This Chinese Chicken and Broccoli recipe is a classic Chinese takeout dish made at home for a budget-friendly approach that doesn’t skimp on flavor. It’s easy to make, with minimal ingredients, and a satisfying meal the whole family will love!
Chinese chicken and broccoli, hands down, is my all time favorite Chinese takeout dish. This is the one dish I would always get when my mom would order takeout on the nights she didn’t feel like cooking or whenever I ate at a food court (haha, this totally dates me, huh? I feel like people don’t do that anymore.)
My mom never had to ask me what I wanted because it would always be the same answer, “Chinese chicken and broccoli!” I could eat this every day for a week and not be sick of it. I just love the combination of broccoli and chicken together along with the salty, sweet brown sauce.
Most kids don’t like broccoli and refuse to eat it, but me? No, I loved it. My mom would have to make the broccoli a certain way though because I refused to eat mushy broccoli — you know the ones that are steamed until they’re super soft and have lost their bright green color or have even gone limp? Well, my mom knew how to make Chinese chicken and broccoli the right way, or should I say, the Julie way.
My mom would blanch the broccoli in boiling water for about 5 minutes or so and then throw them in an ice bath so the broccoli, for yours truly here, would still be extra crispy and still bright green. I refuse to eat them raw, which is why cooking broccoli for me is such a pain since I don’t like them cooked fully nor do I like them undercooked.
What is Chinese chicken and broccoli?
You likely recognize this dish because it’s a very popular Chinese takeout dish. You may have even gotten it at some point! The star of the dish is of course chicken and broccoli but also the sauce. The Chinese chicken and broccoli sauce is so good. It’s a thick sweet and salty sauce that envelopes all the ingredients in its goodness. I love when there’s extra of the sauce because then I can spoon it all over my white rice that I eat with the chicken and broccoli.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For exact measurements, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Boneless skinless chicken breast – thinly sliced
- Soy sauce
- Chinese cooking wine – this ingredient, along with soy sauce and cornstarch, is added to the sliced chicken breasts before cooking. This is a process called “velveting” and majority of all Chinese restaurants and home cooks do this. My mom said this helps tenderize the meat and helps keep it moist and juicy. My mom also said this helps with taking out the sometimes strong chicken flavor.
- Broccoli florets
- Brown sugar
- Dark soy sauce
- Oyster sauce – I love oyster sauce. It gives it such a complex, deep, rich flavor.
- Sesame oil
You may use frozen broccoli florets if you’re in a pinch. Just make sure you thaw them before cooking. You won’t need to blanch them if you’re using frozen.
How to make Chinese chicken and broccoli at home
For detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card below.
Make the sauce. Whisk together all ingredients for the sauce.
Velvet your chicken. I’m sure you’re thinking, what the heck is velveting? Velveting is a technique used in a lot of Chinese kitchens that helps tenderize the meat and helps keep it moist and juicy. Combine the sliced chicken breast with soy sauce, cornstarch, and Chinese cooking wine and mix it all together with your hands. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Blanch the broccoli. While the chicken is velveting, blanch the broccoli. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add the broccoli. Cook for about 5 minutes, or your desired doneness. Remove from heat and drain. Immediately place broccoli florets in a large bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
Let’s bring it all together. Once everything is prepped, it’s time to bring it all together. In a large wok over medium high heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken to the wok and cook until browned and cooked through. Add the drained broccoli florets then make a well in the center. Add the ingredients for the sauce and watch it thicken right up! Reduce heat to medium then toss everything in the sauce to coat it evenly.
Serve. Serve with fried rice and some classic takeout appetizers below.
I love pretending we are ordering takeout but really making everything at home and creating your own takeout spread that’s all homemade. My favorites to make are Crab Rangoon and Chicken Fried Rice (or if you prefer, Pineapple Fried Rice is a great complement too).
If you’re not in the chicken mood, beef and broccoli would be another alternative or all these other broccoli alternatives:
Storage and reheating instructions
This may be stored in an airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator. To reheat, pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds or longer, depending on the strength of your microwave.
Chicken and Broccoli
For the chicken:
- ¾ pound large boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced (about 2 medium sized breasts)
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Splash Chinese cooking wine
- 1 ½ cup broccoli florets
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- Add the sliced chicken to a bowl then toss soy sauce, cornstarch, and Chinese cooking wine with it and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add the broccoli florets and blanch for 5 minutes, or to your desired doneness. Immediately drain and place broccoli florets in a large bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
- In a wok over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken to the wok and cook until browned and cooked through. Add the drained broccoli florets then make a well in the center of the mixture and pour the sauce in. It should start to thicken almost immediately. Turn heat down to medium then toss everything together, coating the sauce evenly on the chicken and broccoli.
- Remove from heat and serve!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.