This crispy ginger soy chicken is the most perfect Chinese-American take out dish! It’s not traditional Chinese cooking but it is absolutely delicious.
The chicken thighs stay juicy, the cornstarch/flour breading keeps the fried pieces crispy, and the spicy, salty, slightly sweet sauce is what takeout dreams are made of.
I was mostly raised on home cooked Iranian food. My family didn’t eat at restaurants often and we almost never bought frozen meals or fast food. One exception was Mr. Chau’s Chinese takeout. I don’t know if Mr. Chau’s restaurants are still in business, but in case you’re unfamiliar with it, think Panda Express.
My favorite was the orange chicken, broccoli beef, and hot and sour soup. Trips to Mr. Chau’s were saved for special occasions and always met with excitement and enjoyment by all.
This crispy ginger soy chicken recipe is an homage to the fried, sauce glazed chicken we would order at Mr. Chau’s. This recipe lets me enjoy the essence of takeout without the overly greasy, low quality meat and overly sweet sauces packed with unhealthy ingredients.
The technique is quite simple. You make one sauce (sweetened lightly with ketchup and a touch of honey), set some of it aside as a marinade for juicy organic chicken thighs. Cook the rest of the sauce with a bit of cornstarch for that thickened glaze we crave. Dip the marinaded chicken pieces in flour that has been lightened with cornstarch. Fry the chicken and toss with the sauce. Using high quality ingredients and controlling the amount of salt, sugar, and oil allows you to enjoy healthier takeout style chicken without sacrificing flavor.
This chicken recipe is a new favorite in our house and I hope you enjoy it too!
Crispy chicken thighs glazed with a spicy, salty, sweet sauce. The perfect Chinese-American takeout dish made at home.
Marinade and sauce:
1/2cup chicken broth
1/3cup soy sauce (low sodium version)
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger (use fresh or jarred grated ginger for ease)
1 teaspoons red chili flakes
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2cup all purpose flour
1cup Canola oil (or enough to fill the pot you’ll fry the chicken in 2-3 inches)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
1/4cup green onions, sliced (optional)
Make the marinade by combining the chicken broth, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes in a medium saucepan.
Transfer ⅓ of the marinade to a large bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and place the chicken in the refrigerator to marinade for an hour (or at least 10 minutes).
Add the honey and ketchup the sauce remaining in the saucepan. Warm the sauce over medium heat until steam rises from the surface, 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water.
Slowly stream the cornstarch and water mixture into the sauce, bring to a bubble until the sauce thickens.
Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and set aside.
When you’re ready to fry the chicken, set up a breading station with two medium bowls placed near the stove.
In one bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt.
In a separate shallow bowl combine the cornstarch and flour.
Remove the chicken, one piece at a time, from the marinade, shaking off the excess liquid.
Dip the chicken in the eggs then coat in the flour and cornstarch mixture. Place the coated chicken on a large plate or on a wire rack placed inside a rimmed baking sheet.
When the chicken is ready to fry, pour the canola oil into a medium sized dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot. Fill the pot with canola oil until the oil comes 2-3 inches up the side of the pot.
Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches between 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit, about 5-7 minutes.
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, test the oil by sticking the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. If bubbles form around the wood and float to the surface, the oil is ready. If the wooden spoon starts bubbling hard, reduce the temperature a bit.
Add a few pieces of coated chicken to the oil at a time and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the exterior is lightly golden and crisp, 3-5 minutes.
Transfer the cooked chicken to a large paper towel lined plate or a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels.
Heat the sauce back up over medium heat, add the crispy chicken to the pot and coat with the sauce.
Transfer the chicken to a serving plate, top with sesame seeds and scallions, and serve hot.