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Chinese Chicken in Garlic Sauce Recipe – Better Than Takeout

Better than takeout-this Chinese chicken in garlic sauce is easy to make and so much better than the local joint!

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Chinese chicken in garlic sauce is always one of my favorites at any Chinese restaurant.

It’s an Americanized Chinese dish, and I can always count on it to satisfy my craving.

With a knockout sweet and spicy chicken recipe and now a delicious garlic chicken recipe, there’s no need for Chinese takeout! This easy Chinese garlic chicken stir fry recipe is so simple to make, and I daresay better than my favorite restaurant around the corner.

Why Chinese Chicken in Garlic Sauce is So Amazing!

I cook many Asian dishes, but often throw them together when I’m in a hurry, and I don’t write anything down, which makes them hard to post!

In this case, I actually followed a recipe, so on a busy weeknight, I won’t have to remember what I did three weeks prior!

You will love this super simple recipe made with chicken breast meat.

Make sure to slice against the grain to achieve the tenderest chicken and use a sharp knife.

small bowls of white rice with big bowl of chinese chicken in garlic sauce with colored peppers and green onions.

Ingredients & Substitutions for Chinese Chicken in Garlic Sauce Recipe

Though this dish is loaded with Arbol dried red peppers that give this significant heat, it was perfectly acceptable to us.

We love Sichuan food and though this classic is not ordinarily spicy, we loved it just like this!

Prefer to add your own heat? Just leave out the dried chili peppers and add chili oil or chili sauce to taste before serving.

There are so many interesting ingredients at Asian grocery stores.

I try to stock up whenever I go, because the one I visit is about 20 minutes away. No, that isn’t far but not in a direction I often head.

Condiments like light soy sauce are easily found, as is Shaoxing wine, chili peppers, and cans of bamboo shoots.

This recipe also called for wood-ear mushrooms, which I always have on hand.

Wood-ear mushrooms are actually fungi and can be found dried at any Asian market. They don’t have a lot of flavor but pick up flavors from the dishes they are cooked with.

Chinese cuisine is very big on texture, and wood-ear mushrooms add texture. Kind of chewy and a bit crunchy, they are often the black things you might see in your hot and sour soup.

Don’t have these? No worries. Shitake mushrooms will be just fine!

small bowls of white rice with big bowl of chinese chicken in garlic sauce with colored peppers and green onions.

Don’t have Shaoxing rice wine? Use dry sherry or saki.

Light soy sauce is lighter in color, thinner, and tastes saltier, and isn’t as sweet and thick as traditional dark soy sauce. Light soy sauce, like virgin olive oil, is made from the first press of the fermented soybeans.

Any all-purpose soy sauce will substitute for light soy sauce.

Fresh ginger can easily be found. It can also be frozen after grating. So if you find your ginger turning a slight bit moldy because it has sat in the refrigerator for so long, trim it off and grate it.

Another alternative is to use ginger from the tubes in the produce section, but I will warn you that when you add it to your skillet or wok, it will splatter!

Last night I served my garlic chicken with jasmine rice and fresh pineapple. Brown rice and mangoes would be great, too!

And much to Manservant’s chagrin, I also stir-fried some broccoli!

Another thing to mention is that garlic isn’t actually in the chicken stir-fry sauce. Garlic is added when stir-frying! Just didn’t want you to think I forgot to put it in the recipe!

small bowls of white rice with big bowl of chinese chicken in garlic sauce with colored peppers and green onions.

How to Make This Chinese Chicken in Garlic Sauce Recipe

Prepare & Chop Ingredients

Begin by slicing 10 ounces of chicken breast into thin slices. This recipe serves four, but some folks like more chicken, so feel free to add it.

Place it in a small bowl and add a pinch of salt, some corn starch, and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Stir it up and set aside.

Make the Sauce

Combine light soy sauce, rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and chicken broth in a mixing cup and set aside.

For best results, make sure to get everything ready before the oil hits the pan!

I usually arrange my ingredients on a cutting board next to my cooktop.

In a wok or a large skillet, add two tbsp of oil.

On your cutting board, place 12 small dried chilies if using.

Chop up one teaspoon of ginger and three cloves of garlic.

I used one head of baby bok choy and separated the lower part from the leaves. The lower part takes longer to cook, and the leaves can be stirred in just before turning off the heat.

Place the julienned wood-ear mushrooms on your board. Now, thinly slice vertically one-half of the red bell pepper.

Mix up your slurry. Slurry? Many Chinese recipes use an equal amount of cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce. It is stirred in at the end of the frying process.

The last thing to do is to slice some green onions diagonally. Nothing looks or tastes better than that simple garnish of spring onions.

small bowls of white rice with big bowl of chinese chicken in garlic sauce with colored peppers and green onions.

Cook the Chicken With Garlic Sauce

Time to heat the wok with the oil in it over medium heat.

Add the chilies, ginger, and garlic, and cook for a minute. Turn the heat to high and add the chicken. Stir fry until the chicken is opaque in color.

Now add the wood ears, the lower part of the bok choy, and the sliced red bell pepper.

Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste, chili oil if using, and the cornstarch slurry.

Allow the sauce to boil, which will thicken this easy dinner recipe.

Sprinkle on the scallions and serve.

This has now become one of my favorite dinner recipes.

Though this recipe is supposed to serve four, if feeding a whole family, you may want to double it, but you know your family’s appetite better than I do.

This recipe comes together very quickly, but like any Chinese recipe, you must have everything ready to go before the cooking begins.

Hope you add this to your easy Asian recipes file and remember to look it up on a busy night.

It may change your mind about takeout forever!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is good to make with this Chinese Chicken in Garlic Sauce recipe?

Fried rice is always a winner to serve alongside any Chinese-inspired dish.  These show-stopping Korean potato chips make a great side, or go with the never-fail cream cheese wontons!

What are the best toppings or garnishes for Chinese food?

Sesame seeds, green onions, and red pepper flakes are all classics for garnishing homemade Chinese food.

Other Asian-Inspired Recipes You Might Enjoy

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

Cantonese Steamed Chicken with Mushrooms

Cantonese Steamed Chicken with Blue Napkin

How To Make Fried Rice

Fried Rice

I’d Love it if You’d Follow Me and Pin and Share!

pin image of colored peppers and green onions with chicken and garlic sauce.
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Chinese chicken with garlic sauce

Chinese Chicken in Garlic Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 8-10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 25 Minutes
  • Yield: 24 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stir-Fry
  • Cuisine: Asian


Better than takeout, this Chinese chicken in garlic sauce is easy to make and so much better than the local joint!



10 ounces thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast

Pinch of salt

1 t cornstarch

1 t sesame oil


1 T light soy sauce

1 T rice vinegar

1 T Shaoxing rice wine, sherry or saki

1 T sugar

3/4 c chicken broth

Stir Fry

2 T vegetable oil

12 dried red Arbol chilies

1 t minced ginger

3 cloves minced garlic

1 head of baby bok choy-leaves separated from stalk and both sliced

1 c reconstituted dried wood-ear mushrooms or shitake mushrooms

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin and vertical

Salt, if needed

Chili oil (optional)

2 T cornstarch mixed with 2 T water

1 diagonally sliced scallion


Marinate the sliced chicken with salt, cornstarch and sesame oil. Set aside.

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a large mixing cup. Set aside.

Heat 2 T of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the dried chilies, ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Turn up heat to high and add the chicken. Stir fry until opaque.

Add the lower part of the bok choy, the mushrooms of choice, and the bell pepper. Cook for two minutes.

Add the sauce and stir well. Bring to a boil and add the cornstarch slurry. Stir in leaves from bok choy and half of the sliced scallions. Stir fry for thirty seconds, allowing the sauce to thicken.

Give a final stir and then sprinkle with scallions and serve with rice.


Adapted from Woks of Life.

For cooking tips and ingredient info please read post above.

I slice up the chicken fairly thin, and one easy way to do that is to put the boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the freezer for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Wood-ear mushrooms must be reconstituted in hot water for about 30 minutes before slicing into thin shreds.

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Thursday 10th of February 2022

This looks like a fantastic meal to me, Abbe! I love to order dishes with garlic sauce when we get take out too, can't wait to try this at home!


Tuesday 15th of February 2022

Really is so good and so simpel to make. Thanks Marcelle. Nice to see you around!


Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Oh my goodness ! This is beyond delicious Abbe !!!!

Healthy World Cuisine

Sunday 30th of January 2022

Double the garlic of course! Always up for a good easy stir fry. Looks delicious. Happy Lunar New Year.


Saturday 29th of January 2022

This looks AMAZING! Of course, I'll have to tone down the heat for Bill, but I know we'll both love it!


Sunday 30th of January 2022

Thanks Liz. Just leave out some of the chilies. It is a great dish!


Saturday 29th of January 2022

This looks like a very yummy dish! Love just about any Chinese chicken and this looks exceptional good.


Thursday 3rd of February 2022

Thanks MJ. Beats takeout any day!


Sunday 30th of January 2022

Thanks MJ. It does look good, I admit. But it tastes even better!