Make this delicious, healthier, takeout fake-out Honey Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry for dinner tonight. The sauce is sweet and savory with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil and the dish comes together in about 30 minutes. Serve it with rice and a steamed broccoli for a meal that’s worthy of the regular dinner rotation.
It’s been a strange first few weeks of 2021 with a packed online school schedule for first graders Molly and Clara and busy work schedules for Frank and I. Two-year-old June is, as usual, along for the ride, prancing around the house in Elsa pjs and wondering when the next snack will appear.
In the midst of this crazy season of life, we are no strangers to takeout. I love a good Chinese-style stir-fry and love it even more when it’s brought to my door without me having to dirty a single pan. However, whenever I make one of these takeout-inspired dishes myself, I’m always impressed at how delicious and simple they can be. Next time you’re tempted to order takeout, give this one a try instead.
The key to a great homemade takeout fake-out dish is in the details. Fresh ginger and garlic make all the difference in transforming a simple sauce into something that tastes special.
I’m hungry just thinking about it. Let’s make Honey Ginger Chicken!
- 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.
- 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.
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 Tbsp 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!
Why 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 way 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
- Anchor 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowls
- 6-inch Global Knife
- Cutting Board
- Joyce Chen Carbon Steel Wok
- Wok Spatula
Honey Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry
- Mixing Bowl
- Wok or Large Skillet
For the Sesame Sauce:
- 1 Tbsp 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 Tbsp Ketchup
- 2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp White Sesame Seeds, plus more for topping
For the Stir-Fry:
- 1 1/2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
- 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp Cooking Oil, divided
- 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.
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