Stewed Spicy Chicken with Potatoes, Let’s Get Cooking – Níngxià, China

Stewed Spicy Chicken with Potatoes

Alice, one of my summer-school ZAFU students, shared this spicy chicken dish.  Alice says, “Stewed spicy chicken with potatoes is my mom’s special dish.  It is famous in my hometown.  Since I’ve been a student here at ZAFU, I’ve never gotten to eat it.  Now, I miss it — and my parents–very much.  I really like its taste.  It is delicious.  I hope everyone enjoys it.”

Alice is from a very small village in Níngxià Province, in Northwest China. She says, “I like travelling very much.  So going to every country is my dream.  I am very happy to come to Zhèjiāng Province to study.”


Stewed Spicy Chicken with Potatoes


chicken – 600 grams (21.16 oz)

potatoes – 400 grams (14.11 oz)

pepper – 3 grams (.10 oz)

ginger -20 grams (.70 oz)

onion – 20 grams (.70 oz) – diced

salt – (.70 oz)

soy sauce – 20 grams (.70 0z)

pepper – 3 grams (.10 oz) – [Choose green sweet peppers or chili peppers depending on your spice wishes]

chili – 3 grams (.10 oz)

aniseed – a little

sugar – a little

wine – just a little

chicken powder – 10 grams (.35 oz)

flour – just enough to thicken the liquid

[In the first version of this recipe that Alice gave me, she listed one whole chicken and then no other measurements or amounts.  That version would give you great freedom to experiment and make your dish as spicy as you wish].

Spicy chicken with potatoes (and tomatoes)

Photo from:

To prepare:

Chop one whole chicken into cubes.

Chop peppers and potatoes.

Heat oil in a wok.

Add the chicken chunks, pepper, dried chili.

Stir-fry unto the color becomes yellow.

Add ginger, salt, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, aniseed, wine, and water. [You can play with the measurements to get a combination that you love].

Stew for 20 minutes.  Make sure you have enough water to cover the chicken.  More water means more tasty broth.

Add potatoes, pepper, chicken powder, and simmer 10 minutes.

Onto the surface of the stew, add flour  to create the consistency you wish,  and cook five minutes.

Serve the sauteed spicy chicken from Níngxià Province.

According to Wikipedia, Níngxià, located in Northwest China has the Yellow River flowing through much the region.  The Great Wall of  China runs along its northeastern boundary, and the province is the home of the Hui, one of the 56 officially recognized minority groups in China.  With about 10 million people in the Hui ethnic group, it is one of the largest ethnic minorities. “The region is mostly desert and thus sparsely settled, but the vast plain of the Yellow River in the north has been irrigated for centuries; over the years an extensive system of canals has been built.”

Alice, her mom, and I hope you like this recipe from Northwest China.


Zài Jiàn and Aloha, Renée

Spicy Chicken

Photo from


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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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