This Simple Chicken and Snow Pea Stir-Fry is the answer to a quick-fix dinner meal. Packed with crunchy veggies and an authentic tasting Chinese chicken savory sauce, this meal is the perfect substitute for takeout.
Simple Chicken and Snow Pea Stir-Fry Recipe
It’s easier than you think to skip takeout and make your favorite Chinese dishes at home. This Simple Chicken and Snow Pea Stir-Fry is one of the easiest traditional Chinese takeout meals to master at home. Not only will you know exactly what ingredients are going into your chicken with snow peas, you’ll have the piece of mind that there are none of the food additives often associated with many Chinese takeout dishes. It’s a win-win.
This Chinese chicken and snow peas recipe has been a restaurant and drive-thru staple, as well as a tried and true family favorite for years. Along with this stir-fry meal, some other Chinese takeout recipes I regularly make at home are Kung Pao chicken, shrimp stir-fry and sweet and sour pork.
This Chinese comfort food recipe is the perfect way to round out a long day. No one will be complaining when this stir-fry hits the table. Not to mention this easy recipe solves the daily what’s for dinner dilemma without inducing any stress.
Ingredients for Simple Chicken and Snow Pea Stir-Fry
- low-sodium chicken broth and low-sodium soy sauce – make sure both are low-sodium otherwise finished dish would be way too salty
- dry sherry – every day cheap dry sherry – found in the wine section of the grocery store. It’s usually on the bottom or very top shelf
- chili garlic sauce -found in the Asian section of the grocery store
- cornstarch – this will thicken your sauce
- peanut oil – or any other high temperature cooking oil, such as vegetable or canola oil
- boneless, skinless, chicken thighs – trim most of the visible fat before cutting into bite-sized pieces. Thigh fillets are the easiest and quickest to work with.
- mushrooms – shiitake would be the most common for an Asian dish, but sometimes they are just not available. Button or cremini mushrooms work fine for this recipe
- snow peas – they are the flat ones, not to be confused with snap peas
- fresh garlic- for a quick meal, use the already prepped garlic in a jar
- ginger paste – found in the produce section
Most of the ingredients for this dish are regular staples in my pantry and refrigerator. Keeping most of these items stocked on a regular basis ensures I am able to throw together dinner quickly.
How Long Should I Marinate the Chicken?
For this particular stir-fry recipe, it’s important to marinate the chicken for only ten minutes.
When chicken thighs (or any chicken) is exposed to lemon juice, lime juice, yogurt, or vinegar for too long, in this case sherry, the texture of the chicken turns from tender to mushy and stringy, two words that have never been used in tandem to describe something pleasant.
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Should I Use a Wok to Cook This Recipe?
Even though you see a wok in the above photo, I’m going to suggest you do not use a wok to make this chicken and snow peas stir-fry recipe.
I recommend using a large, nonstick, heavy based skillet instead. For woks to work properly, you really need a wok burner on your stove, something most of us don’t have. A wok burner is what heats up the sides of your wok hot enough to cook on. Since most of us don’t have this capability, using a heavy based skillet is the next, best alternative for achieving the high heat necessary for a stir-fry recipe.
Using Chicken Thighs vs. Chicken Breasts
Which team are on? For me it’s team thighs. Anytime I add chicken breasts to a recipe like this, it’s just so disappointing. Chicken breasts lack flavor, they dry out and are easily overcooked.
The only downside to using chicken thighs in a recipe like this is time spent prepping. Because chicken thighs have more fat, when it comes to stir fry, I always remove most of the visible fat I can. Do you have to? Nope. But I always do. So in the sense of prepping and cubing the chicken, it does longer. Other than that, thighs have so much more flavor and I always prefer them over chicken breast in almost any recipe.
How to Make Chicken and Snow Pea Stir-Fry
- Whisk together chicken broth, sherry, soy sauce, cornstarch and chili garlic sauce.
- Add chicken to the broth mixture and marinate for ten minutes (no longer).
- Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet over high heat.
- Add chicken, reserving marinade.
- Stir-fry chicken until cooked through, about five minutes; transfer chicken to a plate.
- Add mushrooms and peas to the skillet; stir fry about three minutes.
- Add garlic and ginger; stir-fry about one minute.
- Return chicken to the skillet and stir in reserved marinade, scraping up any brown bits.
- Simmer until sauce thickens, about three-four minutes.
- Serve over rice.
- As indicated before, do not marinate the chicken for longer than ten minutes.
- In order to recreate the takeout taste we love, use the highest heat you can. This allows the meat and the vegetable to cook quickly, while keeping the taste fresh and the vegetables crunchy.
- Stir-frying is a quick process, prepping everything ahead of time and having all ingredients measured out is the key to not overcooking your food.
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The stir-fry calorie count is also listed below.
Simple Chicken and Snow Pea Stir-Fry
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsps cornstarch
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (fat trimmed) or skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into 1" cubes
- 1/4 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 10 oz button, cremini or shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, sliced
- 8 oz snow peas
- 1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- In a large bowl, whisk together chicken broth, sherry, soy sauce, cornstarch and chili garlic sauce. Add chicken and marinate for ten minutes.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Add chicken, reserving marinade. Stir-fry chicken until cooked through, about five minutes; transfer chicken to a plate.
- Add mushrooms and peas to the skillet; stir fry about three minutes. Add garlic and ginger; stir-fry about one minute. Return chicken to the skillet and stir in reserved marinade, scraping up any brown bits. Simmer until sauce thickens, about three-four minutes.
- Serve with rice.
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