Crispy Chicken Stir Fry – Chinese Takeout at Home!

Chicken Stir Fry Video (scroll down for printable recipe)

I came up with this one evening when what I was really craving was some Chinese take-out, the kind that’s way too sweet and sticky and tastes awesome but leaves you feeling kind of terrible in your guts after you eat it, you know the kind I’m talking about?

The kind that comes with broccoli, but only like four sprigs of it, overcooked and soft. The kind that comes with fried rice speckled with greasy peas and carrot nubs. The kind that comes with a styrofoam cup of gloppy, lukewarm egg drop soup. The kind that comes with a damp egg roll about which I have no complaints because I love all egg rolls, no matter how shitty they are.

Crispy Chicken Stir Fry

THAT was what I wanted. But since I still have a few pounds to lose post-baby and we are trying to eat healthy (and whatever that means to you, I’m pretty sure it means “no Chinese takeout” to everyone) I instead went and got some chicken and broccoli at the ding dang ol’ H-E-B and set about my business in the kitchen to create something that would quell my hunger for MSG and corn syrup, but not leave me with the junk food hangover.

One trick to making Chinese take-out at home is to use chicken thighs. Sure, buy the organic ones, buy the air-chilled ones, or buy the ones that are half-off because they expire, like, this second; any kind you get is probably higher quality than the ones they’re using at Wok’n’Roll. Chicken thighs are important here, though. If you are really on a diet, you can use chicken breast but thighs have more flavor and better texture and I can damn well guarantee that thighs are what your local joint uses.  The only other “trick” is that you do have to use some sugar and probably more oil than you feel comfortable with, but still not a ton of either and mos’ def’ less than you would be eating at a restaurant.

Whenever I do any kind of stir fry, I always get my rice started first so it’s ready when I am. If you’re a real newb, check out this post on how to cook rice. If you’re an oldie in the kitchen, try mixing a half-cup quinoa and half-cup white rice in your pot with 1 1/2 cups water and cook it just like you would rice for a more wholesome, whole grain accompaniment to your dinner without totally giving up the deliciousness that is perfectly cooked, fluffy white rice.

And for a real treat — not a healthy one, but hey, you just put quinoa in your rice so that counts for something  — make your own egg rolls with this egg roll recipe.

Chicken Stir Fry Recipe – Printable!


Crispy Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

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5 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1” chunk ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 bunch broccoli (about a pound)
  • 11 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup rice flour or cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oil for frying (vegetable, canola, peanut, corn, grapeseed)
  • 210 dried red chiles
  • 1/2 cup cashews, peanuts or sliced almonds


  1. Mince garlic and ginger and mix with sauce ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Cut the broccoli heads into florets about 1 1/2″ long by 3/4″ wide. “Roll cut” (See video) the stems into bite-sized pieces. Steam the broccoli for 3 minutes (or microwave in batches for 1 minute each) until bright green and set aside.
  3. Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut into bite size pieces no larger than 1″ cubes. Toss in a large bowl with 1/4 cup rice flour or cornstarch and salt.
  4. Heat oil in a wok or very large skillet until a chile sizzles when dropped in. Add a couple chiles and a third of the chicken pieces and fry on all sides until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes total. Remove to a tray to rest while you fry the remaining chicken.
  5. When all is fried, pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil and reheat. Add the cashews and remaining dried chiles and cook 60 seconds until toasted.
  6. Add the broccoli and stir fry 60-90 seconds.
  7. Add the chicken back in and cook another 60 seconds. Push all to one side.
  8. Pour in the sauce and let it start to bubble and thicken up. Stir everything together to coat in the sauce. Serve immediately over rice or another grain or lomein noodles.


Nutrition amounts are estimated and do not include rice


  • Calories: 512
  • Sugar: 4
  • Fat: 29
  • Carbohydrates: 22
  • Protein: 40

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chicken stir fry


  1. The Other Randy on April 25, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Oh, wow! This looks fantastic. One of the many things I love about your recipes is that I almost always never have a problem figuring out how I can adapt it for one person. I buy chicken thighs every month, cut them up into 1 inch chunks and freeze them in 4 oz. portions. This reminds, though, of how much I love broccoli stems and miss them since I generally buy frozen florets (I once tried buying fresh broccoli and then freezing it myself, but the quality just isn’t the same. Oddly enough, it’s just the opposite for cauliflower). After some experiments with stir-fries, I’ve found that it’s best to make the entire sauce part of a recipe and then keep it in the refrigerator for future use. How long do you think yours would last?

    I’m jealous of how well-seasoned your wok is.

    • Chad Olson on April 26, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Hi, wondering if your slow cooker book is available in a paper version, or is only available for the reader things?

      • Hilah on April 27, 2015 at 11:53 am

        Hi Chad, it’s only an ebook right now, formatted for kindles but also as a downloadable PDF that you could load onto a computer or ipad.

    • Hilah on April 27, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Great idea, Randy! I’d guess the sauce would keep a week to 10 days. Very interesting about home-freezing broccoli vs cauliflower

      • The Other Randy on April 30, 2015 at 10:13 pm

        Since I’m currently a weekday “vegetarian”, I need more shelf life than that. I’ll try freezing portions of the sauce in 2″ cube silicon ice trays and then popping them into a ziplock bag. It’s probably best to leave the sesame oil out and use a squeeze bottle when actually doing the stir-fry.

        Here’s a tip for using frozen vegetables in stir-fries. Letting them thaw on the countertop leaves them so damp that no amount of toweling can keep the dish from becoming a “stir-steam or stir-boil”. So what I do is steam them in a microwave, first. The excess moisture is left in the steamer basket. I’ve found that I can even freeze baby bok choy and thaw it that way with good results.

        • Hilah on May 1, 2015 at 3:35 pm

          Thank you for that great tip, Randy! Often at the end of the week, the only vegetable I have left is frozen broccoli which I’ve never done much with. Now I can make it into a stir fry!

    • Dave on September 29, 2018 at 6:43 am

      What is the sauce?

  2. FoodJunkie on April 28, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Chinese food is my all time favourite, with the possible exception of chicken wings. I cant wait to try this one. It is nice to have a bunch simple, quick tasty recipes like this in the dinner arsenal.

    • Hilah on May 1, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      Amen, sister! Simple, quick, and tasty are my three main requirements of recipes these days.

  3. Daniel on April 29, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Tried this recipe tonight, it was amazing.

  4. Diane on April 30, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Oh man, now I want Chinese food! I’m going to try this with shrimp; I’m betting it will be awesomesauce.

    • Hilah on May 1, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Ooh, if you try, let me know! I bet it will be great!

  5. Marco on May 1, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Hilah, that was good…..thanks for the recipe. We left out the sesame oil because we didn’t find any and Í ditched the ginger because I can’t stand it. But the rest was perfect, check here:

    • Hilah on May 1, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      That looks great, Marco! Happy that you made adjustments to suit your own tastes. 🙂

  6. Rookie With A Cookie on May 1, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I love making stir fry.. My biggest problem is to get it really brown like you would at a Chinese takeout

    • Julia on January 13, 2021 at 11:48 am

      Dark soy sauce! Just a tablespoon is plenty.

  7. luz on May 28, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Will be tryin this out for dinner tonight.. wish me luck!!

  8. Jules on July 12, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Just made this and it’s awesome. Thanks Hilah!

  9. lilly on December 14, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    OMGEEEE so excited to make this!!!!

  10. Grace on June 1, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Making this tonight! I’m going to try to make it an even healthier version with more veggies and no flour on my chicken pieces.

    • Hilah on June 2, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Let me know how it goes, Grace!

  11. Melody Callaghan on July 25, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    K. I’m making this tonight! Yummmmm

  12. Derek on July 3, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    this recipe is awesome, made it tonight (minus the chilis and added brown sugar) the kids devoured it as did I

    • Hilah on July 5, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      Excellent, Derek! Great to hear that your family enjoyed this stir fry 🙂

  13. Kathy S Olson on February 16, 2018 at 6:45 am

    This recipe was wonderful. It turned out perfect. I steamed the broccoli for 4 minutes instead of 3 and it was bright green and still crunchy. It came together well. We served it with fried Yakisoba noodles. What a treat. I can hardly wait to eat the leftovers today.

  14. Kathy S Olson on February 16, 2018 at 6:46 am

    This recipe was wonderful. It turned out perfect. I steamed the broccoli for 4 minutes instead of 3 and it was bright green and still crunchy. It came together well. We served it with fried Yakisoba noodles. What a treat. I can hardly wait to eat the leftovers today.
    P.S. loved your video!!

    • Hilah on February 16, 2018 at 6:56 am

      Thank you, Kathy! 🙂 I’m so glad to hear you like this recipe. It’s one of my go-to dinners, too

  15. Ruth on April 8, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    All I can say is, ” Wow!”. I tried this recipe today, and it was amazing. Now my kids think I can make Chinese food ;-D.

  16. Shan on April 16, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Made this tonight and didn’t get a picture before it was de-vou-erd!!
    Great recipe as written and I am looking forward to changing it up with different proteins and veggies.
    Winner winner awesome chicken dinner ?

    • Hilah on April 18, 2018 at 4:36 pm

      Woohoo! Glad you and your family enjoyed it, Shan!

  17. Colleen Dwight on April 28, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    I made this tonight with some substitutes. Being single and just cooking for me I don’t have a ton of ingredients in my house. I substituted apple cider vinegar for the rice wine vinegar. I substituted powdered ginger for real. I substituted red pepper flakes for chili’s and regular white sugar for brown. Regular vegetable oil for sesame oil. I’m single I don’t have this stuff laying around! Lol This was delicious!!!!!! I will definitely make it again for my friends. Thanks!!!!

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