy Chinese recipes are my favorites of the Chinese cuisine. These recipes can be from Northern China, Hunan (or Xiang) cuisine from the Xiang River Valley or the Sichuan cuisine from the Southwestern region of China. Although these cuisines are all different, I love the strong flavor of spices used when cooking them. Some of the great ingredients used for seasoning in these recipes are Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, wasabi (horseradish), ginger, dried green & red chilies, red Chile oil and cumin.

Spicy Chinese RecipesSpicy Chinese Recipes

Northern China, a wheat farming area, noodles are generally served rather than rice which is served in Southern China. Heavy foods are served in this farming region of colder temperature. The diet consists of locally grown grains, soybeans, sesame seeds, cabbages and peaches. Heavier meals of red meat dishes and dairy foods add more fat to the diet. Most recipes are seasoned heavily with spices distinctly to this northern region.

The Hunan cuisine is deliciously spicy hot with the frequent use of chilies, garlic and onions.  This area cooking typically uses more fresh ingredients so the cooking will vary with the seasons. Hunan recipes are usually compared to Sichuan recipes because of the rich spicy hot flavors and having more fat and oils than the other Chinese cuisines. Hunan cooking will often include smoked and cured ingredients.

Spicy Chinese recipe from Sichuan offer a strong hot (I understand to be the hottest Chinese cuisine)and spicy taste with the use of Sichuan peppercorns, black pepper, chilies, broad bean paste, garlic and shallots. Additional spices adding to the great flavor of the Sichuan cooking are fennel, aniseed, cinnamon and cloves. The wide range of products used in this style of cooking include beef, pork, fish and many local vegetables. This deep rich flavor is the most popular of all the Chinese cuisines.

Another style of spicy Chinese recipes is the Gulzhou cuisine. Although this is my least favorite but many people love this style of spicy hot and sour cooking. It is also from the southwest region but incorporates a lot of pickled vegetables and cured meats to go with the locally made liquor. This area is known for the expert cooking of meats and wild game provided by the primitive tribes’ hunting. 


Hunan Beef SteakHunan Beef Steak

Prepare a spicy Chinese recipe from Hunan.

  • 1 Pound sirloin steak (cut into strips ¼ X 3 inches)
  • ¼ Cup soy sauce
  • 3 Cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ Cup sesame oil
  • 1 small head broccoli (Break into flowerets)
  • 8 Ounces fresh mushrooms (Sliced)
  • 2 Medium carrots (Clean and slice thinly)
  • 6 Green onions (Cut in 1 inch pieces)
  • ¼ Cup toasted sliced almonds
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon (Or more) dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • Hot cooked rice

FOR MARINADE combine soy, sherry and garlic in a large bowl.

Add steak to marinade; cover and marinate at room temperature 1 hour.

TO COOK drain steak and reserve marinade; heat oil over high in a large skillet.

Add beef to skillet and stir fry 2 minutes; remove from skillet and set aside.

Add broccoli and next 6 ingredients to skillet; cook for 2 minute.

REDUCE HEAT to medium.

Blend cornstarch with water; stir mixture and reserved marinade into skillet.

Cook until vegetables are tender crisp and sauce thickens stirring frequently.

Return steak to skillet and heat through about 2 minutes; serve over rice.

Serves 4.


Slow Cooker Sesame Pork RibsSlow Cooker Sesame Pork Ribs

Prepare a Spicy Chinese recipe in a slow cooker.

  • 5 Pounds country style pork ribs
  • ¾ Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Cup soy sauce
  • ½ Cup ketchup
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 6 Cloves minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 Teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 Large sliced onion
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • ¼ Cup chopped green onions

In a large bowl combine brown sugar and next 8 ingredients.

Add ribs to the bowl and toss to coat all sides.

Place the sliced onion in a 5 quart slow cooker.

Arrange ribs on top of onion; cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours or until tender.

NOTE: Meat thermometer should register about 170F degrees.

Place ribs on a serving platter; sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion.

Slow Cooker Sesame Pork RibsSlow Cooker Sesame Pork Ribs


Prepare a spicy Chinese recipe from Sichuan. 

  • 8 Ounces thin noodles or vermicelli
  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 ½ Cups chopped onion
  • 2 Teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ Cup beef broth
  • ½ Cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ Cup sliced green onion

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and keep warm.

In large skillet brown the ground beef stirring until crumbly; drain and keep warm.

Heat oil in skillet; add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes.

Cook and stir until onion is tender.

Stir cornstarch into beef broth until smooth; add with hoisin and soy to the skillet.

Bring to a boil stirring constantly about 1 minute; stir in ground beef.

Toss beef mixture with warm noodles; sprinkle with green onions.


Prepare a spicy Chinese recipe with shrimp and peas.

  • 2 Teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ Cup rich chicken broth
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Small onions (Cut into wedges from root)
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Inch piece fresh ginger (Grated)
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • ¾ Pound raw shrimp (Shell and devein)
  • 2 Cups frozen peas
  • Salt to taste
  • Hot cooked rice

FOR SAUCE mix together cornstarch, soy, broth, sugar, salt and cayenne.

Heat the oil in a large skillet; over high heat stir fry for 2 minutes.

Add ginger, garlic and shrimp; stir fry 3 minutes until shrimp is done.

Add sauce to skillet; stir and bring to a boil.

Stir in peas and simmer 3 minutes; adjust salt.

Serve immediately with cooked rice; serves 4.


Prepare a spicy Chinese recipe on skewers.

Chicken Kabobs

  • 36 Wooden skewers
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Pound boneless skinless chicken breast (Cut into 1 inch pieces)

Peanut Sauce   

  • 1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ to ½ Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ Cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ Cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 Cup milk 

TO MAKE KABOBS soak the wooden skewers in water for 20 to 25 minutes.

In medium bowl combine the oil and teriyaki sauce; stir in the chicken pieces.

Cover bowl and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.


Thread chicken onto skewers; place on foil lines baking sheet.

Broil about 6 inches from heat source 6 to 8 minutes until lightly browned.

TO MAKE SAUCE heat oils in small saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion and next 3 ingredients; cook and stir 3-4 minutes until onion is tender.

Stir in peanut butter and next 3 ingredients until smooth; gradually stir in milk.

Bring to a boil while stirring constantly; remove from heat and cool slightly.

Serve with kabobs as dipping sauce; makes 36.


This flavorful sauce turns stir fry recipes into spicy Chinese recipes.

  • ¼ Cup chicken broth
  • 1 Green onion (Chop green part only)
  • 4 Slices fresh ginger (1X1/8 inch slices)
  • 1 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 Teaspoon dry sherry
  • 1 Teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ Teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch white pepper

COMBINE AND MIX all sauce ingredients; cover and store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

SHRIMP STIR FRY with (above) Kung Bao Sauce

Prepare a spicy Chinese recipe with shrimp.

  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1-1 ½ Pounds large fresh shrimp (Shell and devein)
  • 6 Green onions (Cut white parts julienne; cut green part 2 inch lengths)
  • 1 Small hot green pepper (Seed and mince)
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 Teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 Cup Kung Boa Sauce (Recipe above)
  • 1 Tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil

Blend together the cornstarch and water until smooth; set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat.

Add the shrimp, green onion, pepper, ginger, cilantro and garlic.

Cook and stir about 30 seconds; add Kung Boa sauce and cornstarch mixture.

Cook and stir until thickened and shrimp is done (1-2 minutes).

Stir in the sherry and sesame seed oil; serves 4.


Prepare a spicy Chinese recipe with beef.

  • 2 Pounds round steak (1 inch thick)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Water 
  • 1/3 Cup soy sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3 Carrots (Peel and cut into julienne strips)
  • 2 Green bell peppers (Cut in 1 inch squares)
  • 1 Hot green pepper (Seed and dice)
  • 8 Green onions (Cut in 1 ½ inch pieces)
  • ½ Pound fresh mushrooms (Cut in halves)
  • 1 Can (8 Ounces) water chestnuts (Cut in halves)
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ Cup water
  • Hot cooked rice

Cut steak into thin strips (1/8 Inch thick and 3-4 inches long)

Heat oil in a large skillet and brown steak.

Drain skillet drippings into measuring cup; add enough water to make 1 cup.

Combine cup liquid with soy sauce, sugar, pepper, garlic and ginger.

Add mixture to meat in skillet; bring to a boil, cover and simmer 45 minutes.

Add the carrots and next 5 ingredients to the skillet; cover and cook 15 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into skillet until thickened.

Serve over rice; serves 6 to 8.


Prepare a spicy Chinese recipe with chicken and vegetables.

  • 4 Large chicken breast halves (Skinned and boneless; cut into ¼ inch strips)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 Bell pepper (Seed and cut into strips)
  • 1 Small sliced onion
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) bean sprouts (Drained)
  • 1 Can (5 Ounces) water chestnuts (Drained and sliced)
  • 1 Teaspoon chicken base
  • ½ Cup water
  • 2 Teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Cups hot cooked rice
  • ¾ Cup toasted sliced almonds

Heat oil over high in a large skillet; add celery and next 5 ingredients to skillet.

Stir quickly and cook about 3 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Remove vegetables to a warm platter with a slotted spoon.

Add chicken to the skillet and stir fry about 3-5 minutes until chicken is white.

Return vegetables to the skillet; add bean sprouts and next 3 ingredients.

In small bowl blend cornstarch with soy sauce; stir into skillet mixture.

Cook and stir skillet mixture until thickened; spoon over hot rice.

To serve top with toasted almonds; serves 4.


Prepare a spicy Chinese recipe with noodles.

Crusty Noodle Cake

Cook 8 ounces of vermicelli according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the cooked vermicelli all at once to the skillet spreading to fill the bottom. Cook until golden brown on bottom. Lift with a wide spatula and add another 1 tablespoon oil to the bottom. Turn noodle cake over and cook until other side is golden brown. Remove to serving platter and keep warm.

Pork and Vegetables

  • 1 Pound boneless lean pork (Cut across grain into thin slices then in strips)
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch (Divided)
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce (Divided)
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • ½ Teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 Can (14 Ounces) chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (Divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Large carrots (Peel and cut in julienne strips)
  • 2 Stalks celery (Cut diagonally in slices)
  • 1 Medium onion (Thinly sliced)
  • ½ Pound fresh bean sprouts
  • Noodle cake

Cut the pork across the grain into thin slices then cut into strips.

Combine 1 TABLESPOON cornstarch, 1 TABLESPOON soy and garlic in a bowl.

Stir in the hot sauce; add pork tossing to coat and set aside.

Combine 2 TABLESPOONS cornstarch and 3 TABLESPOONS soy in another bowl.

Add chicken broth and stir until blended; set aside.

After preparing noodle cake heat 1 TABLESPOON oil in same skillet over high.

Add the pork and stir fry 2 minutes; remove pork to warm plate.

Heat 1 TABLESPOON oil in skillet; stir fry ginger 15 seconds.

Add celery, carrots and onion and stir fry 2 minutes.

Add bean sprouts and stir fry 2 minutes longer; stir in pork and soy mixture.

Cook and stir until bubbly and thickened about 1 minute.

Spoon pork mixture over the noodle cake and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.