A little sweet, a little sour, Empress Chicken is another easy and delicious Chinese-American stir fry that only takes a 20 minutes to make!
Empress Chicken Recipe
Stir fries are the best. They are so easy to make and are relatively healthy too! I’ll usually dump a bucket of veggies into my wok to ‘healthify’ my stir fries but not for this Empress chicken recipe. It seemed wrong to add more ingredients to something that already tasted so amazing. I didn’t grow up eating Empress chicken but the flavors are very familiar, like good old classic Chinese-American fare. It’s something I have loved ever since my first trip to an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet where soy glazed spare ribs and beef and broccoli were considered exotic dishes.
We each had our own ways to attack the buffet too; my mother went after all the vegetable dishes first and finished with the heavier options. Her logic behind it was “you can eat more that way since you don’t get full so quickly.” Meanwhile I would begin with a few desserts, eat a plate of noodles, veggies and a little meat, and end with more desserts. My logic behind it was “I can eat as many desserts as I want – when will that happen again!” Those visits to the Chinese buffet were always exciting since we didn’t grow up in an affluent community. To us, it was a fancy evening out where we got to wear our Sunday best and eat like kings and queens.
The chicken for this dish is usually deep-fried but since this food blog is about eating healthier (and also because I’m petrified of scalding hot pots of oil), I’ve instead pan fried it with a little oil. The texture is therefore different but the flavors are very much there – a gravy that’s sweet, sour and savory, making this Empress chicken dish seriously yummy nummy.
Did you like this Empress Chicken Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!
Serve this recipe with a side of Japanese rice. Watch our video on How To Make Japanese Rice the stove top or rice cooker method!
- 1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size cubes
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into thin half moons
- 2 scallions, finely sliced on the bias
- 4-5 dried red chilies (optional)
- For the sauce:
- 1½ tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 small thumb size ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1½ tbsp granulated sugar
- In a bowl, add cornstarch and slowly whisk in soy sauce until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in vinegar and all of the remaining ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
- Put chicken and egg in a bowl and mix using your fingers until all the chicken pieces are coated.
- Slowly add cornstarch until all the pieces are evenly coated (use more cornstarch if you need to).
- In a pan over high heat, add vegetable oil and chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan add garlic and onions and cook for 3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chicken and stir.
- Whisk sauce and pour over the chicken and onions. Stir until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken. Turn off the heat, add scallions and chilies and serve immediately.
Low in saturated fat
High in manganese
Very high in niacin
High in phosphorus
High in selenium
High in vitamin B6
High in vitamin B12