How to Make Chicken Stir Fry

You don't have to wait until the next time you can frequent your favorite Chinese restaurant to enjoy chicken stir fry. You can make it at home in just 30 minutes. Learn how to prepare this savory dish yourself, and get creative to make a meal all your own.

A bowl of fresh;y-cooked chicken stir fry.

Chicken stir fry is a regularly-featured item on many Asian restaurant menus — and for good reason:  It’s healthy and tastes great.  If it’s a favorite of yours, you’ll be happy to know that you can replicate this savory dish in your own kitchen.  When you make it yourself, you can experiment with different sauces and veggie combinations for a healthy meal prepared just the way you like it.

And the best part is, you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to get restaurant-quality cuisine on your table.  You can easily put this meal together in about thirty minutes, especially if you prepare some of it in advance.  This is a great dinner for those busy nights when you don’t have much time to cook.

Chicken stir fry is a one-skillet meal that doesn’t take much time to prepare and is packed with nutrients and protein.  Plus, you won’t be left with a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink after meal-prep.  To make your cooking experience even more convenient, you can chop the vegetables ahead of time and begin marinating the chicken up to two days in advance.

Make It Your Own

There’s no one way to do stir-fry, so be creative and have fun.  As for the veggies, this recipe calls for the fresh-cut variety, but if you don’t have time to do all that washing and chopping, you can buy a frozen package of stir fry veggies.

The directions on the package will usually tell you to cook them in the microwave for a few minutes.  Since you will be placing the vegetables in a hot pan, you can cut the microwave cooking time in half.  Otherwise, the food will end up overcooked.  Stir fry veggies should be slightly crisp, not soggy.

If you’re preparing your skillet meal from scratch, you have more flexibility to choose what you put in it.  Some people like to add sugar snap peas, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, and water chestnuts.  If any of these aren’t your thing, feel free to substitute.  Green beans, onions, chopped carrots, and cauliflower taste great in stir-fries, too.

The most important thing to note is that you need three to four cups of your favorite veggie combination for this recipe.  Before cooking, you need to have everything washed, chopped, and ready to toss in the pan before you roll up your sleeves and warm up the stove.

Besides veggies, another important ingredient in a stir fry is rice.  Here, too, you can choose the variety you like best.  Traditional stir-fries are often prepared with white or brown rice.  But if you like rich cooking fragrances wafting through your kitchen, plus a little extra flavor, try basmati or jasmine rice.

It’s helpful to have the rice ready before you stir fry the chicken and vegetables.  But if you don’t mind keeping an eye on both simultaneously, you can prepare the rice while you’re stir-frying.  Then, both will be hot when they’re ready to serve.

This recipe calls for fresh, peeled minced ginger.  If you can’t find fresh ginger, use one teaspoon of ground ginger instead.  It may not provide quite as much flavor as the freshly-peeled herb, but at least you won’t have a missing ingredient.

Now it’s time to start cooking.

Chicken Stir Fry Instructions

Preparation Time:  15-20 minutes (provided your veggies are already washed and chopped0

Cook Time:  15-20 minutes


The complete set of ingredients to be used.

  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1  teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 3-4 cups vegetables
  • 2-3 cups rice, cooked according to package directions

Step 1:  Cook the rice

Now might be a good time to cook the rice.  Depending on how long it takes to get tender, you can prepare it before or during the rest of your cooking.

Step 2:  Combine the soy sauce, water, chicken, bouillon, sugar, cornstarch, and oil.

Mix together the water, soy sauce, sugar, bouillon, cornstarch, and oil in a medium bowl.  Add the chicken, turning to coat.  If you’re making this a day or two in advance, place the marinade and chicken in a Zip-Loc bag and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.  Otherwise, marinade the chicken for at least 20 minutes before transferring it to the skillet.

The garlic is being sauteed in a skillet.

In a large, heavy skillet or a wok, heat two tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat.  Sautee the garlic and ginger together in the skillet until they’re lightly browned.  You’ll know they’re cooked when their inviting aromas begin filling your kitchen.

Step 3:  Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook it.

The marinated chicken is then added into the skillet with the spices.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it in the skillet with the spices.  Don’t throw the marinade away, though; you’ll need it later.  Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes,  stirring frequently.  It should be slightly browned on the edges.

  Step 4: Place the chicken and herbs in a bowl.  Then, cook the veggies.

The vegetables are being cooked separately.

Transfer the chicken and herbs to a bowl and use a paper towel to wipe away any residue from the skillet.

Next, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and allow it to get hot.  Add the veggies and stir fry them until they’re somewhat tender but still slightly crisp.   For thicker, more fibrous vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli, cover them with a few tablespoons of water.  Steaming them for a few minutes will help soften them up.

Step 5:  Combine the chicken and vegetables in the pan.  Pour the marinade over the mixture.  Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Put the chicken back in the skillet with the veggies and pour marinade over them.  Bring the mixture to a boil, simmering for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve over rice.  Ladle sauce over the stir fry to enhance the flavor.  Load up your plate, and enjoy!

A bowl of freshly-cooked chicken stir fry.

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