Crispy Chinese Honey Chicken (without Deep Frying)

This Chinese honey chicken recipe guarantees crispy juicy chicken and a rich sauce that is bursting with flavor with a simple approach. Now you can make your favorite takeout dish at home and it’ll taste just as great as the restaurant version! {Gluten Free Adaptable}

Crispy Chinese restaurant style honey chicken cooked in a skillet

I hate deep frying food as much as you do, and I try to avoid it as much as possible. But sometimes I do crave the crispy battered honey chicken, like you’d eat at a Chinese restaurant. After much trial and error, I finally found the best solution. It creates the crispiest chicken with less oil and you only need to pan fry it. In fact, the batter works so well and the chicken stays crispy even after you coat it with sauce. Sound amazing? Let’s look at how the recipe works.

Homemade crispy Chinese honey chicken served in bowls with rice and green beans

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Cooking notes

1. How to make crispy chicken without deep frying

Now here is the trick to creating crispy chicken with a crunchy coating that is like the takeout you’d get from Chinese restaurants, without making a mess.

Simply use the formula: oil + salt + egg + cornstarch

You first use the oil and salt to marinate the chicken for 10 to 15 minutes. Then you coat the chicken with beaten egg and cornstarch before pan frying. Yes, it is this easy!

Normally, deep frying requires at least a few cups of oil. For this recipe, you only need to use a regular skillet and 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of oil to pan fry the chicken. Not only does it yield an extra crispy exterior and juicy, flavorful meat, but the chicken also stays crispy even after you coat it with sauce.

Crispy Chinese restaurant style honey chicken cooked in a skillet close up

2. Use any cut of chicken you like

Although I always prefer chicken thighs, you can use chicken breast and create awesome results, as well.

Just remember to cut the chicken into 1-inch to 1 and 1/4-inch pieces. The size of the chicken pieces matters because you want the surface to turn crispy and have the inside just cooked through at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you use breasts or thighs. I’ve tried both and they both turned out awesome.

3. Create an extra flavorful sauce that’s a bit healthier

This recipe uses plenty of fresh herbs such as ginger and garlic. The Shaoxing wine and rice vinegar also add richness to the sauce. Many recipes out there use half a cup (or a whole cup!) of honey. This one uses just a quarter cup, but I guarantee the results will be amazing.

Ready to make some killer honey chicken at home? Happy cooking and I hope you enjoy the dish as much as I do!

Homemade crispy Chinese honey chicken served in bowls

More Chinese takeout recipes

Homemade crispy Chinese honey chicken served in bowls close up

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.

Crispy Chinese Honey Chicken (without Deep Frying) - This easier, healthier version guarantees crispy juicy chicken and a rich sauce that is bursting with flavor. Now you can make your favorite takeout dish at home and it’ll taste just as great as the restaurant version! {Gluten Free Adaptable}
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4 from 1 vote

Crispy Chinese Honey Chicken (without Deep Frying)

This Chinese honey chicken recipe guarantees crispy juicy chicken and a rich sauce that is bursting with flavor with a simple approach. Now you can make your favorite takeout dish at home and it’ll taste just as great as the restaurant version! {Gluten Free Adaptable}To make this dish gluten-free, use tamari or coconut amino to replace the soy sauce. Use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: takeout
Servings: 3 to 4
Calories: 490kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken thighs , cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave syrup)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cook

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger , minced
  • 2 green onions , chopped, with white and green parts separated

Instructions

  • Combine chicken pieces, vegetable oil, and salt in a big bowl. Mix well and let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
  • Add the beaten egg into the bowl with the chicken. Stir to mix well. Add cornstarch. Stir to coat the chicken, until it forms an uneven coating with a little dry cornstarch left unattached.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add chicken all at once and spread out into a single layer in the skillet. Separate chicken pieces with a pair of tongs or chopsticks.
  • Cook without touching the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom turns golden. Flip to brown the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a big plate and remove the pan from the stove. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Wipe the extra oil from the pan using a few layers of paper towel held in a pair of tongs, leaving about 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and the white part of the green onion. Stir fry a few seconds to release the aroma.
  • Stir the sauce again to thoroughly dissolve the cornstarch.
  • Add the chicken back into the pan and pour in the sauce. Stir to mix well.
  • Transfer to a plate, garnish with the green part of the green onion, and serve hot over steamed rice. You can add some steamed vegetables on the side to add some color to the dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.1g | Protein: 35.1g | Fat: 23.2g | Saturated Fat: 5.3g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 858mg | Potassium: 352mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 17.8g | Calcium: 3% | Iron: 12%
Crispy Chinese Honey Chicken (without Deep Frying) - This easier, healthier version guarantees crispy juicy chicken and a rich sauce that is bursting with flavor. Now you can make your favorite takeout dish at home and it’ll taste just as great as the restaurant version! {Gluten Free Adaptable}

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Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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One thought on “Crispy Chinese Honey Chicken (without Deep Frying)

  1. Ken Murphy

    We’ve been trying some of your recipes over the last month or so, but so far have not been able to fine how to view your videos. There just isn’t any way we have been able to see them. Maybe we might be looking in the wrong place.
    It hasn’t stopped us from trying our favorites.

    Reply