This Chinese chicken and broccoli stir fry tastes just like, if not better, than Chinese takeout! It's super easy to make and now you can make it at home in 30 minutes or less! This easy chicken stir fry recipe is great with some white rice or egg fried rice. If you prefer beef, you can try our beef and broccoli instead.
Chinese chicken and broccoli is probably one of the most popular chicken stir fry dishes. It's absolutely wonderful with fried rice or shrimp lo mein...and maybe an egg roll as well!
This chicken stir fry recipe is easy to make, tastes just like, if not better than Chinese takeout, and takes less than 30 minutes to make!
If you're looking for more Chinese takeout recipes, you may also like our General Tso's chicken, sesame chicken, and shrimp fried rice recipe.
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
For marinating the chicken:
- Chicken breast - Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are perfect for making chicken and broccoli. Just cut them into ¼ inch slices.
- Water - For hydrating the chicken which ensures the meat stays as juicy as possible.
- Shaoxing cooking wine - A Chinese pantry staple and must have. In the marinade, Shaoxing rice wine helps to get rid of any unwanted flavor in the chicken.
- Salt - For seasoning the chicken.
- Baking soda - To slightly tenderize the chicken. Baking soda also encourages water retention, which helps to keep the chicken breast super juicy.
- Cornstarch - This will bind the liquid part of the marinade to the chicken and a crucial ingredient for velveting the chicken breast slices.
- Oil - Any neutral oil will do.
To make the chicken and broccoli sauce:
- Soy sauce - We recommend light sodium soy sauce so that the sauce is not super salty.
- Water - To dilute the soy sauce. You could also use unsalted chicken stock instead.
- Sugar - Regular granulated sugar is fine. It's for sweetening the brown sauce. If you prefer, you could use honey instead, but the flavor will be slightly different.
- Cornstarch - For thickening the stir fry brown sauce.
- Toasted sesame oil - An Asian pantry must have! Sesame oil adds a toasted flavor to beef and broccoli.
For the rest of the dish:
- Broccoli - The co-star of this dish! You can use both already cut broccoli florets or cut your florets from a broccoli crown.
- Garlic and ginger - Both of these aromatics add lots of flavor the stir fried brown sauce!
How to make Chinese chicken and broccoli stir fry
Marinate the chicken:
1. In a mixing bowl, first combine the sliced chicken breast, water, shaoxing rice wine, salt and baking soda. Mix well until the chicken has absorbed most of the liquids.
2. Next, add the cornstarch and mix until the chicken pieces are well coated. Finish the marinade by adding the oil. Mix until evenly combined. Set the chicken aside to marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes or overnight.
🌟 Pro tip: Cut and marinate your chicken breasts first! You can prepare the rest of your ingredients as the chicken marinates to maximize your time.
Prepare the sauce:
In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, water, sugar, cornstarch, and sesame oil). Whisk well until no more clumps of cornstarch is visible. Set aside until needed.
📝 Note: If you prefer a thicker sauce, use 1 to 2 teaspoons extra cornstarch.
Make the chicken and broccoli:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the broccoli florets. Cook the broccoli for about 30 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on your preferred tenderness. Drain the broccoli and set it aside until needed.
2. In a wok or sauté pan over medium high heat, add enough oil to generously coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated chicken and cook on both sides until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the wok/pan and set aside.
📝 Note: The chicken doesn't need to have color, but if you prefer, you can sear the chicken until golden brown. Do make sure to separate the chicken so that it gets evenly cooked, and cook in small batches if necessary.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and keep about 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Drain excess oil if necessary. Add the minced garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 15 to 30 seconds.
4. Give the prepared stir fry sauce a good stir and pour it into the pan with the garlic and ginger. Let the sauce heat up until it starts to simmer and the sauce looks thickened and glossy. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent the sauce from scorching on the bottom.
5. Once the sauce looks thick and glossy throughout, reduce the heat to low and add the chicken and the broccoli florets. Toss until everything is well coated with sauce.
6. Serve with rice and enjoy while hot!
- Cook the broccoli to your preferred tenderness. We usually cook our broccoli florets for about 45 seconds to 1 minute, so that they are still kind of crispy. Do note that the cook time will be dependent on how big your broccoli florets are.
- Add the chicken to the sauce first can make coating with sauce easier. We like to add the stir fried chicken into the sauce and generously coat it with sauce first. Then, add the broccoli. This method ensures the broccoli florets don't absorb all the sauce and leave the chicken barely with sauce.
Leftover chicken and broccoli can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just make sure to let the chicken and broccoli cool completely before storing.
You can reheat the chicken and broccoli stir fry using the microwave or in a pan, on the stovetop. If you're reheating in the microwave, make sure to use a microwave safe container and cover the chicken and broccoli.
Do note that the chicken and broccoli sauce on day two will be thinner and the broccoli florets won't be as crispy as freshly made ones.
Some dry sherry diluted with water is a good substitute if you don't have Shaoxing rice wine. If you don't want to use alcohol at all, just substitute the rice wine for equal amounts of water. But do note that the chicken won't be as aromatic without the rice wine.
If you prefer, you can use equal amounts of potato starch to replace the cornstarch in both the chicken marinade and the stir fry brown sauce.
Baking soda helps to tenderize the chicken breast and encourages water retention in meats.
If you’ve made this recipe or any recipes from our blog, please tag us on Instagram using #twoplaidaprons! You can also tag us in your Instagram stories using @two_plaid_aprons. We would love to see your creations! It absolutely makes our day! 🥰
Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
For marinating the chicken:
- 20 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast cut into ¼ inch slices (about 2 chicken breast)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt (if using fine salt, use a little less)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon oil any neutral oil is fine
For the stir fry sauce:
- ⅔ cup soy sauce light sodium
- ⅔ cup water
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
For the rest of the dish:
- 1 pound broccoli cut into florets (about 1 crown)
- 1½ tablespoons garlic minced (about 4 cloves)
- 1½ tablespoons ginger minced (about an 1½ inch knob)
Marinate the chicken:
- In a mixing bowl, first combine the sliced chicken breast, water, shaoxing rice wine, salt and baking soda. Mix well until the chicken has absorbed most of the liquids.
- Next add the cornstarch and mix until the chicken pieces are well coated. Finish the marinade by adding the oil. Mix until evenly combined. Set the chicken aside to marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes as you prepare the rest of the ingredients or let the chicken marinate overnight.
Prepare the sauce:
- In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, water, sugar, cornstarch, and sesame oil). Whisk well until no more clumps of cornstarch is visible. Set aside until needed.*If you prefer a thicker sauce, use 1 to 2 teaspoons extra cornstarch.*
Make the chicken and broccoli:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the broccoli florets. Cook the broccoli for about 30 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on your preferred tenderness. The cook time will also depend on how big the broccoli florets are. Once cooked, drain the broccoli and set aside.*We usually boil our broccoli for about 1 minute because we like it more on the crisp side.*
- In a wok or sauté pan over medium high heat, add enough oil to generously coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated chicken and cook on both sides until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the wok/pan and set aside.*The chicken doesn't need to have color, but if you prefer, you can sear the chicken until golden brown. Do make sure to separate the chicken so that it gets evenly cooked, and cook in small batches if necessary.*
- Reduce the heat to medium and keep about 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Drain excess oil if necessary. Add the minced garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 15 to 30 seconds.
- Give the prepared stir fry sauce a good stir and pour it into the pan with the garlic and ginger. Let the sauce heat up until it starts to simmer and the sauce looks thickened and glossy. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent the sauce from scorching on the bottom.
- Once the sauce looks thick and glossy throughout, reduce the heat to low and add the chicken and the broccoli florets. Toss until everything is well coated with sauce.
- Serve with rice and enjoy while hot!
- Freeze the chicken for easier cutting. Having the chicken breast semi frozen will make slicing easier. But make sure to have the chicken full defrosted and drained before you start marinating!
I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! Easy and quick too. I added mushrooms alongside the brocoli and toasted sesame seeds for crunch.
Thanks for trying our recipe! So glad you enjoyed it and loving the addition of mushrooms and sesame seeds!
I made this recipe for dinner tonight. It was simple, delicious, nutitious and economical. I wanted to take a photo because it was so pretty, but it was dark and we were hungry!
Thank you for trying our recipe and we're so glad that you enjoyed it! Haha, no worries at all! We'll look forward to your photos next time! 😉
roni brumm says
I added thin sliced carrots to the brocculi .... omg yum!
I look forward to trying more of your recipes.
Thank you for sharing.
So happy that you enjoyed it and love the carrot addition! Thank you for all the love and hope you enjoy the other recipes as well!
Just cleared the table and all the plates were licked clean! Fabulous recipe and great dinner. Way better than take-out!
Thank you for leaving such a sweet comment! We are so happy to hear that everyone enjoyed it! You've totally made our day 🥰
Robbin Frantz says
Made for dinner tonight. Added carrots as well. Was a hit IF it weren’t so salty. Not sure what I did wrong? I doubled the recipe as I was cooking for a large group. I obviously missed measured something? 🤔 will have to try again without doubling. Only item I did not add was the shaoxing cooking wine. I thought I had fresh ginger but didn’t so I used ginger powder.
I'm so sorry to hear that the chicken and broccoli turned out too salty. 😕 There are two possibilities. Did you use regular soy sauce? For the recipe, we recommend light sodium soy sauce because regular soy sauce is too salty. If you did use regular soy sauce, we recommend using less of it or use more water. Second, for the sauce, we added water to help dilute and balance the saltiness. Did you use equal amounts of water to soy sauce? The ginger powder and shaoxing rice wine shouldn't affect the saltiness of the dish, so no worries there. I do absolutely love that you added carrots to the dish!
I hope these suggestions are helpful and please let us know if you have more questions!
Karen Westerfer says
Just made this for dinner tonight. I didn't have rice wine, so I used 2 Tbs. Rice Vinegar and 1 Tbs. Sherry Cooking Wine. I allowed the chicken to marinate for at least an hour. WOW! The chicken was so tender and the whole dish was better than the Chinese restaurants around us! I look forward to trying your beef with broccoli recipe next!
Thank you for trying our recipe and so glad you enjoyed it! If you don't have rice wine in your pantry, you can just substitute it with some dry sherry, as you did. But no need for the vinegar =) The purpose of the rice wine in the chicken marinade is to get rid of any unwanted chicken flavor and to make it more fragrant. We hope you enjoy the beef and broccoli recipe just as much!
This recipe was so delicious! My kids ate everything!
Thank you again, Tammy, for making another one of our recipes! It means even more when the kiddos approved of them!
This is amazing! I cooked it twice, but with a slight variation of seafood soy sauce rather than low sodium soy sauce and I can confirm this is as good as Queens NY Chinese take out!! Amazing recipe
So glad to hear that you enjoyed the chicken and broccoli! And love the variation you made =)
Jackie B says
Do you rinse off the chicken after marinating or simply drain it?
Once the chicken is marinated, please do not rinse it. If the chicken is marinated properly, there should be no more liquid left to be drained. Please make sure to mix the chicken until all the water and liquid is absorbed. Hope this helps!