Two Peas and Their Pod

Recipe for Hunan Chicken with Chow Mein Noodles and Vegetables

Recipe for Hunan Chicken with Chow Mein Noodles and Vegetables

Maria asked me to write this post since it is our blog! So you get to here from Josh today!!

There is one thing that I really miss about living in the Bay Area, besides living close to my family…the great Chinese Food. When I lived in Martinez, California, a great little town in the East Bay, there was a fantastic Chinese restaurant. All of their food was great but my favorite dish was the Hunan Chicken. It was sweet and spicy and the flavors were mixed perfectly. My brother and I loved to order the “Human Chicken”, it always made us laugh, but they did not always think we were too funny.

When I found out I was moving I tried every method to get their recipe. I first asked them for it, then I offered to pay for it, then I actually got on my knees and begged for it, but nothing worked.

Our friend, who took the orders, said the cook would not give the recipe to anyone, not even the family. Anyways, my sister-in-law Whitney and I tried to look up this recipe then and all we found was Hunan Chicken recipes that contained ketchup. That didn’t sound good to us, so I gave up the search. I recently stumbled upon a recipe that sounded a little similar so I tried to recreate our favorite “Human Chicken.”

The recipe was really good, it came pretty close! I served the chicken with Chow Mein noodles and vegetables. Maria just had noodles and veggies, she still won’t try my chicken:)

Hunan Chicken

Adapted from Tyler Florence


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or canola if you are allergic)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 slices fresh ginger, smashed
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Frying:

  • Vegetable Oil, or Peanut oil, for frying
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 4 cups of flour


  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch for slurry
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 dried red Thai chilies
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 thick strips orange zest
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish


Put the chicken into a bowl with the marinade ingredients. Stir well to combine all the flavors, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2hours. Heat vegetable oil, or peanut oil in a wok or deep skillet to 375 degrees F. Add the marinated chicken and coat it well with the batter. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken pieces in batches until they are browned and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels. When you have fried all the chicken. Over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil add the chilies, scallion, garlic, ginger, and orange zest. Stir-fry for 1 minute then pour in the soy sauce, chicken stock, vinegar, and honey and bring it to a boil. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Pour the slurry into the boiling sauce, in 2 additions, until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken pieces and cook until they are heated through, about 2 more minutes. Garnish with scallions and cilantro leaves. Serve with the noodle and vegetable recipe below.

**This recipe is good, but it was not as delicious as my favorite. When I do this again I will add sliced Jalapeños, I will use less soy sauce and maybe add some brown sugar. Mess with it until you can get it to your taste. **

Chow Mein Noodles with Vegetables

  • 3 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles
  • 1-2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium canned
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for the table
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, white and green minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 10 dried shittake mushrooms, rehydrated, drained, and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced canned water chestnuts
  • 6 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts
  • Mixed vegetables-we used snow peas, zucchini, broccoli, and yellow squash


Boil the noodles according to package instructions. Drain in a colander in the sink and rinse under cold running water. Shake the colander to drain off excess water and pat the noodles dry with a towel. Heat oil in a large seasoned or non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the noodles, spreading them out to evenly cover the skillet, and fry, turning once, until golden brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. (Break the noodles up, by stirring, near the end of the cooking). Transfer noodles to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt to taste. Set aside. Discard any excess oil and wipe out the pan. Whisk together the vegetable broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar in a small bowl, and set aside. Heat the skillet over high heat. Add a little oil if you need to then add the ginger, garlic, and scallion and stir-fry, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion, celery, and mushrooms, and mixed veggies and stir-fry, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the water chestnuts and spread the ingredients to the outside of the pan to form a well in the center. Pour the broth mixture into the well, bring to a boil, and stir to coat the chow mein mixture. Stir in the bean sprouts and remove from the heat. Season generously to taste with pepper. Transfer mixture to a warm platter and top with the fried noodles. Pass more soy sauce at the table.

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53 Responses to “Recipe for Hunan Chicken with Chow Mein Noodles and Vegetables”

  1. Barbara Bakes — January 29, 2009 @ 7:20 am

    Just the marinade alone sounds fabulous!

  2. Cathy — January 29, 2009 @ 7:40 am

    This looks great! I have not had Chinese food in a while — and this totally has me craving some!

  3. Erica — January 29, 2009 @ 7:47 am

    JOSH! This sounds amazing! My Josh would love this too. Book marking it :) I grew up in Pleasanton, CA. I love San Fran! Chinese food there is too good.

  4. Kirsten — January 29, 2009 @ 7:58 am

    That looks fantastic. That might have to be on our menu for this weekend! Yum!

  5. Rosa's Yummy Yums — January 29, 2009 @ 7:59 am

    That’s a delicious looking dish! I love Chinese food… Yummy!



  6. Culinarywannabe — January 29, 2009 @ 8:00 am

    This looks awesome! Maria is one lucky girl (even without the chicken)! :)

  7. Mary — January 29, 2009 @ 8:14 am

    This is one fine looking meal and great to have during the Chinese New Year celebration.

  8. Peggy — January 29, 2009 @ 8:15 am

    YUM. that sounds so good. Too many ingredients for me to handle though. I guess I’ll stick with takeout. Unless you can pass me some through the web! Would love to try yours.

  9. Megan — January 29, 2009 @ 8:34 am

    It looks delicious! I would gobble that chicken down.

  10. Maria — January 29, 2009 @ 8:38 am

    Erica-I love that we both married Josh’s:)

    Kirsten- Good to see you! Yes, add this to your menu!

    Culinarywannabe- I know I am lucky, thanks!

    Peggy-I wish we could pass some through the web, wouldn’t that be nice!

    Megan-You can have my share of the chicken anytime:)

  11. mikky — January 29, 2009 @ 8:41 am

    mmm… looks so inviting… noodles, a chinese staple dish… :)

  12. Katherine Aucoin — January 29, 2009 @ 8:47 am

    This looks and sounds amazing. I am bookmarking this to try next week.

  13. Meg — January 29, 2009 @ 8:50 am

    I love Hunan chicken and this looks amazing! YUM!

  14. Jessy and her dog Winnie — January 29, 2009 @ 9:19 am

    Wow, looks great!

  15. Allie — January 29, 2009 @ 9:28 am

    What a great chinese feast! We love Hunana Chicken and glad I’m not the only one searching for a good recipe, can’t wait to make this!

  16. Pam — January 29, 2009 @ 9:49 am

    Yum. It looks so tasty – the sauce sounds perfect. I sure wish my husband would cook a meal like this for me.

  17. Maria — January 29, 2009 @ 9:55 am

    Allie- I hope you like this recipe. It was really good!

    Pam- I am lucky Josh enjoys cooking. He is really good too! He was excited to make this dish!

  18. Happy cook — January 29, 2009 @ 10:00 am

    Wowo this looks so delicious, i am bookmarking them for making this chicken.
    Yeah i know chefs don’t part with their secrets, only we guys are so free about our reccipes.

  19. Elra — January 29, 2009 @ 10:04 am

    Whoa.. Maria, your dish make my mouth water. It is not even a lunch time yet.

  20. Maria — January 29, 2009 @ 10:39 am

    Happy Cook- I don’t understand why some people won’t share recipes. I love sharing mine!

    Elra- Food blogging always makes me hungry! Hopefully lunch time will arrive sooner than later:)

  21. Apples and Butter — January 29, 2009 @ 10:45 am

    Looks and sounds delicious! Nice to hear from you. Also loving the new banner!

  22. Sara — January 29, 2009 @ 10:50 am

    I worked in Martinez for 5 years! Are you talking about Sunflower Garden?

  23. Aggie — January 29, 2009 @ 10:53 am

    Oh this looks delicious!! I am totally bookmarking it for future Asian nights at our house which is becoming a weekly thing for us. Great recipe!!

  24. Spryte — January 29, 2009 @ 11:33 am

    mmmmmmmmmmmm…. that looks so good!

  25. Priscilla — January 29, 2009 @ 11:59 am

    Wow, that looks good. Something I miss about Calli is their amazing food too. But, I think Maria *really* ought to try the chicken, it looks so good!

  26. How To Eat A Cupcake — January 29, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

    My b/f and I were just talking last night over take-out about why we’ve never make our own chinese food at home. Thanks for this recipe!

  27. 5 Star Foodie — January 29, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

    Hunan chicken looks wonderful and chow mein noodles are always my favorite! Great recipe!

  28. The Blonde Duck — January 29, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

    I’ll try the chicken!

  29. Tyler — January 29, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    WOW!! It’s lunch time and that just made me REALLY hungry. I’m going to have to try this someday.

  30. Jodi — January 29, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    I love it when you have recipes using zucchini!!! This looks great. It is frustrating when someone doesn’t give up a recipe! :)

  31. Dawn — January 29, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

    Wonderful dish. I just love that sauce. I love a really good Chinese dish too. Take out is so so, but homemade is fantastic.

  32. Bridgett — January 29, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

    I live near the bay area and definitely know what you are saying about the delicious Asian food. Hard to beat once you get into the city, but yours looks fantastic.

  33. Lori — January 29, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

    Glad to hear from the other pea. This Hunan Chicken looks great. You ought to check out Rasa Malaysia for a lot of great restaurant type recipes. She may have the Hunan Chicken, I mean Human Chicken.

    One tip she gives on her site is to put the chicken in baking powder and corn starch for about 15 minutes. It really tenderizes chicken.

  34. Life on Pelican Street — January 29, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

    Joshy!!! I am so excited to try this recipe! A flood of memories came back to me just thinkin about the human chicken! Miss you guys!

  35. Manggy — January 29, 2009 @ 3:54 pm

    Hey Josh! That looks reeeally good! And I just had Chinese earlier! :) I wonder what the versions with ketchup taste like, heh heh :) Well done!

  36. Josh — January 29, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

    Thanks for all of the kind comments.

    Sara: It wasnot the sunflower. Where would would go is still there but different owners and it is sub par now. That is a whole differnt story but it made us sad.

    Lori. I will have to try the Baking powder thing. I really didn’t have any problem with the chicken being tender or good. I just did not get the sauce to where I wanted it.

    Thanks agian for the comments, and Whitney you guys need to get in the car and get here ASAP!

  37. anudivya — January 29, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

    Love Chinese food and you did a great job with it. Hope Maria had a fun time enjoying it.

  38. Reeni♥ — January 29, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

    I’ll try your Chicken!! It looks great! There used to be a restaurant called Hunan 9 that had the best Chinese I’ve ever had, including this chicken. Sadly they closed, I haven’t found any place that can compare.

  39. Clumbsy Cookie — January 29, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

    Ok now I’ll have to go and buy chinese tomorrow! This is a great dish!

  40. Balance, Joy and Delicias! — January 29, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

    good work Josh, both dishes look amazingly too me! 😀

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