Mongolian Chicken. Crispy fried chicken smothered in a sticky sweet ginger hoisin sauce. A delicious dish to make for dinner or lunch that comes together in 25 minutes or less!
My easy Mongolian chicken pairs well with white rice or brown rice with green beans or any vegetables! This Asian chicken recipe has easily become a family favorite thanks to it's simplicity and complex flavors!
What does Mongolian chicken taste like?
Imagine crispy fried chicken coated in a sticky sweet savory sauce with a hint of ginger, mild in spice. This popular Chinese takeout dish possesses a wonderful savory flavor. The juicy chicken is fried to crispy perfection. Also, the best part is that it's one of those easy chicken recipes you can make at home!
What is Mongolian chicken made of?
Mongolian chicken is chicken coated in cornstarch and then fried in oil. Then once fried it is then mixed in with a delicious gingery, spicy, garlicky and sweet hoisin-based sauce. The red chili, ginger, and garlic give it a wonderful aroma and taste.
You'll find this Chinese-American dish served at your local Chinese restaurant. It was made popular by a restaurant chain called P.F. Changs, known for it's Americanized Chinese food. Furthermore, specializing in chicken stir fry, it's a restaurant favorite to many families.
My Mongolian chicken recipe is also incredibly easy to make. Firstly, you are simply coating your tender chicken pieces in corn starch and shallow frying them in oil. Finally, in a couple minutes, stir fry the crispy chicken pieces in a simple sauce with the aromatics. It's a great recipe for those busy weeknights!
You will need the following Mongolian chicken ingredients. Please scroll down to the recipe card for full measurements.
Note: Most Asian grocers will carry these ingredients. You may find them at your select grocery store or online, like on Amazon.
- boneless skinless chicken thighs: you may substitute with boneless skinless chicken breasts for a leaner alternative
- cornstarch: or substitute with potato starch or tapioca starch
- green onion
- neutral oil: like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil.
- red chili: any long red chili will work for this recipe. For a mild level of spice, de-seed the chili
- fresh ginger
- regular soy sauce: your all-purpose soy sauce. The bottle should just say "soy sauce", not light soy sauce or dark soy sauce.
- If you're gluten free, substitute with gluten free soy sauce, tamari sauce or coconut aminos
- hoisin sauce
- brown sugar: dark brown sugar or light brown sugar will both work
- sesame oil
- cornstarch: or substitute with potato starch or tapioca starch
- water: or substitute with unsalted chicken stock or chicken broth
- green onion
- red chili
How to make Mongolian Chicken
In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch and ½ cup water until well combined. Set aside.
Slice chicken thighs into 1.5-inch pieces, about 4-6 pieces per thigh.
In a large mixing bowl, add sliced chicken thighs, followed by cornstarch. Give it a few mixes until each piece is coated in cornstarch. Set aside.
Then in a large skillet or wok on medium high heat, heat vegetable oil. Lower chicken in batches, Fry until crispy golden brown on both sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Afterward, in the same pan or wok set over medium heat, add ginger, garlic, and red chili. Fry for 10 seconds.
Next add hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and mix well before adding cornstarch slurry. (You may need to give the cornstarch water another stir before adding to the hot pan). Mix sauce ingredients until combined. Simmer to thicken.
Add crispy chicken back into the pan and toss with sauce. Remove off heat. Transfer to serving dish. Optional: Garnish with red chili and green onions if desired. Enjoy!
Cooking Tips for the Best Mongolian Chicken
- Have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go! With any quick stir fry, have ingredients ready to toss into the pan or you may overcook the dish, like the crispy chicken strips.
- Chicken thighs are recommended. Chicken thigh is such a forgiving and delicious cut to cook with. Because it contains fat running through it, you can overcook it and it will still remain somewhat juicy and tender.
- Use medium-high heat to fry chicken, but only until golden crispy brown. It can burn if left in the pan for too long.
- Fresh ingredients are important. Especially when it comes to the red chili, garlic, ginger and green onions. This is a dish that relies on this for that wonderful gingery, spicy, garlicky flavor.
This dish will last up to 4 days in the fridge. To store leftovers, transfer leftover Mongolian chicken into an airtight container. To reheat the next day, microwave or reheat on the stove top on medium heat.
Why is it called Mongolian Chicken?
Despite the name, this homemade Mongolian chicken does not originate from Mongolia. In fact, this is a Chinese dish. Many Chinese-American restaurants serve it. It's because of the stir frying technique in Mongolian barbecue created in Taiwan in the 1950s,
What is Mongolian sauce made of?
Mongolian sauce is a mixture of hoisin sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil with a cornstarch slurry to thicken it. It is additionally flavored with ginger, garlic and red chili (sometimes).
What is the difference between Mongolian chicken vs Szechuan chicken?
Szechuan chicken tends to be spicier and sweeter or spicy and sour using Szechuan peppercorns. Mongolian chicken is milder and sometimes doesn’t even use spices but in my version I wanted a kick but feel free to omit this if you cannot tolerate spice.
Can I add some vegetables to Mongolian Chicken?
Yes! Feel free to add bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snap peas or snow peas to make it a well rounded dish.
Can I air fry the chicken?
Yes! To air fry the chicken:
- Spray air fryer basket with sufficient oil.
- Place coated chicken into the basket in a single layer, giving each piece enough room. Do not overlap. You may need to air fry in two batches.
- Lightly spray the chicken with oil.
- Air fry at 400 F for 10-14 minutes until desired crispiness.
Other Chicken recipes you may like!
- Honey Sesame Chicken
- Sweet And Sour Chicken
- General Tso Chicken
- Lemon Chicken
- Orange Chicken
- Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
- Korean Fried Chicken
Easy Mongolian Chicken (25-min. Recipe)
- 1 lb or 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ¼ cup cornstarch or sub with potato starch or tapioca starch
- 1 stalk green onion finely chopped
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil or any neutral oil
- 2 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 red chili pepper sliced (optional)
- 5 slices ginger
- 4 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoon regular soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or sub with potato starch or tapioca starch
- ½ cup water
- 1 stalk green onion finely chopped
- 1 red chili pepper sliced
- In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch and ½ cup water until well combined. This is your cornstarch slurry. Set aside.
- Slice chicken thighs into 1.5-inch pieces, about 4-6 pieces per thigh.
- In a large mixing bowl, add sliced chicken thighs, followed by cornstarch. Give it a few mixes until each piece is coated in cornstarch. Set aside.
- Then in a large skillet or wok on medium high heat, heat vegetable oil. Lower chicken in batches, Fry until crispy golden brown on both sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. To Air Fry the chicken, please see Notes below for instructions.
- Afterward, in the same pan or wok set over medium heat, add ginger, garlic, and red chili. Fry for 10 seconds.
- Next add hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and mix well before adding cornstarch slurry. (You may need to give the cornstarch water another stir before adding to the hot pan). Mix sauce ingredients until combined. Simmer to thicken.
- Add crispy chicken back into the pan and toss with sauce. Remove off heat. Transfer to serving dish. Optional: Garnish with red chili and green onions if desired. Enjoy!
Heidi | The Frugal Girls
I really love the sauce you've created for this dish. Mongolian chicken is one of my very favorites!
That‘s a delicious dish. It took 45 minutes until it was served and the taste was like I know from China. First time that I cook something with the original taste. Many thanks.
Made this for my family last night and we all LOVED it!! I didn't put in the red chili bc I wasn't sure if it'd be too much spice for the kids. Served it over plain white rice. This one will def be going in our meal rotation. A MUST try!!
Thank you so much for making my recipe Jessica! I am so glad you and the family enjoyed it and it'll be part of the weekly rotation!
Hi there, just tried this and loved it! Wen down a treat with my other half and off to explore other recipes.
Thanks for sharing 👍
Thank you so much for making my recipe Kirsty! I am so glad you and your other half enjoyed it!
I added chili pepper flakes to the sauce instead of the red pepper and extra garlic. Sooo delicious! Great recipe!
Well what can I say if I closed my eyes I would have said I was in China town in London. It was perfect nice balance of spice and sweetness. That crispy chicken well what can I say superb. Served ours with noddles
Thank you so much for your kind review Charlie! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed my recipe with your noodles! It brings me joy to read this! Have a lovely day! - Christie
Great tasty recipe and so easy to make. The flavours are spot on and I will definitely make this again.
How much cornstarch is it actually supposed to be? The ingredient list, cooking instructions, and video all have different amounts.
Hi Barb, I'm not sure where you see different measurements for the cornstarch as they are all the same in the video, list and recipe card. For the chicken coating it's 1/4 cup. Then you'll also need to an additional 1 tbsp to the sauce mixture. Hope this helps.
First saw it on TikTok then found this page. Clear, easy to follow instructions and a delicious, flavourful outcome. Looking forward to trying your other recipes!
Thank you so much for your kind words and I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
My wife is pregnant and she enjoyed this A LOT. Thank you so much! I saw your video on Tick Tock and was curious to know the brand of your WOK used for that video.
Thank you so much for your kind review Eddie! I am so glad your wife enjoyed the recipe! All the best on the big day when baby comes. The wok was purchased off amazon and here's the link: https://amzn.to/35Wio5E
Have a great day!
I made is for the first time and it was really very nice.
I am going to try out more of your recipes.
André van der Kroon
Tried it for the first time and family enjoyed it 😋
Thank you so much for making my recipe and I am so glad you and the family enjoyed it 🙂
I found this recipe on Pinterest and it was so yummie. Directions were great and very clear so every one can make it. Preparation took a little longer, but all was ready at the same time, so there was no problem. (Vegetables and such).
Me and my husband enjoyed it verry much. I will make this dish again and again. It will be our favorite.
From the Netherlands,Thank you so very much.
Hi Ina! Thank you so much for making my recipe and for leaving such a kind review on my page! I'm so glad you and your husband enjoyed it! It's a great weeknight meal when one doesn't feel like ordering takeout. Happy to have shared this recipe with you and sending my best wishes from Canada! - Christie
Very easy, and very tasty! Will make again.
Thank you so much for making my recipe Kathy and leaving such a kind review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Husband looooved this (as did I). Requested I put it in the meal rotation often!
Awww this is music to my ears! So happy to read this! Thanks for making my recipe Deborah!
I love this recipe! Fast and easy to make. My wife has me make it at least once a week.
Thank you for making my recipe Boyd! So happy to hear this!
Delicious and easy recipe. I added broccoli for the greens and it did not disappoint.
So happy to hear this! Thank you for making my recipe!
Love this recipe! Served it with rice and veggies. I wish I did a better job browning the chicken first and I left out the ginger since I didn’t have it on hand. Otherwise everything was perfect.
So glad you enjoyed this! Thank you for making my recipe!
Mine didn’t come out as dark- maybe because I used light brown sugar? My family still loved it!
Thanks for making my recipe Sharon! I am so happy to hear this! It could be depending on how long you fried the chicken for, if it's longer the chicken will come out more darker. Hope this helps!
Tried this tonight. I "marinated" the chicken in soy sauce (cut back on the amount) and cornstarch. I added chili oil to the sesame oil, and broccoli and fresh red peppers, and was liberal with the ginger and garlic (we like spicy). Served with basmati rice. Great recipe that adapts well to personal taste and has depth of flavors. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for making my recipe Elizabeth! Glad you enjoyed it.
This was delicious! My chicken was barely crispy, some pieces not at all. But it hit temp so I pulled it because I didn’t want to overcook. Where did I go wrong? More cornstarch? Higher temp?
Thanks Sarah! Glad it was delicious. Sorry to hear you had some difficulty getting it crispy. I find it really depends on each stovetop's temperature setting as they can vary from brand to brand. For future, I would definitely coat the chicken in more cornstarch until each piece is all white and then increase the temperature to a higher heat setting until you start to see the crispy golden texture. Since chicken thigh is used in this recipe (unlike chicken breast), it's a very forgiving cut of meat. So even if you overcook it just a bit, it will still remain tender and juicy. Hope this helps!
This recipe was shared with me and I’m so glad I tried it. Seriously delicious and so easy to make. I skipped the red chili (none in stock when I was at the grocery store) and chopped the ginger as I did with the garlic. Super easy, packed with flavour, will definitely be making this many times again!
Thank you so much Cori for making my recipe! This makes me so happy to read and I am really glad you enjoyed it!!
Have a lovely day! - Christie
Just made this recipe for lunch! Super fast and super delicious! 10/10 recommend!
I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this! Thank you so much for making my recipe ☺️
Was very flavorful and so easy to prepare. Prep time was longer than stated in recipe but we’ll worth it. I had some asparagus in the frig so I quickly stir fried it before the chicken. Definitely on my rotation.
So glad you enjoyed my recipe! Thank you for making it 🙂
Do you leave the ginger in the mix and eat it with the skin?
Yes, I leave the skin on but feel free to remove it to your liking.
I just made this for my family and it was a big hit! Thanks for sharing your recipes with us! It’s the first one of yours that I’ve tried, and I can hardly wait to try more!
This is music to my ears! I am so very happy to hear that you enjoyed my recipe with your family 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to make it and I hope you enjoy my other recipes!
I didn't have chicken to cube on hand, so I swapped the chicken for a cubed venison roast. Let me tell you - it tastes incredible. I followed the recipe exactly as it is printed and it turned out amazing.
I am so happy to read that this worked out well with venison! Thank you so much for making my recipe Allison! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Fantastic! Thanks for sharing. My fickle Missus loves it.
I'm so happy to read this! Thank you for making my recipe and glad you both enjoyed it, Elias!
I love this dish! I love the flavour so much that I am actually going to try replacing the chicken with cauliflower for a vegetarian friend - wish me luck!
I am so happy to read this Cheryl! Thank you very much for making my recipe and good luck with the cauliflower substitution! I would love to hear how that goes. Have a great day!
This was amazing! So simple, flavorful and authentic. Can't wait to try more of your recipes!
Thank you so much for making my recipe Jessica! I am very happy to read this kind comment 🙂 Have a lovely day!
Hi, this looks delicious and I'm planning on making this in the next couple of days and I had a quick question.
Do you use a normal red chili or a Thai red chili?
Hi there! Thank you very much! Just a normal red chili. If you'd like it spicier, you can definitely add Thai red chili. I hope you enjoy my recipe 🙂
hi Christie, just wondering if I could use chicken breast instead of thigh? would it make a big difference?
Hi Tiara! You can definitely use chicken breast. I would just suggest to monitor the cooking time and perhaps reduce it to 5-6 minutes since breast tends to dry out faster than thigh due to the lack of fat content. Hope this helps!
How many teaspoons or table spoons are 5 slices of ginger? I have minced what I thought would be 5 slices worth off of my root, going by the video. I'm going ahead with what I have, but I would appreciate knowing what you would use, in spoons. Thank you.
I would say about 1 1/2 tsp since it's minced. Since it's minced, the surface area is greater and will offer a much more powerful taste than sliced.
Made this tonight and it was a hit! For those struggling to get their chicken crispy, make sure you pat the raw chicken dry before coating in corn starch. I did jasmine rice in the Instant Pot and roasted broccoli in the oven – delicious, nutritious, and dinner done in less than 40 minutes!
Thank you so much for making my recipe Amanda! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing the tip with everyone 🙂
Came across this recipe a few months ago and have been making it at least once a week ever since! Super tasty, easy to make and turns out great every time. Thanks Christie, excited to try your other recipes!
I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this Stella! Thanks for making my recipe and I hope you enjoy my other recipes 🙂
I've made this recipe twice but I still can't manage to get the chicken crispy. Any tips? Thanks!
Hi there! Thank you so much for making my recipe! Here are some tips to get that chicken crispy:
1) If there is a lot of moisture on the chicken, pat it dry with a clean paper towel. The excess moisture can attribute to a less crispy crust.
2) When coating the chicken with starch, do not overmix. If you overmix, this can create moisture in the starch. Once I pour the starch onto the chicken, I use kitchen tongs and twist it 3-4 x and this evenly distributes the starch. Alternatively, instead of pouring the starch onto the chicken, you can dredge each piece of chicken into the starch to avoid overmixing.
3) Fry the chicken for a couple minutes longer until the crust is crispier. Because it's chicken thigh, this cut is more forgiving and if you do cook it for longer, it won't dry out like breast.
Hope these tips help!
This recipe was absolutely delicious. Thank you so very much for sharing. I was just wondering if you have the nutritional values on this?
I couldn't find them. Thanks so much very much.
Thanks so much for making my recipe Melody! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Sorry, unfortunately I don't have values for this recipe but I can add them later.
Recipe as-is is great. Very nice flavor and the Corn Starch crisped chicken was just right. Wife didn't want it with rice so I used some Chinese egg noodles (like Lo Mein Noodles but just a little thicker). Cooked them most of the way first then rinsed under cold water and set aside. After cooking everything I added the noodles into my wok and mixed it well and cooked everything together a little longer. The sauce clung to the noodles nicely and it turned out great....And then...my wife said she would have liked some other vegetables in it... sometimes, you just can't win.
This recipe results in a very good Mongolian chicken, with what tastes like an authentic sauce and the perfect texture on the chicken.
Thanks so much for making my recipe and for this kind review, Dan! So glad you enjoyed it! Egg noodles are a great pairing with this dish!
Hoisin sauce is generally sweet, wouldn't adding sugar make a dish bland and too sweet?
Not in my experience with this dish and I haven't received that feedback from the many others who made this dish through my other social platforms. But if you feel it's too sweet, omit it and you can always add it later to the sauce.
Hoisin sauce and sugar? Is this dish too much sweet?
A very delicious meal! My whole family loved it and we will definitely be making it again! Thank you for this awesome recipe, Christie!
Glad you enjoyed it with your family, thanks for making it!
Loved this dish!!! Very tasteful.. simple and quick!!!
Thank you very much for sharing
Thank you so much Peetje! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and I appreciate you taking the time to write such a kind review 🙂