Chicken and Broccoli (Chinese Takeout Style)

4.86 from 34 votes
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An easy chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe that yields juicy chicken and crisp broccoli in a rich brown sauce, just like the one at a Chinese restaurant. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Homemade chicken and broccoli in a skillet

Chicken and broccoli should be on your weekday dinner rotation menu, because it’s so easy to prepare and the result tastes even better than takeout. If you rarely cook Chinese stir fries at home, this is a great dish to start with. It only requires one protein, one vegetable, and one sauce. The cooking doesn’t require a wok and the process is very simple. Start your steamed rice while preparing this dish and your dinner will be ready in 30 minutes.

Stir fried chicken with broccoli served on steamed rice

Cooking notes

1. What cookware to use

I’ve discussed why not to use a wok and how to set up your stir fry station in the past in great detail.

Before moving to the US, I always cooked with a small cast iron wok and gas stove in my Chinese kitchen. I switched to a heavy nonstick skillet when I moved to Austin, because it heated up faster and held heat better on the electric stove. Now that I finally have a gas stove again in my New York kitchen, the flame is so weak that sometimes I have trouble boiling water. Now I use both nonstick and carbon steel pans depending on the dishes I make.

If you just started cooking Chinese food, or if you have a similar kitchen situation to mine (electric stove, IH stove, or not-so-powerful gas stove), cooking with a nonstick skillet or carbon steel skillet will be the best option. It’s easier to learn to use, heats up better, and creates great results.

Stir fried chicken with broccoli

2. Key ingredients

Aromatics – It’s very important to use fresh ginger and garlic to create the authentic Chinese food experience. Sometimes I add a handful of chopped green onion to further add fragrance to the dish.

Oyster sauce – In my world it’s a sauce that is quite close to hoisin sauce, only it tastes much better. It adds a rich, savory umami (from oyster extract) and a slightly sweet note to the stir fry sauce.

Shaoxing wine – Used in most Chinese stir fry dishes, including vegetables. It adds a deep fermented savory taste. If you do not want alcohol in your dish, you can use chicken broth to replace it. The flavor of the sauce will fall flat a bit, but you will still get a great result.

Dark soy sauce – It has a darker color and tastes less salty than soy sauce. It’s commonly used in Chinese stir fries to add a beautiful caramelized color to the meat. You can replace it with soy sauce if you don’t have any on hand. Your dish will come out lighter than mine, but still taste great.

3. Easy prep

Getting your working station organized is key to making good stir fries. Different from many Western style cooking techniques, the Chinese stir fry process happens very quickly. Once you heat up the pan, it usually takes less than 5 minutes to cook a dish. Be sure to cut all the ingredients, make the sauce, and have all the ingredients ready near your stove.

When I prepare my stir fry, I like to go one step further and group the ingredients according to the cooking steps, so I can use fewer prep bowls. It makes your working station less crowded, prevents you from forgetting to add ingredients during cooking, and makes clean-up faster.

In the case of the chicken and broccoli stir fry, you should have 5 items near your stove:

  • Mixed sauce
  • Marinated chicken
  • Chopped broccoli
  • Chopped ginger and garlic
  • Cooking oil (not shown in the picture)

Ingredients to making chicken and broccoli

4. Cooking process

Making chicken and broccoli is super easy. All you need to do is:

  • Steam the broccoli in the stir fry pan using a bit of water. I do this instead of blanching the broccoli in a separate pot. It cooks faster this way and you only use one pan in total.
  • Heat up your pan very hot. Sear both sides of the chicken. It helps to brown the chicken better if you spread it in the pan in a single layer and don’t touch it until the bottom is browned.
  • Add the aromatics.
  • Add the cooked broccoli and the sauce, then cook until sauce is thickened.

That’s it!

Chicken and broccoli cooking step-by-step

5. One word on oil

The amount of oil you need largely depends on the type of pan you’re using. If you use a nonstick pan, you can cut the oil to 1 tablespoon without any problem. If you use a carbon steel or cast iron pan, you might need to use more oil, so the bottom of the pan is covered completely with a thin layer of oil to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.

Stir fried chicken with broccoli close-up

More delicious take-out style recipes

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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Chicken and Broccoli (Chinese Takeout Style) | An easy chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe that yields juicy chicken and crisp broccoli in a rich brown sauce, just like the one from a Chinese restaurant. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Chicken and Broccoli (Chinese Takeout Style)

4.86 from 34 votes
An easy chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe that yields juicy chicken and crisp broccoli in a rich brown sauce, just like the one at a Chinese restaurant. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}
To make this dish gluten free, use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine. Use tamari or coconut amino to replace dark soy sauce. And make sure you pick a gluten-free oyster sauce such as this one.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: takeout
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450 g) boneless skinless chicken breast (or thigh)

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce

Stir-fry

  • 1 head broccoli , chopped into bite-sized florets
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger , minced

Instructions

  • Slice the chicken against the grain into thin bite-size pieces, no thicker than 1/4” (1/2 cm), transfer into a medium-size bowl. Add the marinade ingredients. Stir to mix well. Let sit for 10 minutes while preparing other ingredients.
  • Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Stir to mix well.
  • Bring 1/3 cup of water to a boil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and cover. Steam until the broccoli just turns tender and the water evaporates, about 40 to 50 seconds. Transfer the broccoli to a plate. Wipe the pan with a paper towel held in a pair of tongs if there’s any water left.
  • Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Spread the chicken in the skillet in a single layer. Allow to cook without touching for 30 seconds, or until the bottom side is browned. Flip to cook the other side for a few seconds. Stir and cook until the surface is lightly charred and the inside is still pink.
  • Add the garlic and ginger. Stir a few times to release the flavor and fragrance.
  • Return the broccoli to the pan. Stir the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch completely and pour it into the skillet. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Transfer everything to a plate immediately.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice or boiled noodles as a main dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 246kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 9.8g, Saturated Fat: 1.2g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 634mg, Potassium: 512mg, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 3.5g, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg
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Chicken and Broccoli (Chinese Takeout Style) | An easy chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe that yields juicy chicken and crisp broccoli in a rich brown sauce, just like the one from a Chinese restaurant. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Ken Lam says:

    4 stars
    Love chicken and broccoli with either brown or light sauce. You should look into a simple induction burner. Far superior to low BTU gas burners. With a good carbon steel pan/wok, you get instant heat. Even a cheap $50 burner really gives you value.

  2. dp says:

    5 stars
    One of the stir Frye’s I’ve tried and I’ve made many

    • Dp says:

      5 stars
      Should say one of the best …

  3. Altemar says:

    5 stars
    I made it. Looks so smell

  4. Dan Douglas says:

    5 stars
    Greetings from the Upper Westside. I made the take out chicken and broccoli recipe last night for my wife and her best friend who is a chef. They loved it.
    Two issues:
    1. There is no mention of marinating the chicken in the recipe although you include a Meat and Marinade mixture.
    2. I did manage to marinate half of the chicken anyway in the Meat amd Marinade mixture and cooked that batch in a carbon steel skillet from Madein. Chicken stuck to the pan. I added more stock and it worked out well.
    3. The other unmarinated batch I cooked in a non stick skillet from Misen which turned out beautifully.
    Glady to hear your advice. Going to try more of your recipes.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Dan, thanks so much for the thorough feedback and so sorry I missed a step when writing the recipe! Just did edit and now it includes the marinating step.
      Re sticking issue: the marinade contains cornstarch and it’s easy to stick to the pan. I would always use more oil if cooking with a carbon steel pan to prevent from sticking. Or it’s a good idea to cook them in nonstick pan if you prefer to use less oil. The marinade does help to keep the meat tender and flavorful, so I always recommend it.

  5. Patrik says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much.

  6. Ashley H-C says:

    5 stars
    This was very good! Everything was well flavored and the sauce was yummy! So much better than takeout 🙂

  7. Meredith says:

    5 stars
    Tastey and Easy

    • Pamela says:

      My family loved this recipe ! It was so easy to make, tasted just like takeout, but much healthier. Will be making it again soon. Thank you!

  8. Carolyn says:

    5 stars
    This was so good but then again so is everything else that I have tried from this website! Marinating the chicken is definitely worth the time. I made double sauce as we like our dishes saucy 🙂
    Definitely a 5 star recipe

  9. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe, the sauce was one of a kind. I used a 1/2 tbps of dark brown sugar instead and it came out so yumm! Glad I found the cooking wine as well. Definitely will make this again!

  10. Diane says:

    5 stars
    We have tried many, many recipes to “recreate” this takeout meal…all others failed, as we could never get the sauce right. This is it!! It was easy and was made gluten-free for my Celiac son and now he can have his favorite “takeout style” safely. Thank you so much for this recipe. We will go to your website for more!

  11. Alice Carroll says:

    It’s interesting to know that the oiliness of this chicken and broccoli recipe depends on the kind on pan it is cooked on. My best friend and I have been planning to look for a nice Chinese place to eat at before the pandemic cancelled that plan entirely. I hope, once the quarantine becomes a bit less stricter, we could at least get some takeout from a Chinese restaurant, eat at the same time, and talk online about what we think of it.

  12. Dianna says:

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe and from my stove to table in less than 20 minutes….my has a special double burner and cast iron wok ring for Asian cooking but I do not own a wok, just a old large nonstick deep skillet with a glass clad…a hold over from another set of cookware. Happy I did keep it. Thank you so much for the recommendations of sauces, supplies and your videos.. can’t wait to try more recipes.

  13. Dianna says:

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe and from my stove to table in less than 20 minutes….my stove has a special double burner and cast iron wok ring for Asian cooking but I do not own a wok, just a old large nonstick deep skillet with a glass clad…a hold over from another set of cookware. Happy I did keep it. Thank you so much for the recommendations of sauces, supplies and your videos.. can’t wait to try more recipes.

  14. Stephen Gheen says:

    4 stars
    Served this dish tonight served accompanied by brown rice with excellent results. The chicken is not overcooked, the vegetable retains its independent flavor and provides a contrasting crunchy texture to the chicken and rice. The sauce is a bit sweet for my taste but can be easily controlled by varying the amount of sugar added. This recipe will be added to my list of dishes regularly served. Thank you!

  15. diana hamor says:

    5 stars
    Better than pei. wei

  16. barstoolkate says:

    Made this last night and found it to be the stir fry recipe I’ve longed for my whole life! The brown sauce is as good as from a restaurant and seems like it would be easily adaptable beyond chicken and broccoli.

  17. Sheila Gardner says:

    5 stars
    I would have liked a little more sauce. Dish was Awesome!

  18. Jeff says:

    5 stars
    Delicious recipe! Closest I’ve tasted to takeout chicken and broccoli. I was amazed at how great it tasted! I added some water chestnuts with the broccoli step just because I like them. Great recipe— thanks!

  19. Eleanor says:

    This was fantastic. Thank you!

  20. My says:

    4 stars
    I happen to be watching the show Lucky Chow and saw your interview. Went to Instagram and those wonderful and appealing pictures of your dishes. I was amazed of the variety of dishes and the simplicity.
    I just cooked the Chicken and Broccoli dish. Stayed true to the sauce and marinade. I used 2 chicken thighs, debone and sliced, added onions, red bell pepper , garlic , ginger and carrots , broccoli,. I normally do not use Shaoxing wine. But now I will.

    FAST, EASY AND DELICIOUS
    Thank you for your Website and your recipes.

  21. Jennifer says:

    5 stars
    Yummmmm! 5 star yum! Such a wonderful weeknight meal! I even used a little more oil bc my pan is a little sticky and it still came out light and delicious! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

  22. Bin says:

    5 stars
    Tender chicken and flavorful recipe! Love it!

  23. Brooke says:

    5 stars
    Hi Maggie. I’ve been reading your food blog for many months now, and this is the first recipe I’ve tried so far. I’m so glad I read the recipe through fully, first, then went back and re-read it a few times so I understood the flow of it all. This recipe goes very smoothly, and extremely quickly as you said, so preparing ingredients is integral to a great outcome. ☺️
    I am enthusiastically adding this recipe to my weekly rotation, due to its wonderful flavor and incredible ease to make. One thing my husband and I both thought, though, was it seemed slightly saltier than it should have. This is completely on me as I should have used a milder salt (All I had was ordinary iodized table salt and having never prepared this before I wanted to stay as true to the measurements as possible for the first attempt.) so since I already can’t wait to make it again, I wanted to ask you what kind of salt you recommend I use next time.
    I’m so looking forward to your suggestion! In the meantime, while I’m waiting for your reply, I’m going to go ahead and decide which of your gorgeous recipes I’ll be making next. Thanks so much.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Brook, thanks so much for your positive feed back and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the dish!
      I personally always prefer sea salt, but it’s not super mild either. I admit I do prefer a saltier taste (my husband complain sometimes) and I always keep my stir fry dishes a bit saltier so it goes with white rice.
      If this dish is too salty for you, the best way is to use 1/4 teaspoon salt in the chicken marinade. You can even skip the salt from the sauce if you want to reduce the salt level further. What I would do is to taste the chicken at the end of the cooking, and sprinkle a bit more salt and mix it if it’s not salty enough. This way you’ll have a better control over the salt level.
      Happy cooking and can’t wait to hear what you’ll cook the next!

      • Brooke says:

        Ahh! That makes perfect sense. that the dish would be make a touch saltier for individual taste, as well as for being served over rice! We didn’t have any rice or noodles with ours, as I was craving just chicken and broccoli. Thanks for your response and your suggestions! I will most definitely put them to use when I make this again. I’m going to be including this recipe in my weekly rotation to make during the week, as it comes together so quickly and easily. 🙂
        I’ll most certainly let you know when I make this again, and also when I branch out to one of your other fantastic looking recipes. Thank you so much for making some of my most favorite dishes so easy and accessible to make at home. 🙂

  24. Amy says:

    This is delicious and so authentic. So easy to make. Perfect for busy parents trying to prepare dinner while managing little ones. If I wanted to tone down the rich taste of the sauce, how would you recommend I do that. Wonderful dish.

    • Maggie says:

      I would add 1/3 cup chicken broth and additional 1 teaspoon cornstarch. This way you will get a bit more sauce but it will taste milder.

  25. Amy Howlett says:

    Make this again tonight. So delicious as well as being so easy to make. I made the sauce with 2 tblsp of Oyster Sauce and found the intensity more to my sense. These recipes are so easy to follow and so healthy!

  26. Fred Rickson says:

    Try the oyster sauce first…the saltiness can be terrible in a salty dish. Brands vary.

  27. Rayann says:

    These recipes are fantastic, but I have a request. Would it be possible to have the print feature NOT include the big blue box at the start of every recipe? I like to print out recipes for my binder notebook, but that ink gets really expensive!! It’s a great site, except for that one little issue.

  28. Gretchen Kortas says:

    5 stars
    Super 👌 tasted amazing thanks for sharing

  29. Abby says:

    5 stars
    This was absolutely fantastic! We substituted Mirin for the Shaoxing wine since that’s what we had on hand and it was delicious. I can’t wait to make this again soon!

  30. Stephanie says:

    How many cups of broccoli florets would you say is in full bunch of broccoli? I’m thinking at least 3 cups.

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      It really depends on the size of the broccoli. Some small heads I can only get about 2 cups. But yeah, you probably can get 3 cups from a larger head.

  31. J Doe says:

    4 stars
    I really loved this recipe, it delivered exactly on the taste i was looking for. I have to say it was saltier than I expected. I used less salt when I made it because I always use less salt in my cooking for health reasons. I loved this and will make again with some personal adjustments! Additionally, I added blanched carrots and turnips to the medley and it was delish! All in all, I loved and thank you! looking forward to trying other recipes on here.

  32. Kathleen says:

    I was inspired by this recipe and I wanted to buy the sauce book. I don’t know where else to email, but I tried to buy the sauce book using my bank card but kept getting a PayPal error message. I did not select PayPal. I was unable to buy the book. Help.

  33. Jean says:

    5 stars
    This was SO AMAZING! Like…. just as good as takeout and healthier. I was amazed it came out so well on just a large nonstick skillet. I had never heard of a few of these ingredients (shaoxing wine???? huh??) but found at my local grocery store and I’m now going to make my way through your whole website and use them all the time. Added extra carrots and mushrooms as well. Took like 20 mins start to finish (and I microwaved rice because I’m lazy). Thank you for the incredibly precise and thoughtful recipe. YUM!!!

  34. Renee says:

    I definitely could not get the sauce part right. I followed the directions idk what i did wrong

  35. Jim L. says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I made it for supper yesterday and it was delicious–better than any takeout I’ve had. The only changes were to use mixed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, sliced carrots and squash) and Merlot for Shaoxing wine. I haven’t had a chance to find Shaoxing wine that didn’t contain salt.

    I used chicken but am considering leaving that out next time. I’m pretty much a novice cook and preparing/cooking the meat was messy and went slowly.

    The sauce is best part!

  36. Jon Tyler says:

    5 stars
    Excellent and quick.

  37. Pat says:

    Great recipe. I had a leftover thawed chicken breast and some broccoli crowns in the fridge I needed to use and this recipe worked out great. I made it today for lunch and my wife and I enjoyed it very much. As with all the recipes I’ve made from Omnivore, I found no need to change the original recipe. Great taste and easy to make.

  38. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    My husband and mine’s new favorite! We bought the dark soy, worth it. Can’t wait to try more if your recipes.

  39. Kathleen says:

    4 stars
    I made this last night. Maybe because we eat a lot of spicy food, this was bland. Next time I will add some chile flakes. I also added sliced fresh yellow bell pepper and it was delicious. Otherwise, easy to make and I will make again.

  40. Peter E Beckles says:

    5 stars
    Good stuff!

  41. Donna L. says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I had trouble getting my skillet hot enough, but that only meant each stage just took a few minutes longer, which was not a big deal. I could not find good Shaoxing wine without salt like you recommend, so I settled for the cooking wine version (ordered off Amazon) and simply reduced the salt to a pinch in each place it was called for. This worked fine. The flavor was excellent — a lovely, rich savoriness – I would not call it bland at all, as one reviewer did, but I would suggest that if one enjoys a bit of heat to add some red pepper flakes to the sauce when mixing. Maggie, I really appreciate how clearly you have laid out each recipe and your explanations of techniques and ingredients are so incredibly helpful! I also appreciate the Amazon links to ingredients — I feel much better knowing that I have bought the correct item and will not ruin a dish, which is a relief for me! This is the first recipe I have tried, and I will be back to learn more! Thank you very much.

  42. Lydia says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe! Much better than the one I was using. Love the step by step instructions. So easy and delicious!!

  43. Janine S. says:

    5 stars
    The kids and adults in my family loved this. We made it gluten free. I can’t wait to make it again.

  44. RiFroe says:

    This recipe is great! I make a quadruple batch to feed everyone – also like to do a light grill on the chicken before adding to the Wok – adds a great smoky grill flavor!

  45. Robin says:

    Great recipe, easy to make. Only had fish sauce, & WOW is it strong. Only used half of called for & tasted it.

  46. Stephanie B says:

    5 stars
    This was just what I was looking for—delicious and simple to make, tastes like Chinese takeout (but not as salty, which I prefer). I used sherry cooking wine as a sub for the shaoxing wine because I didn’t plan ahead, and I used lower sodium tamari.

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