Chicken with Chinese Broccoli Mushrooms

This Chicken and Chinese Broccoli stir-fry is a delicious, light meal that truly brings out the best in tender chicken breast and sweet, crunchy Chinese broccoli, or gai lan. 

This was one of the very first recipes we posted back in August 2013, when the blog was just a couple months old. Since it hasn’t gotten the most attention, I thought I’d re-test, re-develop, and re-photograph it! Turns out, I had quite a few changes to make. 

In this new and very much improved version, we’ve also included metric measurements, clearer instructions, and updated nutrition information. Enjoy! 

Chicken with Chinese Broccoli and MushroomsChicken with Chinese Broccoli and Mushrooms

The Origins of This Recipe

This chicken and broccoli stir-fry recipe was born in my college years. Back in college (side note: I can’t believe I’m now 30, and a person who says things like, “back in college…”), I would get pretty homesick for Chinese food. 

I would try to get creative at the dining hall’s do-it-yourself pasta station or partake in the vegan couscous salad (that was all they had if you got there a minute after 8:00). But a few weeks of that would have me yearning for the flavors of my childhood. 

Every now and then, I would order Chinese takeout. But rather than your General Tso’s Chicken or Beef Lo Mein, I was looking for something that felt like the home cooking I missed so much. 

One day, I thought I’d found my answer on the “special” menu. You know those lit-up, faded food photos that are always above the kitchen? Does ANYONE ever order off that thing? Well that day, I did. 

It was just chicken with Chinese veggies. It looked like choy sum or Chinese broccoli in the picture, and I got irrationally happy about it. Finally, a leafy green vegetable that wasn’t lettuce or frozen spinach! 

I got back to the dorm with my food, super excited. 

But…then I took a bite. 

It was salty! It was sandy! (An indication that they hadn’t washed the veg.) I was so disappointed, and my homesickness seemed to double. 

I talked to my parents later that week, asking them how I might recreate such a dish, mostly so I could prove to myself that I could cook the food I so longed for. 

Well, here it is. On the blog that we later started as a family to finally record these recipes once and for all. 

Now, I’m not saying that this one is the recipe that started it all (there were many others). But for me, it represents the triumph of learning how to cook the food of one’s childhood. 

Recipe Instructions

Thinly slice your chicken breast against the grain (partially freeze the chicken first for easier slicing).

Sliced chicken in bowlSliced chicken in bowl

Add the water, cornstarch, vegetable oil, and oyster sauce.

Sliced chicken with marinade ingredients addedSliced chicken with marinade ingredients added

Massage the marinade ingredients into the chicken until there is no standing liquid.

Massaging marinade ingredients into sliced chickenMassaging marinade ingredients into sliced chicken

Set aside for 15-20 minutes while you prepare your other ingredients. For more details on marinating chicken, see our post in How to Velvet Chicken for Stir fry.

Marinating chickenMarinating chicken

After washing, trim the ends off the Chinese broccoli, and tear the stalks into smaller pieces (separate individual leaves, and snap stems in half).

Chinese Broccoli StemChinese Broccoli Stem
Chinese Broccoli LeafChinese Broccoli Leaf

Roughly tear the oyster mushrooms and set aside. If using shiitake mushrooms, slice them. Also prepare your ginger and garlic.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the chicken stock, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sugar, and sesame oil. Set aside. 

Sauce mixture for stir-frySauce mixture for stir-fry

At this point, you’ve prepared all the ingredients, and you’re ready to cook!

Chicken with Chinese Broccoli & MushroomsChicken with Chinese Broccoli & Mushrooms

Meanwhile, bring a wok or pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once at a rolling boil, add the greens and blanch for 30-45 seconds.

Blanching Chinese BroccoliBlanching Chinese Broccoli

Quickly remove from the wok with a strainer or slotted spoon, and make sure to drain well of any excess liquid. 

Removing blanched chinese broccoli from wok with strainerRemoving blanched chinese broccoli from wok with strainer

Heat a clean, dry wok over high heat until it starts to smoke. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok, spreading it around to coat the surface. Add the chicken pieces in one layer, and allow it to sear on one side for 20-30 seconds. Flip, and sear on the other side for 20-30 seconds. Stir-fry for another 10-15 seconds, and remove the chicken from the wok. Set aside.

Seared chickenSeared chicken

Lower the heat to medium low, and add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, along with the ginger.

Ginger slices in wokGinger slices in wok

Cook for 1 minute. Turn up the heat to high, and add 2 tablespoons of water to deglaze the wok, along with the mushrooms and garlic.

Oyster mushrooms in wokOyster mushrooms in wok

Stir-fry over high heat for 1 minute, and add the Shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for 1 more minute. 

Stir-frying oyster mushroomsStir-frying oyster mushrooms

Stir in the sauce mixture and bring to a simmer.

Adding sauce mixture to mushroomsAdding sauce mixture to mushrooms

Quickly mix 1 ½ teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, and pour the mixture into the sauce. Cook for 15 seconds, until the sauce has thickened. 

Thickening sauce with mushroomsThickening sauce with mushrooms

Stir the chicken into the thickened sauce…

Adding sliced chicken to mushrooms and sauceAdding sliced chicken to mushrooms and sauce

And then add the blanched greens.

Adding blanched Chinese broccoli to other ingredients in wokAdding blanched Chinese broccoli to other ingredients in wok

Stir-fry for another 30 seconds, until everything is combined and coated in the sauce.

Stir-frying chicken, chinese broccoli, and mushroomsStir-frying chicken, chinese broccoli, and mushrooms

Serve immediately.

Chicken with Chinese Broccoli and MushroomsChicken with Chinese Broccoli and Mushrooms
Chicken with Chinese Broccoli and MushroomsChicken with Chinese Broccoli and Mushrooms
Chicken with Chinese Broccoli and MushroomsChicken with Chinese Broccoli and Mushrooms


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