How to Cook Chinese Chicken

Learning how to cook Chinese chicken was the beginning of my Asian cooking. I often tell people that my mom would be shocked at all the different foods which I now cook. When I grew up and lived in Ohio, before Mom passed, we never ate Chinese food. Back then we did not have any Chinese restaurants any place near us. The most unique food which I prepared back then was lasagna, ravioli and pizza.

After moving to Orlando, I got to experience the wonderful flavors of the Asian cuisine. I had to learn how to cook Chinese chicken once I experienced all the different flavors of cooking chicken. My first choices from the Asian menu were for sweet and sour, sesame and cashew chicken. I spent one year working in Maryland. That state has some of the most delicious Asian food. Many of these recipes are from the regions of Hunan and Szechwan. I really love these rich spicy hot recipes.

I first learned how to cook Chinese chicken recipes because the flavors are so diverse. I could have cook chicken every day and never have the same flavor twice. Succulent pieces of chicken can be quickly stir fried or made crisp with flavorful batter. It can be served with great vegetables, Asian noodles and wonderful sauces.

When learning how to cook Chinese chicken, remember that it is cooked to be eaten with chop sticks. For this reason it is prepared in small bite size pieces. Sometimes whole chickens are prepared with wonderful Chinese flavorings. After cooking it is usually “hacked” or shredded so it can easily be eaten with chop sticks. Eating with chop sticks allows for the total Chinese experience. You can still enjoy the wonderful Chinese flavors in the chicken and prepare it in our traditional U.S. ways.

NOTE: Most Chinese chicken recipes contain soy sauce. There are different varieties to choose from in Chinese markets. Many are loaded with sodium. Be careful adding a lot until you find the best type for you and adding extra salt to the recipe.


How to Cook Chinese Chicken with AlmondsHow to Cook Chinese Chicken with Almonds

Learn how to cook Chinese chicken from the Canton region.

  • 1 ½ Cups slivered almonds
  • 2 Whole boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 Tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons sesame oil (divided)
  • 1 Cup bamboo shoots
  • 1 Cup celery sliced on angle
  • ¼ to ½ Teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1 Cup green onions sliced lengthwise PLUS some for garnish
  • 8 Water chestnuts sliced
  • ¾ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ Cup chicken broth
  • Cooked rice

Roast almonds in oven for 30 to 35 minutes at 200F degrees; set aside.

Combine soy sauce, cornstarch, sherry and sugar; set aside.

Place 3 tablespoons of oil in large skillet; sauté bamboo shoots, celery, onions and water chestnuts about 5 minutes.

Remove vegetables from skillet and drain; set aside.

Cut chicken in 1 to 1 ½ inch pieces; reheat pan with remaining 3 tablespoons of oil.

Place chicken pieces in skillet and sprinkle with salt; sauté chicken until tender.

Add the chicken broth, soy mixture, vegetables and almonds to the skillet; heat thoroughly and serve with rice.

Serves 4 to 6.


Learn how to cook Chinese chicken from the Canton region.

  • 3 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¾ Tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 Teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Cups raw chicken cut in thin strips (Julienne style)
  • 1 Cup orange sections
  • 1 Package (6 ounces) frozen snow peas
  • 1 Can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts drained
  • 1 Bunch green onions cut in quarters lengthwise
  • 2 Cups cooked rice

Stir together cornstarch and water until smooth; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add soy and garlic salt.

Add chicken to the skillet; stir fry about 3 minutes.

Add snow peas and water chestnuts; stir fry about 2 minutes.

REDUCE heat; add orange sections, green onions and cornstarch mixture.

Stir mixture until thickened; serve over the rice.


Learn how to cook Chinese chicken from Szechwan region

  • 1 Whole chicken breast skinned and boned
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch divided
  • 3 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce divided
  • ¼ Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ Cup water
  • 4 Teaspoons white vinegar
  • ¾ Pound romaine lettuce
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil divided
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts

Cut chicken into thin strips; set aside.

Combine 1 tablespoon of each cornstarch and teriyaki sauce plus the cayenne pepper in small bowl.

Stir chicken strips in the cornstarch mixture; let stand 15 minutes.

Combine water with remaining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce with vinegar; set aside.

Separate lettuce leaves, wash and pat dry; cut leaves crosswise in 2 inch strips.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large skillet over high heat; add chicken and stir fry 2 minutes then remove.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in same skillet; add lettuce and stir fry 1 minute.

Stir in chicken and teriyaki sauce mixture; cook and stir until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in peanuts; serve immediately. 4 Servings


Learn how to cook Chinese chicken from the Canton region.

  • ½ Cup toasted cashews
  • 4 Medium dried mushrooms
  • 2 Teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons dry sherry
  • 2 Teaspoons water
  • 2 Teaspoons corn starch
  • Dash white pepper
  • 1 ½ Pounds boneless chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 ½ Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • ½ Cup sliced bamboo shoots
  • ¼ Pound snow peas trimmed
  • Cooking sauce (Recipe below)

Cover mushrooms and let stand 30 minutes; drain, remove stems, squeeze dry, slice thinly and set aside.

Combine in a bowl the cornstarch, soy, sherry, water and pepper; add chicken stirring to coat.

Add 1 ½ teaspoons of the oil and let stand 15 minutes to marinate.

PREPARE cooking sauce recipe below; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over high heat; add 2 tablespoons of oil to skillet.

When oil is hot stir in garlic; add chicken and stir fry about 3 minutes until chicken is opaque and remove from skillet.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet and heat; add mushrooms and bamboo shoots.

Stir fry mixture 1 minute (If skillet is too dry add drops of water).

Add snow peas; stir fry 1 ½ minutes adding a few more drops of water.

Return chicken to pan and stir in cooking sauce; cook until sauce thickens.

Stir in cashews just before serving; serves 3-4.

Cooking Sauce Recipe

  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce or soy sauce
  • ¼ Teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

COMBINE and mix all ingredients together.

CHICKEN SATAY with spicy peanut sauce

Learn how to cook Chinese chicken from the Szechwan region.

  • 1 ¼ Pound boneless chicken breast
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ Cup sherry
  • ¼ Cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • Dash hot sauce
  • Spicy peanut sauce (Recipe below)

Cut chicken into 3 X 1/2 inch strips; combine lemon juice and next 6 ingredients in zip lock plastic bag.

Add the chicken to the bag and seal tightly; marinate chicken in refrigerator for 1 ½ hours turning once.

PREHEAT OVEN to 375F degrees.

Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade; thread chicken onto 8 inch skewers.

Place skewers on greased baking sheet; bake for 10 minutes or until done.

Serve with following spicy peanut sauce.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ Cup finely chopped purple onion
  • 1 Teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ Cup hot water
  • ½ Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ Teaspoon ground coriander
  • Dash hot sauce

Heat oils in small saucepan over medium high heat.

Add onion, garlic and ginger to the pan; cook until tender stirring often.

Add brown sugar and vinegar; cook over medium heat stirring until sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat; add hot water and remaining ingredients stirring until peanut butter is blended.


Learn how to cook Chinese chicken from the Hunan region.

  • 1 Pound boneless chicken breast cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Teaspoons sherry
  • 2 Teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon fermented black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 Small hot green pepper (Seeded and chopped)
  • 1 Medium thinly sliced carrot
  • 1 Can (8 ounces) sliced bamboo shoots
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Cooking sauce (Recipe below)

Combine cornstarch, salt pepper and sherry in small bowl.

Add chicken and stir to coat; add 1 tablespoon of the oil and let stand for 15 minutes.

Prepare cooking sauce below; set aside

Heat a large skillet over high heat; add 2 tablespoons of oil, garlic, ginger and black beans stirring once.

Add chicken and stir fry 3 to 4 minutes until done; remove everything from skillet.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and reheat; add green pepper, carrot and bamboo shoots and stir fry 1 minute.

Add water and stir fry 1 minute; return chicken mixture to the skillet.

Add cooking sauce to skillet stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Serves 4

Cooking sauce: Combine and mix together 2 teaspoons cornstarch, ½ teaspoon crushed pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar and ½ cup water.


Learn how to cook Chinese chicken from the Peking region.

  • 2 Small zucchini (Cut 4 strips lengthwise then in ½ inch pieces)
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Can (8 ounces) whole water chestnuts (Cut in 4)
  • 1 Can (8 ounces) sliced bamboo shoots
  • 4 Sliced green onions (Use green and white parts)
  • 1 Whole boneless chicken breast (Cut in 1 ½ inch pieces)
  • 1 Teaspoon sherry
  • 1 Teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 Teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Cooking sauce (Recipe below)

Prepare vegetables and set aside; blend together cornstarch, soy and sherry.

Add chicken to cornstarch mixture and toss to coat; add 1 tablespoon of the oil to mixture and let stand 15 minutes to marinate.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet; stir in garlic and ginger.

Add chicken to the skillet and stir fry until chicken is done; remove everything from the skillet.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil and reheat; add zucchini and stir fry 1 minute.

Add water chestnuts, onion and bamboo shoots to the skillet; stir fry 30 seconds.

NOTE: If skillet seems to be too dry add about a teaspoon of water.

Return chicken mixture to the skillet; add cooking sauce stirring until thickened.

Serves about 4.

TO MAKE COOKING SAUCE combine and mix together 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1.4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and ¼ cup chicken broth.