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Last Updated on December 16, 2023
Looking for an Asian dish you can cook yourself and get right from the first time? You won’t find any easier than this Ginger Chicken recipe to give you that!
Ginger Chicken is one of my all-time favorite Asian dishes –– in fact, this is my mom’s recipe.
I remember her whipping this up as a kid and being first at the dinner table every time it was served. I remember the first time I ordered this at a restaurant. I got a dish that was completely different from what I grew up with. It was deep-fried and came with a delicious ginger sauce on the side.
Today, I’ll be sharing my super quick and easy Ginger Chicken Recipe so that you can add it to your top dinner recipes and thank me later!
What Is Ginger Chicken?
If you’ve been hearing about Ginger Chicken a lot but not exactly sure what the fuss is all about, let me tell you before I get into the recipe. Basically, Ginger Chicken is a Chinese dish that incorporates high quantities of fresh ginger, scallions, and garlic, all cooked in a sticky brown sauce. Then, it’s commonly served over either Chinese noodles or steamed rice.
In Cantonese, Ginger Chicken is referred to as “Old Ginger Chicken” when translated, and the reason behind that is quite unique; it’s because mature ginger should be used in the recipe rather than young ginger.
What’s the difference? Mature ginger boasts a relatively concentrated spicy ginger flavor, while young ginger is mildly spicy with a taste you could describe as “floral.” To distinguish between them, you’ll notice that young ginger is rose or pinkish in color with slightly transparent skin.
Anyway, you shouldn’t worry too much –– most ginger in the U.S. grocery stores is mature; young ginger isn’t that commonly spread, and you can only expect to find it between September and November.
Now that you’re well acquainted with the roots of ginger chicken and what it’s all about, let’s get into the recipe that even my mom, the master chef, loved!
Recipe Time Estimation
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
What You’ll Need: The Ingredients
- 1.25 lbs chicken legs (skinless chicken thighs)
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 piece fresh ginger, roughly 1″ wide x 2″ tall x 1/2″ thick, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, optional
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tbsp red onion, diced
- 1 stalk green onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
Ginger Chicken Recipe Instructions
Ready? Let’s get started with one of the easiest recipes you’ll come across!
Whisk Together the Basic Ingredients
Firstly, you’ll want to bring together the coconut oil, chopped onion, and ginger and put them in a skillet over medium heat. Whisk or mix them together and leave them to cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the Chicken and Seasonings
After the raw ingredients are done cooking, go ahead and place the chicken legs into the skillet and add the seasonings you prefer. Once you’re all set, cover the skillet with a lid.
Cook on Low Heat
After that, make sure you turn the heat to a low level and allow the chicken to cook while it’s covered for around 40 minutes.
Add the Red Onion
As the cooking time passes, you’ll notice that the chicken legs will start releasing water. That water is precisely what creates the awesome gingery sauce that keeps everyone who tried this recipe hooked to the dish! When it’s almost done, throw in the red onion you have prepared for the last 3 minutes.
If you’re like me and you like more color on the chicken, take it out of the skillet and stir fry or broil it for 3 – 5 minutes before returning it to the pan. Then, I love to top it with chopped green onions –– that makes me enjoy it all the better!
Frequently Asked Questions
Ginger Chicken is one of those recipes that come with many variations, which is why a couple of frequently asked questions always arise. To make sure I’ve answered everything that may cross your mind without hindering your meal prep, I’ll list the answers to the FAQs below.
What Chicken Cut Works Best?
There isn’t really a clear cut answer to this one since Ginger Chicken tastes great with both chicken breast and chicken thighs or legs. It all boils down to your preference. Do you prefer white or dark meat? You’ll probably find the one you like to be tastier.
Personally, I find chicken thighs more delicious because they’re juicier, but that’s just me! Moreover, I find that they hold up better when it comes to longer cooking times, allowing sauces to go all in without drying out.
However, what matters is that the chicken needs to be boneless, skinless chicken! Don’t ever cook it with bones.
Which Oil Should I Use?
The one that works for you! Generally speaking, most food is fried between 350 – 400 F degrees, so I would recommend an oil with a smoke point that goes above the 400-degree mark. You’ll notice that I used coconut oil because it’s neutral tasting and sort of all-purpose, but feel free to use vegetable oil, olive oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, or even avocado oil.
Olive and vegetable oil are also tasteless and can be used for basically anything; peanut oil has a high smoking point, which makes it ideal, safflower oil is the same. It has the added plus of not solidifying when chilled, and avocado adds a welcome nutty flavor to the dish.
What Can I Use for the Sauce?
The sky’s the limit! You can use whatever you want. However, to give you some help, some of the most commonly used ingredients to make the sauce are soy sauce, sriracha, honey or brown sugar for sweetness, aromatics (like garlic and ginger), red pepper flakes for heat, and black pepper as seasoning.
Yet, no restrictions! I don’t even include all of that, so feel free to pick and choose.
How Do I Serve Ginger Chicken?
The most common ways to serve Ginger Chicken are either over Chinese noodles or steamed rice. As for me, I love Basmati rice and feel that the taste of both mingles and complement each other in a very delicious way!
What Do I Do With Leftovers?
You can simply store them in an airtight container in your fridge. On average, the chicken will stay intact for approximately 3 – 4 days, depending on the surrounding environment.
Can I Freeze Ginger Chicken?
Absolutely! Just like the leftovers, place the chicken breasts or thighs in airtight containers or freezer bags. The difference here is that the chicken pieces can actually be stored in your freezer for 3 – 4 months, and absolutely nothing will happen.
When it’s time to prep it for dinner, thaw it in the fridge overnight and just reheat it in the microwave the next day. Just a trick, though: if you prefer the chicken to be crispy, make sure to separate the chicken from the sauce because otherwise, the chicken becomes soggy.
There you have it! That’s really all it takes to get some meal prep out of the way with this quick and easy Ginger Chicken recipe. It’s an authentic recipe that tastes exceptionally great, and if you like oyster sauce, this one will remind you of it.
By the way, I never really liked ginger, to begin with, so I’m quite surprised with how much I’m a fan of this dish to the extent that I crave it when it’s been a while, so I’m sure you’ll love it double as much if you’re already into ginger.
Let me know your thoughts once you try the recipe out!
If you like this Ginger Chicken recipe, you’ll love:
This Ginger Chicken brings back memories for me. The fact that it is also healthy eating? That’s just a bonus. I hope you enjoy it and create great memories of your own while eating it.
Did you make and love this recipe? Give your review below and make sure you share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!
Savory, sweet ginger and garlic infused chicken legs make an excellent dinner. Your family will love this ginger chicken!
- Combine the coconut oil, chopped yellow onion and ginger in a skillet over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes.
- Place your chicken legs in the skillet and add your seasonings. Cover with a lid.
- Turn the heat to low and allow to cook covered for 35 - 40 minutes.
- The chicken legs will release water creating a gingery sauce. Throw in the red onion for the last 3 minutes.
- For more color on the chicken remove them from the skillet and broil for 3 - 5 minutes and return to the pan.
- Top with chopped green onion and enjoy!
10 SmartPoint Weight Watchers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 240mgSodium: 575mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 46g