This Mongolian chicken recipe is a quick and easy Americanized Asian dish that tastes even better when made at home! Crispy chicken pieces are drenched in a sticky sweet and savory sauce.
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What Is Mongolian Chicken?
Mongolian chicken is one of the most famous Americanized Chinese dishes. It features crispy chicken breast tossed in cornstarch and stir-fried. It’s then tossed through a sauce made with all the staple Asian ingredients, including soy sauce and sesame oil, and sweetened with honey.
While you could easily call up your local Chinese restaurant and order a serving for your dinner, it’s just as easy to make it yourself, and dare I say, it’s even better. Here are some reasons why I LOVE this recipe:
- Simple prep. There is no marinating time needed, and everything comes together quickly, making this an easy weeknight dinner. Cook up some noodles, basmati rice or cauliflower rice while it cooks.
- It’s healthier than Chinese takeout. While not completely guilt-free, making this dish at home versus ordering out saves tons of excess preservatives, food additives, and poor-quality oil.
- Full of flavor and texture. Like Szechuan chicken, you get the crispy chicken pieces, the sticky sauce, and the tender vegetables. The Mongolian sauce has a complex sweet and savory flavor. It also has notes of tanginess and richness.
The beauty of this dish is how simple the ingredient list is. You’ll easily find them at any grocery store or specialty Asian store. Here is what you’ll need:
- Chicken breast. Boneless skinless chicken breasts that are thinly sliced.
- Chicken broth. Choose a good quality stock with no added sugar or salt.
- Garlic and ginger.
- Soy sauce. Using both dark and standard soy sauce will yield the perfect balance of umami flavor.
- Honey. To sweeten the sauce. I tested this recipe with brown sugar but found it too overpowering. If you want a richer sauce, you can use 50/50 honey and brown sugar.
- Sesame oil. A popular oil used in Asian recipes that gives the stir fry a delicious flavor.
- Green onion. Cut into larger pieces.
- Cornstarch. To toss the chicken and for thickening the sauce.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
How to make Mongolian chicken
I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1- Prep the chicken. Start by slicing the chicken breasts and put them in a Ziploc bag. Add salt, pepper, and cornstarch to the bag and shake well to coat the chicken pieces.
Step 2- Cook the chicken. Next, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat in a wok or large skillet, add the sliced chicken and cook for 7-8 minutes. Flip the chicken halfway through. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
Step 3- Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, dark soy sauce, honey, chicken broth, sesame seed oil and cornstarch. Whisk until fully combined.
Step 4- Toss everything together. Now, add the minced garlic and ginger to a heated pan and cook until fragrant. Add back the chicken, along with chopped green onions, and pour over the sauce. Toss to coat the chicken pieces with the sauce and remove the pan from the heat.
Step 5- Garnish and serve. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and more green onion and serve.
- Add some veggies. Stir fry the vegetables of your choice to go with the chicken. Toss them with the Mongolian sauce you have made. You can use broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, etc.
- Use a different protein. If you don’t like chicken breast or don’t have it at home, use chicken thighs, shrimp, or beef instead.
- Make it spicy. Add finely chopped or sliced red chili to the sauce to add some heat to Mongolian chicken.
- Don’t sub out the ingredients. Avoid substituting the ingredients unless otherwise stated. You want this dish to be as authentic as possible.
To store: Store leftovers into airtight containers and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled chicken in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Reheating: Either microwave the chicken for 20-30 seconds or reheat in a non-stick pan until warm.
Frequently asked questions
Mongolian food features a variety of different meats and lots of different spices. But as for the level of heat, it is only lightly spicy.
Szechuan chicken looks very similar to Mongolian chicken. The two dishes have a lot in common in terms of the cooking process too. However, Mongolian chicken and Szechuan chicken taste different. The sauce for Mongolian chicken is sweeter and less spicy than the Szechuan chicken sauce.
More Asian stir fry recipes to try
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons cornstarch divided
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- Add the chicken, salt, pepper, and cornstarch to a ziplock bag and shake well.
- Add the vegetable oil to a non-stick pan or skillet and place it over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 7-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
- In a small bowl, make the sauce. Whisk together the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, honey, chicken broth, sesame oil and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Whisk together.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken, sliced green onions, then pour the sauce over. Toss everything together then remove off the heat.
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