Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji)

A photo of Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji) 1Kou Shui Ji is a very popular cold appetizer dish in China. Kou Shui Ji means saliva chicken when translated literally. But this dish has nothing to do with saliva! It’s named this way simply because it’s so delicious that it made people salivate for more! Maybe ‘mouth-watering chicken‘ is a better name for this savory, salty, sour, spicy and flavorful dish.

A photo of Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji) 1

To make your mouth water, a common dish with legacy.

“Mouth-watering chicken” or Kou Shui Ji is a must-have on any Sichuan restaurant menu. The dish is basically plain boiled chicken with an intense sauce full of flavors and tastes such as soy sauce, black vinegar, chili oil, peanuts, scallion, garlic, sesame seed and cilantro.

Just thinking of it and I’m already drooling! Mouth-watering chicken is so tasty and easy to make. Seriously. Try it!

A photo of Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji) 1

A photo of Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji) 1

A photo of Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji) 1

Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji) 4

A photo of Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji) 1

A photo of Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji) 1

A photo of Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji) 1


Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken (Kou Shui Ji)

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Serving Size: 2


  • 1 fresh chicken leg
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • some dried chili
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp crushed peanuts
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup iced water

Step by Step:

  1. Prepare the chicken. In a pot or saucepan, heat up some water with Chinese cooking wine, ginger slices, scallion pieces, peppercorns, chili flakes, star anise and bay leaf. Put the whole chicken leg into it and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, for 10 mins. Turn off heat and leave the chicken in it for another 5 mins.
  2. Run iced water over chicken to make the chicken smooth and moist, about 1 mins.
  3. Chop chicken into chunks and lay in a serving bowl.
  4. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add scallion, garlic, ginger, chili, peanuts and sesame seeds. Stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn off heat. Add in salt, sugar, soy sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil and mix well. Feel free to adjust the sauce to your taste. Pour sauce over the chicken and garnish with cilantro if desired.
  5. Serve immediately. (You can marinate it in the refrigerator for 1/2 to 2 hours for more flavor.)

Cheers! 😀


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  1. December 26, 2015 / 1:20 pm

    You had me at savory, salty, sour, spicy and flavorful. 😉

    • December 26, 2015 / 1:23 pm

      It was just so flavorful and mouthwatering!! I hope you try it! 😉

  2. December 26, 2015 / 4:12 pm

    Looks truly mouthwatering…will have to try!

    • December 26, 2015 / 7:45 pm

      Thank you! It really was!!! Let me know how you get on! 😀

    • December 27, 2015 / 8:54 am

      Aww thanks so much for the kind words Bing! I’m so happy you like my blog! xoxo Charlotte

  3. December 27, 2015 / 11:06 am

    This is one of my favorite Chinese food that I learned to love since I started living in HK. Now I know how to make it thanks to you 😉

    • December 27, 2015 / 11:33 am

      Wow I’m so glad it helps! This dish is so tempting that I made it over and over again!!! Let me know if you try it! 😉

  4. December 28, 2015 / 11:17 am

    It looks great. Who’d have thought that could be made from boiled chicken?

    • December 28, 2015 / 12:21 pm

      Aw haha thank you! Try it! It’s very easy to make. The sauce adds great flavor! I’m obsessed with it! 🙂

  5. December 30, 2015 / 7:21 am

    Oh my, this looks so divine, Charlotte. I look forward to making this 🙂 Happy New Year, I hope you have a good one.

    • January 1, 2016 / 8:26 am

      Hi Lynne! Thank you so much! Looking forward to your feedback. 🙂 Happy 2016! Best wishes to you!

  6. January 2, 2016 / 11:24 am

    This sounds, and looks, really delicious! The recipe is really simple, too. And I simply adore your photography! Everything’s so beautifully aranged. I live in China and have yet to come across this dish. Will definitely try this recipe one day. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    • January 2, 2016 / 11:42 am

      Thanks for stopping by and you kind comment! It really was!!! You have to try it out! It won’t disappoint you!:) I really like this dish, I think I am going to make it again in the next week haha.

      • January 2, 2016 / 11:51 am

        Hahaha , you must really love this dish! I’m sure that I’ll like it, too.

        And you’re welcome !

        • January 2, 2016 / 11:55 am

          Yea.. hahaha. Let me know how it turns out! Have a nice day!:)

  7. January 2, 2016 / 12:32 pm

    I need to try this! I am in China, so I should start cooking Chinese!

    As an aside, I have been yearning to see Si chuan for a while now. The food is one of my biggest motivators!

    • January 2, 2016 / 9:52 pm

      Absolutely! Sichuan is the place to be. Home to the giant panda and the birthplace of one of China’s most prominent schools of culinary art. I am sure you will have a great time!

    • January 2, 2016 / 9:54 pm

      Thank you! Let me know if you try it! xx

  8. January 2, 2016 / 10:24 pm

    Yum – The chicken looks wonderful.

    • January 2, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      Thank you! It was very delicious! 🙂

  9. January 6, 2016 / 4:24 am

    oh! I’ve always wanted to know why it’s named 口水鵝 口水雞! And now you’ve answered it for me! So simple too! It’s quite cute. I actually had the chicken version the other day at a restaurant, delicious! I’m going to have to try this recipe soon!

    • January 6, 2016 / 6:44 am

      Thanks for your comments! Yes, it’s really interesting to learn about the story or history of a dish. I didn’t know either until I started writing this post. This dish is so tasty! Try it! Let me know how it turns out! 😀

    • February 17, 2016 / 12:18 pm

      My pleasure. So glad you liked it! 🙂

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