Sesame Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

by Andie Mitchell on September 11, 2011


One of the best things about sauces, is that they often can be thrown together quickly, and easily jazzed and juiced up in a trillion ways. They complement all sorts of starches and sides. It’s the surest way to add flavor to an otherwise bland whole grain, a simply steamed vegetable, or naked chicken.


Here, I paired a simple garlic and ginger stir fry of vegetables with chicken I had grilled a few nights before, and married the two in a spicy sweet sesame sauce.


This is my favorite stir fry syrup. I say syrup because the key to a good stir fry, the kind you know and lust after in restaurants, is a thick sauce. You want something that coats your veggies like a luscious lacquer, not something that dribbles, thin and watery, to the bottom of your plate.


The way to get your sauces sticky and standing up rather than running down, is cornstarch. It must be stirred into cool liquid before heating, but once it dissolves into your cold mixed sauce and then comes to a simmer over medium heat, it turns to syrup, a glossy gravy.




This sauce is a cinch to whisk together, and it’s got a fantastic salty but deeply roasted flavor. There’s caramelized sweetness from brown sugar and a heavy zing from fresh ginger.

Here’s my advice for the simplest, most versatile stir fry: whisk together a simple sauce with all the components of brilliant and bright flavor: salty, sweet, spicy, and sour. Add a few teaspoons of cornstarch to that sauce and stir ‘til dissolved. Set the cool sauce aside. Saute your favorite blend of fresh vegetables in a little oil with garlic and ginger over medium-high heat. Pour the sauce over the vegetables just as they’re beginning to turn tender and bring the pan up to a simmer. Reduce the heat and let the mixture bubble gently until the sauce has thickened and coats the vegetables.

Stir in any protein you like, toss to combine and heat through, and serve with steamed white or brown rice.

Sesame Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced into strips
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup bell peppers, sliced very thinly
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced very thinly


  1. Whisk soy sauce, stock, sesame oil, brown sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan or wok. Add the chicken strips and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of canola oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, bell peppers, cabbage, and carrots, and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan and stir to incorporate. Add the soy sauce mixture, stir to coat, and bring to a simmer for about 2 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and glossy.
  5. Serve with brown rice.


Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/4th of entire recipe): Calories 270, Total Fat 10.2 g, Total Carbohydrate 18.2 g, Dietary Fiber 2.8 g, Sugars 11.6 g, Protein 28.3 g

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Lara @TresLaLa September 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Oh, this looks fantastic! Too bad I already made my meal plan for this week… Next week, watch out!


Johnny September 12, 2011 at 2:14 am

Definately a must try. My wife and I love stir frys and are always looking for a way to “jazz” them up!
Thanks for the recipe! :)


Wendy September 12, 2011 at 2:21 am

Andie this looks lovely – too bad I don’t have most of the ingredients at home to make it tonight and just having come out of hospital don’t feel in the mood to go shopping. Later this week though – that’s a promise to myself!


Heather (Heather's Dish) September 12, 2011 at 4:59 am

this sounds so amazing. and i have to agree with you on the syrup factor…there’s nothing quite like a perfect stir-fry syrup sauce!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 12, 2011 at 5:15 am

This is beautiful Andie!! I made teriyaki sauce this weekend and used it in a noodle bowl, and although it was delicious and the noodles seemed to sop up the dribbles, it definitely did lack that syrupy texture that you’ve described. I’ll make sure I whisk in some corn starch next time!


Susan Sandoloski September 12, 2011 at 5:25 am

This looks delicious!! I am going to try this tonight!


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh September 12, 2011 at 5:56 am

We just said the other day we were going to have to start making more stir fry’s and look at you giving me a recipe to start with. So thoughtful! ;)


Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake September 12, 2011 at 6:40 am

This is one of those great dishes that is both gorgeous and practical. I’m always looking for another quick week-night dish to add to my arsenal, and this looks delicious!


Shannon September 12, 2011 at 8:23 am

Sounds and looks delicious! :) thanks for the recipe!


Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) September 12, 2011 at 8:44 am

This looks SO good Andie! :) I can’t wait to try it!


Lisa September 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Thanks for the recipe and the tips! It looks amazing!


Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen September 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm

This sounds sounds absolutely delicious! I used to strongly dislike ginger, but I recently cooked a few recipes containing it and love it now! Thanks for the tips on how to make it thick and syrupy!


Liz @ Southern Charm September 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm

This. Looks. So. Good.


Rachel September 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm

What a great looking stir fry! I make a stir fry at least once a week. This recipe is definitely going into next week’s lineup!


Carissa September 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm

You’re completely right about the perfect sauce really being a syrup. It makes all the difference & takes a home cook to the restaurant level.


Jamie September 18, 2011 at 6:09 am

I made this last night…sooo soo good! Better than a lot of the bottled stir fry sauces I buy! It’s got a great zing to it and this is definitely due to stir frying the ginger/red pepper/garlic first. I might half the soy sauce, however because it was a little salty for my taste. Just personal preference :)

Will def make this again! Got it bookmarked.


Robbie September 18, 2011 at 8:25 am

This looks absolutely gorgeous!!! I’ll have to try it :) yummm My boyfriend is gonna go crazy for this recipe. It’s definitelly gonna be on next weeks menu. Thanks for sharing!
ps: I love you blog and your recipes are lovely!
Definitelly went to my faves! x


vilma September 19, 2011 at 8:59 am

Hi! making this today, BUT dont have any sesame oil… any good substitutions? … second thought, all i really have is canola and olive oil. Will either of these work? (If it must be sesame,then By George i will run out and get some!)



Lina September 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I made this tonight and we looooved it! Thanks for a great recipe.


Merideth December 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Hi Andie! I’m absolutely obsessed with your blog (I’ve been reading it backwards in entirety) and this is about the 4th recipe I’ve made. You’ve taught me so much!! Stir fry is actually the one thing I already do well and one substitution I made in this recipe that you might be interested in (since I know you love the unprocessed healthier foods like I do) is that I added canned pineapple in its juice for a little sweetness and substituted 1/4 cup of the juice (drained the rest) for the brown sugar. Just an idea if you’re ever looking for a twist!


zoe August 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Made this today, so delicious!


Sharyn Duff May 20, 2013 at 7:54 am

Hi Andie – Glad to hear you are eating and cooking healthy. I am always looking for delicious and healthy recipes. I think this Sesame Ginger sauce for stir-fry is exactly what I am looking for. I like to make my own, so I can control the sodium.


Stellastarlite July 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Love this, love your blog, love your Mom’s diet. I added asparagus, snap peas, pineapple, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. I roasted the carrots before adding them. Your sauce is Amazing. Kudos to you.


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