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.
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!
How to Make Honey Ginger Chicken
- Make sauce. Combine all ingredients for the sauce.
- 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.
- Sear chicken. Sear chicken until golden brown.
- Add first part of sauce. Add 3 tablespoon of sauce until chicken is sticky and coated.
- Add second part of sauce. Add all remaining sauce and simmer for a few minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
- Finish and serve. Stir in green onions and serve!
- 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.
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.
- 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.
More Chicken Stir-Fry Recipes
- 20-Minute Chicken Ramen Stir-Fry
- Honey Garlic Chicken Fried Rice
- Sesame Garlic Ramen Stir-Fry
- Tofu Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Cashews
- Beef and Broccoli Ramen Stir-Fry
- Anchor 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowls
- 6-inch Global Knife
- Cutting Board
- Joyce Chen Carbon Steel Wok
- Wok Spatula
Honey Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe
- Mixing Bowl
- Wok or Large Skillet
For the Sesame Sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, very finely diced (see note)
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- ¼ cup Honey
- ⅓ 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 ½ 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 tablespoon 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.
I made this tonight! It had a real depth of flavor to it and it was so easy. I really liked how the chicken really felt and tasted like take out. Your directions on how to cook the meat in steps was very helpful. My hubby absolutely loved it. I added some broccolini from our garden too.
So glad you liked it Alex!! (I'm jealous of your garden-fresh broccolini!)
Just made for dinner tonight. I like how the cornstarch keeps the chicken nice and moist. I enjoyed how the flavors melded together and it was super simple to make. The presentation was just as good as the taste. I have not been out to eat since my birthday last Christmas. Trying to eat at home 99.9% of the time. Will keep on standby for lazy days (everyday is a lazy day).
Made this at the weekend and it was absolutely amazing! I added two chillies to the sauce for a little bit of kick as well. The sauce is so clean tasting and really has that fake-out vibes I was after.
Do you think it's possible to make a batch of the sauce, freeze it and it would be okay?
Keep up the great work-your recipes are fantastic! 😀
Thanks so much for the kind note. Yes! The sauce freezes well! I freeze sauces like this in small 8 oz mason jars (leaving a good amount of headspace) and they're so easy to defrost in the microwave for really quick weeknight meals.
Can you recommend any substitutions for Ketchup?
Try using tomato paste that has been thinned with a small amount of water. You'll still get the same texture, color, and flavor, though it will have slightly less sweetness.
This recipe is AWESOME. I think the two-step sauce instruction made all the difference in making it taste like it really could have come from an actual Chinese restaurant. We all loved it. The only change I made was to add a little extra honey because the sauce seemed slightly bitter.
This is DEFINITELY going into the recipe rotation!
So glad your family enjoyed it as much as our family does!
my husband and two sons each said that it was very good... write it down. At our house ,when we write it down... it's a keeper! Thank you for the great recipe. It was very tasty and quite simple to make. Your directions were easy to follow and the meal was better than take out.
Seriously!!!! This is an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING meal! I’m scanning to see how long the sauce would last in the refrigerator. It is sooooooo good! I’ve been sharing it with EVERYONE! 🥰
Yay! So glad to hear this! Thanks so much for the kind note. The sauce will definitely be fine for 5 days in the fridge.
Absolute lovely! Love the ginger flavor which is so subtle. Family very pleased
So happy to hear this!
This site is always my go to for meals. Great recipes!
Is a physical cookbook in the pipeline? My kitchen needs it
There might be!! 😉 We'll have news on that later this year, but I'm so glad you enjoyed this!
Very tasty and easy to put together. Excellent.
my husband and i love this recipe! so quick and easy but flavorful and feels healthy.
I'm so glad you like it as much as we do!
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?🤷🏼♀️
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.
I had all the ingredients on hand, this was so simple to make and delicious! Thank you!
Thanks Liz! So glad you enjoyed it!
This recipe is delicious and so easy to make! It will definitely be a staple in our household now.
That's great to hear! So glad you enjoyed it!
Amazing recipe. Whole family enjoyed it including the kids. Will be saving this. Thank you.
So glad you liked it! Thank you for your review!
This looks delicious! Can I use ground ginger if I can't get fresh ginger?
Absolutely! It won't have quite the same flavor as fresh, but it will definitely work.
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. 😂🥴
I think this might be the perfect place to try it! You'll get that savory+sweet flavor!
Awesome! Finally trying it tonight! 🙂
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. 🙂