Quick and Easy Chinese Chicken With Oyster Sauce

Braised chicken and mushroom with oyster sauce.
Oliver Strewe/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ratings (36)

Chinese restaurants typically turn out a high volume of dishes in a noticeably short time. The secret? Stir-frying, a speedy cooking method that tosses bite-size pieces of meat and vegetables in hot oil in a wok or skillet. You can use the same technique at home to replicate Chinese takeout or get a work-night dinner on the table in a hurry.

Prepared oyster sauce, available at most grocery stores, adds the essence of oysters to this dish. But the finished flavor of a dish served with oyster sauce -- a compilation of ingredients including the prepared oyster sauce -- becomes more savory than fishy.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • For Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons prepared oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • For Stir-Fry:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 dried Chinese mushrooms, softened in warm water and sliced
  • 1 can bamboo shoots or 1 can baby corn, drained​

How to Make It

  1. Combine the first three marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat; sprinkle the cornstarch evenly across the meat and toss again. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. While the chicken marinates, dissolve the cornstarch in the water, then mix it with all of the other sauce ingredients in a clean bowl.
  3. Heat a wok or deep heavy skillet on high and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic, ginger and green onion, and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until fragrant and just starting to brown. Remove the aromatics with a slotted spoon. Add the chicken and stir-fry, stirring frequently, until the chicken changes color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the wok and discard the unused marinade.
  1. Add the remaining oil, return the garlic, ginger and green onion to the wok, and stir-fry the mushrooms and bamboo shoots or baby corn for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the wok. Make a well in the middle and add the sauce, giving it a quick re-stir before combining it with the chicken and vegetables. Stir-fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and coats all of the ingredients.