Fresh green veggies, lean chicken, and crunchy cashews meet up in a sweet ‘n salty glossy sauce! Learn how to make an easy Japanese Chicken Stir Fry, then customize it with your favourite vegetables.
I’m starting the New Year with this oh-so-good, super simple, naturally gluten-free Japanese Chicken stir fry with broccoli, bok choy and peppers. Seriously, this meal can be on your table in 20 minutes. Three cheers for quick weeknight dinners!
And the best part of this recipe (besides that super tasty marinade) is that you can MAKE IT YOUR OWN. Add whatever veggies you like, change the meat (or omit it entirely), serve over rice or noodles, or just have it as is, like we did. You can avoid mushy, overcooked vegetables drowned in sauce by following the tips I’ve included below.
Let’s make a grocery list!
You will need:
Chicken: any kind of boneless chicken, breasts, thighs or chicken tenders.
Vegetables: broccoli, baby bok choy, white onions, red peppers, garlic
Marinade ingredients: coconut sugar (or brown sugar), soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos for paleo diet), mirin (substitute sherry, sake or white wine if you can’t find any) and rice wine vinegar.
Garnishes: cashews, sesame seeds, and green onions (scallions)
How to Make Japanese Chicken Stir Fry
This is a super simple recipe, but I’ve found that my stir fries consistently turn out beautifully if I follow the steps in this order.
- First, whisk the marinade ingredients together and set aside,
- Next, prepare all your vegetables. Cut them into bite-sized pieces, then pat dry. This step is important. If they’re wet, the vegetables will steam and turn out limp and soggy. And that is not what you want in a good stir fry!
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. A very hot pan is the key to a good stir fry. Add a small amount of oil and tilt the pan to coat the bottom evenly.
- Add the broccoli and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes or just until it turns bright green and is beginning to tenderize. Remove from the pan and transfer to a bowl.
- Next, toss in the slices of white onion, baby bok choy and red pepper strips. Again, stir-fry until bok choy becomes bright green and is beginning to wilt and peppers are starting to blister. Remove from the pan and add to the broccoli in the bowl.
- Drizzle in a tiny bit of oil, tilt to coat the pan evenly. Stir fry the minced garlic and chicken pieces until browned on all sides. Then add the marinade and stir to coat evenly.
- Transfer the vegetables from the bowl back into the pan, stir to coat with all that yummy marinade (which will thicken slightly), toss in cashews, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with a few slices of green onion.
Ready to serve!
This stir fry makes a quick and healthy dinner. The glossy, flavour-packed sauce coats every element, since you have thickened the marinade. Cornstarch works well as a thickening agent, but you can get similar results using potato starch, tapioca starch or arrowroot. Adding the marinade near the end of the cooking time works best for me.
Do I have to use a wok to make stir-fry?
No. Definitely not. In fact, most modern Western stoves are not designed to use a round-bottomed wok. A heavy-bottomed skillet is my preference. I love my cast iron fry pans for stir fry, as I can heat them to a very high heat, something I can’t do with a non-stick pan.
And if you need more convincing that you don’t need a wok to make stir fry, read this: 10 reasons to use a frying pan instead of a wok to make stir fry meals
Make it your own and change it up! Substitute your favourite veggies or protein. Remember to cook the more dense vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts separately from leafy greens or quick-cooking peppers, as they will take a little longer.
What to Serve with Japanese Chicken Stir Fry
Spoon it over basmati or brown rice, or on top of your favourite noodles, (gluten-free if necessary). Or just have it as is, dished out straight from the pan. We like to serve stir-fry in bowls, so it stays hot.
Easy Japanese Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 lb chicken breast or chicken tenders cut in bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups broccoli florets trimmed
- 4 baby bok choy halved
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper sliced
- 1/4 med white onion sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp mirin (a slightly sweet rice wine)
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce or coconut aminos for paleo diet
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp cornstarch (or arrowroot or potato starch or tapioca) mixed with 2 tsp water
- Whisk marinade ingredients together and set aside.
- Have all ingredients chopped and ready to add. Pat dry (as you don't want the vegetables to steam.)
- Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Drizzle in a teaspoon of the oil and tilt to coat the whole pan.
- Add broccoli to hot pan, sauté for 2 - 3 minutes or until bright green and just beginning to become tender. Remove to a bowl.
- Add bok choy, pepper slices and onion slices to pan. Sauté for a few minutes until bok choy starts to wilt and peppers are beginning to blister. Remove to a bowl with the broccoli.
- Add remaining oil, tilt to coat pan. Add minced garlic and chicken pieces. Stir until all chicken pieces are brown. Add marinade, stir to coat completely.
- Add sautéed vegetables back into the pan and stir to coat with the marinade. Then, toss in cashews, sprinkle with sesame seeds, garnish with sliced green onions and serve.
Like flavour-filled Asian quick dinners? Try these, too.
- Easy Japanese Chicken Yakitori Skewers
- Simple Singapore Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
- Asian Glazed Garlic Chicken
- Ginger-Garlic Glazed Korean Chicken Skewers
- 5-Ingredient Hoisin Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it in the comments section below.
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