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.

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  1. Amazing!!
    This site is always my go to for meals. Great recipes!
    Is a physical cookbook in the pipeline? My kitchen needs it

    1. There might be!! 😉 We’ll have news on that later this year, but I’m so glad you enjoyed this!

  2. 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! 🥰

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 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.

  5. 5 stars
    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! 😀

    1. 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.

  6. 4 stars
    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).

  7. 5 stars
    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.