Black Pepper Chicken. Tender chicken stir fried in a delicious black pepper sauce with crunchy celery, carrots, onions, garlic and ginger! Ready in 30 minutes.
What is Black Pepper Chicken?
Black Pepper Chicken is a popular Chinese stir fry dish. It features juicy chicken breast stir fried with celery, carrots, onions and garlic. Covered in a rich delicious sauce packed with black pepper and umami flavor!
It’s a delicious takeout dish in Chinese American food that you can find at many Chinese restaurants. Served at the infamous Chinese American restaurant chain “Panda Express” specializing in tasty Asian takeout food.
I love this chicken stir fry dish because it's perfect for a busy weeknight meal. I enjoy serving this main dish for dinner or lunch with cooked rice for a complete meal. A scrumptious main course packed with flavor in every bite. A great way to feed the entire family or work it into meal prep.
Please scroll down to recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Skinless boneless chicken breast or substitute with boneless chicken thighs
- Celery: or substitute with any fresh vegetables you like, such as red bell pepper
- Carrots: optional
- Large Onion
- Neutral oil: like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil. Avoid olive oil, coconut oil or any heavy scented oils.
- Regular soy sauce: or substitute with low sodium soy sauce or light soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, substitute with tamari sauce, coconut aminos or a gluten-free soy sauce of your choice.
- Neutral oil
- Corn starch: or substitute with potato starch, tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
- Shaoxing wine or substitute with rice wine vinegar
- Baking soda: this helps to tenderize the meat. It's the secret ingredient used in Chinese cooking to make meat super tender. Do not skip!
- Oyster sauce: this is different from hoisin sauce. Hoisin sauce tastes completely different, it's very sweet. If you have a hard time looking for this ingredient, you may omit and add more regular soy sauce to taste when mixing the sauce.
- Regular soy sauce
- Dark soy sauce: different than regular soy sauce as it's thicker and darker.
- Fresh Ginger
- White granulated sugar: or substitute with brown sugar
- Black pepper: lots of black of black pepper will be needed for this dish!
- Shaoxing wine: or substitute with rice vinegar
- Cornstarch: or substitute with potato starch
- Chicken stock or chicken broth: unsalted or substitute with vegetable stock
Note: Most Asian grocers will carry these ingredients. You may find some at your select grocery store or online, like on Amazon.
How to Make Black Pepper Chicken
First step, slice chicken breasts against the grain into ¼-inch-thick pieces ensuring they are a similar size.
Transfer sliced chicken breast into a medium bowl. Marinate chicken pieces with Marinade ingredients as listed above for 20 mins.
In a small bowl, combine Sauce ingredients as listed above. Set aside.
Fry & Remove Chicken
In a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once oil is hot, fry marinated chicken in a single layer on both sides until cooked and golden brown on the edges, about 3 mins in total. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Fry Aromatics & Veggies
Reduce to medium heat. Add remaining oil. Fry onions, garlic, carrots and celery until slightly softened, about 1-2 minutes.
Pour in prepared Sauce. Allow it to simmer to thicken.
Toss in Chicken
Once sauce has thickened, toss back in cooked chicken until each piece is coated in sauce. Remove off heat. Enjoy!
Storage & Reheating
This dish lasts up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
To reheat, microwave it for 2-3 minutes until hot or reheat on the stove top.
Quick & Easy Black Pepper Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breast skinless boneless
- 1 cup celery sliced on an angle
- ½ cup carrots thinly sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
- ½ cup onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 tablespoon vegetable oil or any neutral oil
Stir Fry Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce or sub with vegetarian stir fry sauce
- 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ginger peeled and grated
- 2 teaspoon white granulated sugar or sub with brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper (add ¼ teaspoon more if you desire a strong black pepper taste)
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine or sub with rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup chicken stock unsalted
- Slice chicken breasts into ¼-inch-thick pieces ensuring they are a similar size.
- Transfer sliced chicken breast into a medium bowl. Marinate chicken pieces with Marinade ingredients as listed above for 20 mins.
- In a small bowl, combine Stir Fry Sauce ingredients as listed above. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once oil is hot, fry marinated chicken on both sides until cooked and slightly golden brown on the edges, about 3 mins in total. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Reduce to medium heat. Add remaining oil with onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Fry until slightly softened but still crisp, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in prepared stir fry sauce. Toss everything together and allow sauce to simmer to thicken.
- Once sauce has thickened, toss back in cooked chicken until each piece is coated in sauce. Remove off heat. Enjoy!