Chinese Black Pepper Chicken

We love Chinese takeout. There is nothing better than ordering it up on those lazy days where you don’t feel like cooking. But, the kind from the restaurant can be quite greasy! I love being able to make healthier swaps on some of our favorite dishes. This recipe is no exception. This Chinese black pepper chicken is so much like our favorite dish at the local Chinese restaurant. Made without sugar, and much less oily than takeout, it’s a great healthy swap. And it’s even better leftover!

Why you’ll love this spicy chicken dish

  • This Chinese black pepper chicken tastes just like Chinese takeout, with less oil and you know exactly what’s in it. I love being able to make copycat recipes with healthier ingredients.
  • It’s a versatile recipe! I’ve also made this recipe with steak! You can also use any veggies you like. Zucchini is my favorite, but broccoli is also a great substitution.
  • I know Chinese takeout is fast, but it’s even faster to make it at home.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Frying Pan – Or a pan to shallow fry the chicken
  • Medium Bowl – For the raw chicken
  • Small Bowl – For the the marinade recipe
  • Whisk
  • Slotted spatula – Or something where you can remove the chicken from the frying oil easily.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons

Ingredients & substitutions

  • Chicken – I used chicken breasts, but if you like a fattier cut, chicken thighs are a great sub.
  • Zucchini – I love zucchini in this recipe, but you can substitute your favorite vegetable. Broccoli is great in this recipe as well.
  • Corn Starch – We use a lot of cornstarch for this recipe, but the chicken needs to be well coated to get a nice crispy fry on it. Don’t think it will be too much!
  • Soy sauce – I used low sodium soy sauce, but you can also use regular soy sauce or even coconut aminos.
  • Sesame oil – Just a splash on the chicken, but the sauce marinade has more.
  • Olive oil
  • Rice wine vinegar – Any vinegar will do, but know that if you use another vinegar that flavor may come through.
  • Honey – I love the use of honey as opposed to sugar! Many sticky Chinese food recipes use brown sugar to sweeten.
  • Garlic – Use lots of garlic. The more garlic, the better in my opinion.
  • Ginger – You can also use powdered ginger but I prefer fresh.
  • Black pepper – This is black pepper chicken, after all. The recipes calls for a lot of pepper, but you need it!
  • Chili flakes – This adds a little extra heat. You can skip this if you like your Chinese more mild.
  • Toasted sesame seeds – I love a garnish, but these are optional.

How to make this Chinese chicken with black pepper sauce

Step 1. Chop your chicken into pieces and place in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Mix together.

Step 2. Add your corn starch to the chicken and stir until completely coated. This may seem like a lot of corn starch, but you want it to look powdery, so it gets a nice crispy coating when fried.

Step 3. Heat one cup of oil in a frying pan or wok, over medium heat. Fry your chicken pieces for a few minutes, until it’s barely cooked through. With a slotted spatula, remove the chicken pieces and let them rest on a paper towel or grate to cool, letting excess oil drip off. Repeat until the chicken is all fried.

Step 4. To a small bowl, add marinade ingredients and whisk together.

Step 5. Remove the excess oil from the pan.

Step 6. Add chopped zucchini to the pan and let cook, stirring pretty regularly. Once the zucchini is almost cooked to your likeness, add the chicken back in. Pour the marinade over the whole dish and let cook until the marinade becomes slightly sticky.

Step 7. Serve in a bowl and top with toasted sesame seeds.

FAQs about Chinese takeout recipes

What are the most popular Chinese takeout recipes?

General Tso Chicken – According to Grubhub, this sweet fried chicken dish is the most popular Chinese food in America. … 
Egg Rolls — Almost every American has had an egg roll. … 
Wonton Soup – A very popular soup, made of dumping like snacks made of dough and filled with meat, chicken or vegetable.

What is rarely done in Chinese cooking?

Traditional Chinese food is rarely deep-fried.

In some Chinese regions, stir frying is common. Typically using a wok, it is a similarly quick method to deep frying that can be used in China, but little oil is used as compared to the American method.

What makes Chinese takeaway unhealthy?

Some Chinese takeout options, especially in American-Chinese cuisine, can be high in salt, sugar, and oil. However, you can still have delicious and healthy food by picking items that are baked, steamed, boiled, or sautéed in just a bit of oil.

More Asian menu items:

More copycat recipes:

Chinese Black Pepper Chicken

This is a copy cat of our favorite black pepper chicken Chinese takeout!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course, supper
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 300 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Frying Pan
  • 1 Medium Bowl
  • 1 Small Bowl
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 slotted spatula
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons

Ingredients
  

Chicken

  • 1.15 Lbs chicken breasts 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 Small zucchini chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Cup corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Cup vegetable oil for frying

Marinade

  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 3 Cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ginger finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tsp chili flakes
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Chop your chicken into pieces and place in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Mix together.
  • Add your corn starch to the chicken and stir until completely coated. This may seem like a lot of corn starch, but you want it to look powdery, so it gets a nice crispy coating when fried.
  • Heat one cup of oil in a frying pan or wok, over medium heat.
  • Fry your chicken pieces for a few minutes, until it’s barely cooked through. With a slotted spatula, remove the chicken pieces and let them rest on a paper towel or grate to cool, letting excess oil drip off. Repeat until the chicken is all fried.
  • To a small bowl, add marinade ingredients and whisk together.
  • Remove the excess oil from the pan.
  • Add chopped zucchini to the pan and let cook, stirring pretty regularly. Once the zucchini is almost cooked to your likeness, add the chicken back in. Pour the marinade over the whole dish and let cook until the marinade becomes slightly sticky.
  • Serve in a bowl and top with toasted sesame seeds.
Keyword black pepper chicken, chinese black pepper chicken, chinese chicken, chinese food, chinese takeout, pepper chicken

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