This is a quick and easy recipe for a Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry that has just about the least number of ingredients you can get away with but still deliver a dish that stacks up to the best Chinese takeout! Plenty of savoury homemade stir fry sauce – because broccoli florets are a sponge for sauce plus I need extra for rice soaking. It’s essential!
Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry
If you descended upon your local Asian Market armed with my Asian Market Shopping List and stocked up on the Level 1 essential sauces, you have the 3 sauces you need to make this.
How good is that!!?
And if your weekly grocery shopping is as predictable as mine, then chicken and broccoli made it into your trolley on the weekend.
Which means you’re armed and dangerous, ready to cook up this big batch Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry. Complete with extra sauce!
I call this a “big batch” Chicken Broccoli stir fry because most of my stir fry recipes tend to be made on a smaller scale serving 2 to 4 people max, being that crowding the pan = stewed veggies which is one of the greatest sins of stir frying.
We don’t have that problem with this one because we steam the broccoli first before making the stir fry as it won’t cook in the short time it’s on the stove. So we can crowd the pan and make a big batch that easily serves 5, possibly even 6!
Also, broccoli holds up better than most vegetables with leftovers, so this is a terrific meal prep option (which I normally don’t recommend for stir fries) which is why I don’t mind having leftovers.
What you need for Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry
Here’s what you need for this minimalist stir fry!
- Cooked broccoli – as noted above. Steamed or boiled, whichever you prefer.
- Chicken – breast or thigh. If you’re using breast and want to add a wow factor, tenderise the chicken using this secret Chinese restaurant method for “velveting chicken”;
- Soy sauce – use either light soy sauce or all purpose soy sauce. Do not use dark, flavour will be much too intense;
- Chinese cooking wine OR Mirin – used by the gallon in Chinese restaurants, it’s the secret ingredient that makes stir fry sauces so good. Mirin or dry sherry are perfect substitutes, see recipe notes for non alcoholic option;
- Oyster sauce – adds a stack of flavour and a touch of sweet. Vegetarian option: Use Vegetarian Oyster Sauce, it’s pretty good! Ayam is a good brand, sold at large everyday grocery stores. Also, here’s a homemade Vegetarian Oyster Sauce recipe by Omnivore’s Cookbook, a Chinese recipe website. I was extremely impressed with it;
- Sesame oil (toasted) – for a lovely hint of sesame flavour;
- Cornflour/cornstarch – to thicken the sauce and make it shiny and glossy; and
- Garlic and onion – stir fries rarely happen without these two essential flavour bases.
How to make Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry
It comes together in about 5 minutes on the stove, so make sure you have everything chopped, next to the stove, ready to toss in. This can be made in a (large!) wok though I find it easier just to use a skillet for this particular stir fry because it makes a big batch.
This recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of water which sounds like a LOT! But extra sauce is essential here because the broccoli florets are a sponge for sauce.
Serve it over rice though if you’re pushing through a low carb phase, then try cauliflower rice instead. It really is not as bad as you think, it’s got a very neutral flavour and the tasty stir fry sauce does wonders to disguise any remnant of cauliflower flavour.
Also another good low carb option is Egg Foo Young (Chinese Omelette) which you could make then smother with this Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry instead of making the Egg Foo Young brown sauce.
And for fellow chicken and broccoli tragics, see below the recipe card for a somewhat lengthy list of various other chicken and broccoli this-and-that recipes I’ve shared. – Nagi x
PS I say “tragics”, but being that broccoli is a powerhouse veggie, we should give ourselves a pat on the back for packing so much broccoli into our diets!
Watch how to make it
Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry (extra sauce!)
Extra saucy is how I like this – because broccoli florets have a tendency to hold lots of sauce but I still want some to soak my rice.
- 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
- 3 tbsp soy sauce , all purpose or light (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or Mirin (Note 2)
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce (Note 3)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Dash of white pepper (sub black)
- 2 tbsp oil , peanut, vegetable or canola
- 1/2 onion , sliced
- 2 garlic cloves , finely minced
- 500g/1 lb chicken thighs or breast (optional tenderise, Note 4)
- 400g/ 14 oz broccoli florets , broken/cut into small bite size pieces (2 medium heads)
- 1 1/4 cups water
Broccoli: steam or boil using preferred method until cooked to your taste (it won’t cook any further in the stir fry). I usually microwave steam 3 minutes on high. Drain well.
Sauce: Mix cornflour and soy sauce, then mix in remaining ingredients.
Tenderising option: Consider tenderising chicken breast using this method. (Not needed for thigh)
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and onion, stir for 10 seconds until garlic starts to go golden.
Then add chicken and cook for 2 minutes or until all the chicken is just cooked through.
Add broccoli, Sauce and water. Stir well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the Sauce thickens into a glossy sauce that coats the ingredients.
Serve over rice!
2. Chinese Cooking Wine (Shaoxing Wine) – sub with dry sherry (near perfect sub). If you can’t consume alcohol, use low sodium chicken broth in place of the cooking wine in the Sauce AND in place of the water, AND reduce oyster sauce by 1 tablespoon.
3. Vegetarian Oyster Sauce – Nowadays you can find vegetarian oyster sauce (suitable for vegans) even at supermarket. For example, Ayam Vegetarian Oyster Sauce. It’s actually pretty good!
And here’s homemade Vegetarian Oyster Sauce recipe by Omnivore’s Cookbook, a Chinese recipe blog. I was extremely impressed with it.
4. Chicken – if using breast, option to tenderise using the Chinese method so it’s super tender and juicy like you get at Chinese restaurants – see How to tenderise chicken the Chinese way (Velveting)
5. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing – sauces thickened with cornflour/cornstarch tend to become watery if frozen. But other than sauce thickness, flavour holds up just fine!
6. Nutrition per serving assuming 5 servings, excluding rice.
More Chicken and Broccoli recipes
For fellow chicken and broccoli tragics
And my favourite stir fries
Life of Dozer
Bed hair. Nobody wakes up looking perfect – not even Dozer!
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