Delight your taste buds with this delicious black pepper chicken stir-fry recipe. It's easy to make and sure to become a favorite!
This chicken stir-fry is a popular dish that is often served in Chinese restaurants and takeout places like Panda Express. It is traditionally made with diced chicken that has been stir-fried with onions, bell peppers, and of course, black pepper.
The stir-fry is seasoned with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and other spices to give it a rich flavor. The black pepper also adds a distinct spicy kick to the dish.
Black pepper chicken is a delicious and easy-to-make meal that will satisfy your cravings for something savory and spicy. Whether you're trying it at home or ordering it from your favorite Chinese restaurant, this dish is sure to impress!
The ingredients used in making black pepper chicken include boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cornstarch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and ground black pepper. These ingredients combine to create a delicious and flavorful dish that can be served with rice or noodles.
Here are the ingredients you'll need for the recipe:
- boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- soy sauce
- yellow onion
- green and red bell peppers
- oyster sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
- chili garlic sauce
- sesame oil
Scroll down to the recipe card for quantities.
This recipe requires minimal preparation time but delivers maximum flavor. It's perfect for a weeknight meal at home.
Coat the chicken with soy sauce and cornstarch and let marinate for fifteen minutes.
Combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, and chili garlic sauce. Blend well to make black pepper sauce.
Add the chicken thighs to hot oil over high heat in a large skillet. Sear to brown sides, then transfer the chicken to a plate.
In the same skillet or wok, sauté onions and bell peppers. Cook until crisp-tender.
Add garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant.
Turn the heat up, then add the chicken back and mix with the vegetables.
Add the sauce mixture.
Quickly stir, making sure all the ingredients are covered with the sauce.
After one minute, pour water (or low sodium chicken broth, if using). Stir continuously.
To thicken sauce, gradually add the cornstarch slurry, one tablespoon at a time. Stir continuously.
Just before turning off the heat, pour sesame oil. Stir. Turn off heat. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with spring onions.
There are many ways to change up the recipe. Here are just a few options:
- Add extra vegetables. Try additional vegetables such as celery, broccoli, carrots, or snow peas..
- Make it more like the fast food option. If you are looking for more of a Panda Express black pepper chicken copycat recipe, you'll want to replace the bell pepper with celery and add some rice wine vinegar to the sauce.
- Vary the heat. To add more spice, you could use different types of peppers such as Szechuan peppercorns or Thai bird chilies. For those who want a milder flavor, reducing the amount of black pepper used or substituting it with white pepper can make it less spicy.
- Try different sauces. Adding different sauces can completely change the flavor profile of this classic dish. Sweet chili sauce will give it a sweet and spicy kick, while hoisin sauce will lend an umami-rich flavor.
By following these tips, you'll be able to enjoy a deliciously flavored dish with moist and tender meat every time.
- Use freshly cracked black pepper. Instead of using pre-ground black pepper, crack the peppercorns yourself just before cooking. This will ensure that you get the maximum flavor from your black pepper and your chicken will have a nice spicy kick.
- Marinate the chicken. Before cooking, marinate your chicken in a mixture of soy sauce and cornstarch. This will add an extra layer of flavor to your dish and also help to tenderize the meat.
- Don't overcook the chicken. Overcooking can make even the most succulent pieces of chicken dry and tough. Cook until it's just done (no pink in the middle), then remove from heat immediately.
This Chinese black pepper chicken dish that can be enjoyed in various ways, depending on personal preference. One of the most popular side dishes to combine it with is steamed rice. The combination of the savory chicken and peppery sauce pairs perfectly with the fluffy texture of rice, making it a satisfying and filling meal.
For a more indulgent twist on this classic Chinese food, serve it over stir fry noodles or fried rice for an extra layer of texture and flavor. The crunchiness of the noodles or rice contrasts with the tender chicken meat, creating a unique mouthfeel that will leave you craving for more.
You can also sprinkle on some red pepper flakes if you want it to be spicier. A side of steamed vegetables or roasted cabbage steaks goes well with the dish too.
After the chicken has cooled, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Be sure to label the container with the date so you know when it was stored. Black pepper chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
For longer storage, you can freeze the chicken for up to three months. When freezing, make sure to use an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag that is labeled with the date and contents. To thaw frozen black pepper chicken, place it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving.
Absolutely! It's a delicious dish that can be enjoyed at home or in restaurants. Many people love the flavor combination.
You'll want to leave out the cornstarch and use keto-friendly sauces for a low-carb version. Most commercially sold oyster and chili garlic sauces contain sugar.
As long as you use sauces free of wheat and gluten, your dish will also be gluten-free.
You may like some of these other smaller-batch chicken dishes too.
- Honey butter fried chicken is sweet and savory.
- Chicken bacon ranch casserole is kid-friendly.
- Panko chicken is baked to perfection.
- Chicken pot pie is a classic comfort food.
Black Pepper Chicken
- 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 350 grams, cut into strips)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 medium sliced yellow onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 thumb fresh ginger julienne cut
- 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
- 1 green bell pepper cut into strips
- chopped spring onions for garnishing
STIR FRY SAUCE:
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ cup water or low sodium chicken broth
CORNSTARCH SLURRY: (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon oil for frying stir-fry dishes use peanut oil or vegetable oil
- Marinate chicken for 10 to 15 minutes with soy sauce and cornstarch.
- For the stir-fry sauce, combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, and chili garlic sauce. Blend well.
- In a heated skillet or a wok, sear marinated chicken thighs for 2 minutes on each side. Do not completely cook. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
- In the same skillet or wok, sauté onions and bell peppers. Cook until crisp-tender.
- Add garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant.
- Turn the heat up then add back the seared chicken and mix with the vegetables.
- Pour oyster sauce mixture and quickly stir, making sure all the ingredients are covered with the sauce.
- After one minute, pour water (or low sodium chicken broth, if using). Stir continuously.
- If you prefer to have a thicker sauce, gradually add the cornstarch slurry, one tablespoon at a time. Stir continuously.
- Just before turning off the heat, pour sesame oil. Stir.
- Turn off heat. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with spring onions. Enjoy.