Honey Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry


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Looking for a healthier takeout fake-out dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes? Honey Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry is IT. Tender chicken, coated in sweet, savory, ginger sauce. Serve it with rice and a steamed broccoli for a meal that’s worthy of the regular dinner rotation. 

chicken stir fry over rice in a white bowl with chopsticks

The key to a great homemade takeout fake-out dinner is in the details. Fresh ginger and garlic make all the difference in transforming a simple from-scratch sauce into something special (like this noodle-based takeout fake-out, Hoisin Ginger Rice Noodles).

I’m hungry just thinking about it. Let’s make Honey Ginger Chicken!

chicken stir fry over rice in a white bowl

How to Make Honey Ginger Chicken

  1. Make sauce. Combine all ingredients for the sauce. 
  2. Toss chicken with cornstarch. This recipe uses a good amount of cornstarch to insure that the sauce thickens. It may not all stick to the chicken, but give it a good stir to coat it as much as possible.
  3. Sear chicken. Sear chicken until golden brown.
  4. Add first part of sauce. Add 3 Tbsp of sauce until chicken is sticky and coated.
  5. Add second part of sauce. Add all remaining sauce and simmer for a few minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
  6. Finish and serve. Stir in green onions and serve!
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pouring honey into a metal measuring cup


  • Chicken Breast – Use cubed chicken breast here. It also works with chicken thighs, shrimp, or extra-firm tofu. 
  • Cornstarch – Tossing the chicken with cornstarch before cooking not only helps it to brown nicely in the pan, but it thickens the sauce. 
  • Ginger and Garlic – The recipe will work without these, but they add so much flavor that I strongly encourage you to put in the couple of extra minutes it takes to prepare them. Be sure the ginger is very finely diced or grated before using it. And if you can’t get enough of these flavors, be sure to also check out my Ginger Chicken Stir-fry.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – Look for this in the Asian / international aisle at the grocery store. It should be dark in color.
  • White Sesame Seeds – Stir these into the sauce to give it some texture. Feel free to sprinkle some on top of the finished stir-fry as well for some color. 
  • Honey, Soy Sauce, Ketchup – Pantry staples you’ll need to make the sauce.
  • Green Onions – These add fresh flavor and color when stirred into the dish at the end of cooking. 
adding sauce to the chicken in a wok

Add Sauce in Two Parts

When I was testing this recipe, my goal was to find a balance between chicken that is really coated in a sticky glaze of sauce and still has plenty of liquid sauce remaining in the pan to spoon over rice. The key is to add the sauce in two additions. The first small portion of sauce reduces down and completely coats the chicken. The second larger portion cooks for just a couple of minutes so it doesn’t get quite as thick. The result mimics the sticky, saucy consistency of a great takeout stir-fry. 

tossing sauce with chicken in a wok

Possible Variations

  • Make it vegetarian – Use cubed extra-firm tofu instead of chicken. 
  • Add vegetables – Stir some steamed broccoli, diced bell peppers, or chopped steamed green beans into the dish. 
  • Make it gluten-free – Use gluten-free Tamari in place of the soy sauce to easily make this recipe gluten-free. 
chicken tossed with sauce in a wok

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4.21 from 124 votes

Honey Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe

Looking for a healthier takeout fake-out dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes? Honey Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry is IT. Tender chicken, coated in sweet, savory, ginger sauce. Serve it with rice and a steamed broccoli for a meal that’s worthy of the regular dinner rotation. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Wok or Large Skillet


For the Sesame Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, very finely diced (see note)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/3 cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce (sub Tamari for a gluten-free version)
  • 3 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 teaspoon White Sesame Seeds, plus more for topping

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
  • 2 stalks Green Onions, chopped, plus more for topping


  • Make sauce by whisking together garlic, ginger, honey, soy sauce, ketchup, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
  • Toss chicken with cornstarch until evenly coated.
  • In a wok or large skillet, heat cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and let cook for a moment without stirring until browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Give the chicken a stir and pour in about 3 Tbsp of sauce (it doesn’t have to be super precise, so you can just estimate it by tipping in about a quarter of the sauce). Cook chicken in sauce, stirring frequently until chicken is well coated and looks sticky with sauce.
  • Pour in the remaining sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce reduces slightly and chicken is cooked, 4 to 5 minutes more.
  • Stir in the 2 stalks of green onions.
  • Serve chicken over rice with some more sesame seeds and green onions on top.


Fresh Ginger – Peel the ginger first. Then be sure to dice the ginger very small so that you don’t have large pieces of it in the sauce. You can also grate the ginger, but reduce the amount to about 1 ½ tsp if you opt to grate it. 
Sesame Oil – Look for 100% Pure Sesame Oil for this recipe – it should be dark in color and likely be produced in Japan or China.


Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1010mg | Potassium: 731mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 169IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $9.00
Calories: 416
Keyword: Chicken Recipe, fakeout takeout, stir fry
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.21 from 124 votes (112 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! The only thing I did differently was to use barbecue sauce versus ketchup. It was so easy to make too! I will definitely be making this one again.

  2. This sounds so good! I have some garlic fermented honey – do you think that’d sub across the same as the honey & garlic in this recipe? I made the fermented honey to preserve some garlic but have been nervous to use it on anything. 😂🥴

        1. Tried it and it was tasty! I used the fermented honey in place of plain honey and did one clove of garlic instead of two in case the honey had a strong garlic flavor. I’d like to try again with plain honey just to see if there’s much of a difference but this was very good! 🙂 The 4 year old even liked it. 🙂

  3. I printed the recipe to try it tonight. I’ve read through it several times and in the ingredients, it calls for 3 T cooking oil, “divided”. I’m unclear why divided because it says nothing about the other half of divided oil? I’m always nervous trying a new recipe so want to be sure I understand the divided part and when do you use the other half?🤷🏼‍♀️

    1. Patti – you are absolutely right! That is an error on our part, and we have updated the recipe. The oil does not need to be divided. You will use it all at one time to fry the chicken. Thank you for catching that and sending us a note.