ChihYu Smith's Paleo Black Pepper Chicken

// ChihYu Smith's Paleo Black Pepper Chicken

Prep Time

13 mins

Cook Time

8-9 mins

Free Time

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According to ChihYu Smith, who developed the original recipe for her popular blog, I Heart Umami, this dish reminds people of their favorite takeout food. The juicy chicken is tossed in a savory-sweet (but not too sweet) sauce, with a healthy dose of black and Sichuan pepper that will leave your mouth tingling with pleasant spice. Use whatever veggies you have on hand to make this quick weeknight dinner.

All of Anyday’s recipes are tested (and retested!) in many different microwaves and home kitchens to make sure they work — and work well.

Meat, One Dish Meals, Soups, Chicken, Chicken Drumsticks/Thighs, chicken thighs, chihyu smith, Chinese, Gluten-Free, paleo, Deep Dish Meat, One Dish Meals, Soups

What You’ll Need

What You’ll Need

The Medium Deep Dish

The best dish for 1-2 portions of grains, veggies, mac and cheese, ramen, and more.

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Select your serving size and microwave wattage in the dropdown. The recipe will change accordingly.


Select your microwave wattage in the dropdown. The cook times in this recipe will automatically change accordingly.


To find your microwave’s wattage, look at the front panel, the side of the door, in the back, in the user manual, or Google the model number. If both an input and output wattage are listed, use the output.

Wattage translates to how powerful the microwave is. The higher the wattage, the faster your food will cook. The lower the wattage, the longer the cook time.

When in doubt, start with less time — you can always add more.

Microwave oven by power - 700w



The Medium Deep Dish


For the sauce

  • ¾  teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • ¼ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder, optional
  • ¾ tablespoon peach, apricot or orange jam
  • ¾ tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock

For the chicken

  • ½ lb (225g) chicken breast, diced into 1” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil, or vegetable oil
  • teaspoons coconut aminos
  • ¼  teaspoon baking soda
  •   teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced into 1” cubes
  • stalks of (85g) celery, sliced on diagonal
  • ½ (50g) small yellow onion, diced small
  • salt, to taste


  1. In a separate bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients for the chicken into the Anyday dish. Mix well. Cover with the lid (knob lifted). Cook in the microwave for 6 minutes, or until chicken is almost cooked through.
  3. Add the sauce and mix well. Continue cooking uncovered for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has warmed through and the chicken is fully cooked through.

Serving suggestions & tips

  • Try it with shrimp, diced pork tenderloin or firm tofu (but note that it won't qualify as Paleo anymore).
  • Finish the dish with thinly sliced scallions for a refreshing touch.
  • If you want more vegetables, substitute part of the chicken for more celery and bell peppers or add in zucchini, eggplant, or broccoli.

Recipe notes

  • Learn more about ChihYu Smith at
  • Microwave ovens vary, even with the same wattages. Adjust cooking times as needed.