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Ginger Chicken

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Last Updated on December 7, 2020

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 on a platter ready to be served

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!

close up on ginger chicken on a platter

Recipe Time Estimation

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 55 mins

What You’ll Need: The Ingredients

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.

Extras (Optional)

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.

Final Thoughts

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:

Maple Glazed Sesame Chicken Wings 

Easy Chicken Teriyaki

Coconut Chicken Recipe

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!

Add a little ginger to your next meal and feel your superpowers kick in! It's true -- ginger is a superfood and it elevates this Ginger Chicken Recipe to the next level. I love a good Paleo Chicken recipe and this is one to share!
Yield: 3

Ginger Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Savory, sweet ginger and garlic infused chicken legs make an excellent dinner. Your family will love this ginger chicken!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine the coconut oil, chopped yellow onion and ginger in a skillet over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Place your chicken legs in the skillet and add your seasonings. Cover with a lid.
  3. Turn the heat to low and allow to cook covered for 35 - 40 minutes.
  4. The chicken legs will release water creating a gingery sauce. Throw in the red onion for the last 3 minutes.
  5. Optional:
  6. For more color on the chicken remove them from the skillet and broil for 3 - 5 minutes and return to the pan.
  7. Top with chopped green onion and enjoy!

Notes

10 SmartPoint Weight Watchers

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

g

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 240mgSodium: 575mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 46g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Priya Dogra

Saturday 11th of January 2020

Thanks a ton! This recipe was beyond delicious. I love ginger and I normally have it with my meal. I will make this again soon and play a little more with ginger's ratio.

Kelly Bejelly

Friday 31st of January 2020

I'm glad you liked it Priya.

Dale

Sunday 29th of December 2019

I absolutely LOVE this recipe. It is full of delicious ginger flavour and just so sticky and flavourful. I've made it several times. The only thing I add is just a big splash of chicken stock to make a bit more sauce.

Kelly Bejelly

Sunday 29th of December 2019

So glad you enjoy it Dale! It's my families favorite also.

Rachel

Monday 4th of February 2019

Made this Saturday night after a 10 hour day out with my 7 week old. Needless to say, I did not feel like coming home and putting together dinner. But this was SO easy! And SO delicious! I threw this in the pan, roasted some broccoli, and called it dinner. Amazing. Also, I have several Filipino friends and was excited to realize this recipe came from their country. It's going in the recipe box right now and we're having it again this week!

Kelly Bejelly

Monday 4th of February 2019

So glad you enjoyed it hon!

Paula

Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

This looks soo yummy. I love ginger also. Why no macros?

Kelly Bejelly

Saturday 7th of October 2017

Just added them.

Jaime

Thursday 18th of February 2016

ingredients are great, but chicken does not cook fully on low for 35 or 40 minutes....I cooked on medium instead

Kelly Bejelly

Monday 2nd of May 2016

Thanks for the tip Jaime.

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