If you have 20 minutes, you can prepare Easy chicken and broccoli stir fry! Juicy and tender chicken in a sweet and savory brown sauce, mixed with broccoli florets. The dish is low in calories besides, it is healthier, and tastes better than Chinese takeout. Get all the tips plus a video tutorial explaining how to make chicken and broccoli stir fry! If you have enjoyed my Honey and Garlic Chicken, you will love this recipe!
Chicken and Broccoli
Chicken and broccoli stir fry is a popular Chinese takeout. Some claim that it's Chinese others believes it was created by Americans. It consists of Chicken, broccoli florets, onion, and brown sauce. Most restaurants use chicken breast to make it and if you follow this recipe, the chicken breast will come out juicy and tender. You also have the choice to use chicken thighs.
Other vegetables to add
Although the main stars here are chicken and broccoli, still you can add mushrooms, carrots, and sugar snap to this recipe.
Ingredients to make chicken and broccoli
You will need simple ingredients easily available in stores or online. All the ingredients for this chicken broccoli stir fry come together in minutes. It’s known that Chinese cooking is fast, so keep everything ready and close before you start cooking!
Chicken breast – We will use skinless and boneless chicken breast, but you can go for chicken thighs. I promise the chicken breast will taste tender and juicy. You won’t believe it’s chicken breast. Follow the written recipe in the recipe box and watch the video to learn how to cook the chicken breast.
Broccoli florets – When cooked right, the broccoli tastes excellent in the brown sauce with a little crunch. You can add more vegetables like carrots and zucchini and cook them the same way as broccoli.
Onion – I have used red onion because I like it a lot, but you can go for yellow onion.
For the brown sauce
Olive oil – For a healthier version, it’s best to use olive oil. However, you can use any cooking oil like sunflower and canola oil.
Soy sauce – I prefer to use low sodium soy sauce; it gives me control over the amount of sodium in the dish. Different brands add different amounts of sodium; hence it’s best to use low sodium. Do not use dark soy sauce.
Oyster sauce – Not many add oyster sauce to the stir fry, but it adds so much flavor.
Sesame oil – Do not skip this ingredient; sesame oil gives the dish an authentic flavor, and it enhances the taste.
Ginger and garlic paste – Use fresh ginger and garlic for better tasting chicken and broccoli stir fry. However, you can use ginger and garlic powder instead.
Cornstarch – To thicken the sauce and tenderize the chicken and make this dish gluten-free.
Chicken stock – If you don’t have chicken stock, dilute half chicken bouillon in hot water and use it. Go for low sodium chicken stock and always use the chicken stock you like because its flavor will affect the dish.
Brown sugar – Most Chinese and Japanese dishes have a sweetener, either brown sugar or honey. The taste of brown sugar gives more depth to the dish, but you can substitute it with honey.
How to cut the chicken breast into thin slices
To get thin slices, cut the chicken breast at an angle. Cutting the chicken breast at a slight angle will result in tender pieces, and the chicken will marinate better in a lesser time.
How to keep the chicken breast tender and juicy?
You can have the best tasting chicken breast if you follow these steps; they are simple and work every time:
- Cut the chicken breast into thin slices.
- Let the chicken sit in the marinade for a few minutes; five minutes are enough.
- Heat the frying pan and add the oil; when the oil is hot, add the chicken breast. Spread the chicken and do not crowd the pan. Allow the chicken breast to become brown from the bottom before flipping.
- Crowding the pan will make the chicken steam, which will take a long time to cook and release all the juices. Exposing the chicken to high heat, sears it from the outside, allowing the juices to get trapped inside, and cook the chicken without drying it.
How to make chicken and broccoli
Marinade the chicken. To a small bowl, add the chicken breast and marinade with cornstarch, soy sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix well, cover, and keep aside.
Prepare the brown sauce. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, black pepper, ginger, garlic, chicken stock, and brown sugar in a different bowl. Mix until combined.
Cook the chicken. In a hot frying pan, add olive oil, and when hot, add the chicken. Cook on one side until brown and flip, cook until done, and remove from the pan.
Cook the vegetables. Add the onion to the frying pan and cook until translucent, Then add the broccoli florets and cook for a minute. Pour the brown sauce mixture and cook until thick. Add the chicken and cook for a few seconds to coat it with the sauce.
Serve. This dish is best served immediately on white rice.
What to serve with chicken and broccoli?
My family enjoys chicken and broccoli when served on Coconut milk rice; it’s basmati rice cooked in coconut milk. It’s fluffy with a hint of sweetness and amazing flavor. This recipe has enough sauce to enjoy with rice.
You can also serve the chicken broccoli stir fry with noodles, like egg noodles and ramen noodles.
How to store chicken and broccoli
Chinese food, in general, is best consumed the same day, but you can store chicken and broccoli in the fridge for up to 3 days. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. You can heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds or on the stovetop. The broccoli will be a little mushy!
I won’t freeze this dish; when it thaws, the flavor won’t taste the same.
Tips for making chicken and broccoli
- Make sure that your pan is hot; otherwise, the chicken will not cook quickly and come out dry.
- Use cooking oil that can tolerate high heat.
- Cut the chicken evenly. It will help to cook the chicken pieces at the same time.
- If adding other vegetables like carrots, cut it into thin slices.
- If you only have regular soy sauce high in sodium, add an additional teaspoon of brown sugar to the sauce.
- When you refrigerate chicken and broccoli, the sauce will get thick, so add a few tablespoons of water to it before heating it.
- Use light or all-purpose soy sauce.
Variations and substitutes
- Use more vegetables, like carrot, mushrooms, and zucchini to add nutrients to this dish.
- Replace chicken breast with thighs.
- You can omit the oyster sauce and stick with soy sauce.
- If cornstarch is not available use potato starch.
- The chicken stock has a lot of flavors, but your next substitute can be vegetable or beef stock.
More Chinese recipes you’ll love:
Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup broccoli cut into florets
- 1 chicken breast boneless skinless, cut thin with a slight angle
- 1 small onion cut into strips
Stir Fry Brown Sauce
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
- 1 cup chicken broth use low sodium if possible
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger peeled and minced
- ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Marinade the chicken. In a bowl, add the thinly sliced chicken breast, cornstarch, black pepper, soy sauce, and garlic powder. Mix well, then cover and keep aside for no longer than five minutes. The marinade will help the chicken breast to have more flavor and get tender.
- Prepare the brown sauce. In a bowl, add the stir fry brown sauce ingredients. Soy sauce, oyster sauce, black pepper, cornstarch, ginger, and garlic paste, sesame oil, brown sugar, and chicken stock. Mix the ingredients well and keep them aside.
- Heat a large frying pan, add the olive oil, and when the oil is hot, spread the chicken in the pan and make sure not to crowd the pan. Crowding the pan will make the chicken steam and not sear, which will dry the chicken.
- Flip the chicken only when the bottom is brown. Stir fry the chicken, and it will cook in a few seconds. When both sides of the chicken are brown. Remove from heat and cover.
- Some olive oil will be left in the frying pan; add the onion to it and cook until the onion is translucent, then add the broccoli florets and cook for a minute.
- Pour the brown sauce mixture over the onion and broccoli and cook until the sauce is a little thick. Add the chicken to the pan and mix with the vegetables.
- Serve immediately on white rice or noodles.
- Use all-purpose or light soy sauce with low sodium for this recipe.
- If all you have is regular soy sauce with high sodium, add one extra teaspoon of brown sugar to the sauce.
- You can use chicken thighs instead of the breast in this recipe.
- When adding different vegetables to this dish, make sure to cut them thin to cook quickly.
- This dish is best served immediately after cooking, but you can refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- The recipe serves two, and it is low in calories.
- There is no wine or alcohol in this recipe.