This Chinese Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry is full of super tender chicken and crisp-tender broccoli and onions in a tasty brown sauce. It’s quick and easy to make, and it’s even better than takeout!
That’s right. I said it. Better than takeout. Yep, it’s a bold statement to make. But this homemade chicken and broccoli is truly the best that I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve eaten a lot)!
Chicken with broccoli has always been a favorite of mine. It was what I ordered the very first time I ate Chinese takeout many, many moons ago. And it was the only thing I ever ordered for a really long time. I loved it that much!
I’ve since expanded my palate and have ordered lots of different things off the menu, but chicken with broccoli will always be one of my favorites.
Of course, I wanted to learn how to make it at home, and so I did. It’s been a regular in our dinner rotation for years now. But, boy, it sure did take me a while to get this recipe exactly where I wanted it to be!
There were two things that I needed to figure out: the sauce and the chicken.
With every recipe I tried, the sauce always seemed too soy-saucy to me, and it never really tasted like the sauce that came with my takeout. Something was missing.
Finally, I figured out what it was: oyster sauce!
Don’t be afraid to try it if you’ve never used it before or if you don’t like oysters. I loathe oysters. But oyster sauce doesn’t really even smell or taste like oysters. It just gives your sauce a wonderful depth of flavor.
My end result? A perfectly savory, slightly sweet, garlicky, gingery sauce that is so good!
Did you ever notice how soft and tender the chicken is when you get Chinese takeout? My chicken never turned out like that. Ever. It was fine, but it just didn’t have that silky, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
But then I learned the secret! You’ve got to velvet the chicken. I learned this awesome technique thanks to Nagi over at Recipe Tin Eats. There are a couple of different ways to do it, but her method is so ridiculously simple to do and takes just 20 minutes.
The chicken turns out so moist, tender, and – true to its name – velvety. I couldn’t believe the difference the first time I tried it. It’s like chicken magic!
Okay, recipe perfected. Now let’s get cooking!
Ingredients you need:
- Chicken breast tenderloins (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- Baking soda
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Mirin (or rice wine) *See Note below.
- Oyster sauce
- Chicken broth or stock (I use water and roasted chicken base)
- Vegetable oil
- Fresh broccoli florets
- Fresh ginger
- Sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)
- Hot cooked rice (for serving, optional)
Note: Mirin is a type of rice wine that is commonly used in Japanese cooking (it is sweeter than other rice wines). You can easily find it in the ethnic section of most well-stocked grocery stores (I can even get it out here in the sticks!) or online.
If you can’t get mirin or rice wine, you can use a dry sherry. Just don’t use rice wine vinegar. It’s very acidic and completely different, and it will totally change the flavor of this dish.
Here’s a look at how to make Chinese Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry:
Tips & Tidbits:
- This dish cooks very quickly, so make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.
- Velveting the chicken is optional but highly recommended!
- After velveting, be sure to rinse the chicken very well under cold water. You want to get all of the baking soda off so that it does not affect the taste of your dish.
- Use reduced-sodium/low-sodium soy sauce so your final dish doesn’t end up too salty.
- Check out my recipe for Instant Pot Long Grain White Rice for an easy way to cook up some rice to go with your dish.
- Want some spice? Add some sriracha or red pepper flakes to the sauce.
- Want some extra crunch? Add sliced water chestnuts or toss in some unsalted cashews at the end.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
Yep, I eat my Chinese food with a fork. No matter how hard I try, I still can’t get the hang of using chopsticks (and I really wish I could)!
If you love Chicken and Broccoli and have always wanted to try making it at home – or if you just want a simple and delicious dinner – add this recipe to your must-try list asap!
Want a perfect side dish to go with it? Check out my Easy Air Fryer Egg Rolls!
I hope you try this recipe for Chinese Chicken and Broccoli and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
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Chinese Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
For Velveting the Chicken:
- 1 pound chicken breast tenderloins, or boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1-inch)
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
For the Sauce:
- ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons mirin, or rice wine
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1½ cups chicken broth, I use 1½ cups water mixed with 1½ teaspoons of roasted chicken base
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the Stir-Fry:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 2 cups thickly sliced onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- salt and pepper, to taste
- sesame seeds, regular or black (or both) for garnish, optional
- hot cooked rice, for serving, optional
Velvet the Chicken (optional but highly recommended):
- Place the chicken in a medium bowl with the baking soda. Toss until well-combined. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes (no longer).Note: While the chicken is sitting, use this time to make the sauce and prep the rest of your ingredients.
- Rinse the chicken very well under cold water to remove the baking soda (you need to remove all the baking soda so that it does not affect the taste of your dish). Pat dry with paper towels.
Make the Sauce:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, mirin, oyster sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch until well-combined and smooth. Set aside.
Make the Stir-Fry:
- In a large skillet (I use a 12-inch nonstick), heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper (not too much salt; remember, the soy sauce and the broth will provide some saltiness as well; I use about ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper).
- Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until it is lightly golden brown and just cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a plate; set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet along with the broccoli and onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is still crisp but just starting to get tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. You want to keep the broccoli more on the crisp side, at this point, because it will cook a little more once the sauce is added.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute (watch the heat here and turn it down if needed; don't let the garlic brown or burn, as it will get bitter).
- Add the chicken back to the pan along with the sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve immediately over hot cooked rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.
- This dish cooks quickly, so you want everything prepped and ready to go for when you start cooking.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
- Estimated calories are for 1 serving of the stir-fry only and do not include rice.
I’ve tried many many Chinese takeout inspired recipes and they’ve never ever came close to the real thing. This recipe tastes identical to the chicken and broccoli I would get from my local Chinese restaurant. I thinly sliced my chicken breast and did the velvet technique and the texture was perfect. It was soft , tender but kept its shape. Thank you so much for sharing! I no longer will be spending loads of money on Chinese takeout.
Hi, Brianna! I’m so happy you enjoyed the stir-fry! Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!