Skip to content

15 minute Asian Chicken Stir-Fry

November 15, 2010

I’ve been in a peculiar cooking phase lately. Just upto a few weeks ago, I was all for learning elaborate new recipes that required large amounts of time for prep work and cooking, requiring me to wash several dishes afterward. A few weeks ago, its as though something switched off in my brain. I’ve been experiencing an extreme aversion to lengthy recipes and all I really want to do is not be in the kitchen for more than an hour, cooking + cleaning afterward.

Asian chicken stir-fry

Asian chicken stir-fry

At the same time, I also wanted to cook something new. So I dug into my pantry as well as my imagination and came up with this really simple chicken stir-fry recipe that literally takes just 15 minutes to cook with about 10 minutes of prep work. My husband just loved it. Make some quick Chinese fried rice with it and you’re ready for dinner. Here’s how you make it:

You will need:

  • 1 lb Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips – some grocery stores sell already prepped chicken breast specially for stir-frying
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 3-4 scallions, chopped – keep the green and white parts separate
  • Any low-sodium spicy asian stir-fry sauce available at your local grocery store
  • Sweet & sour sauce
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder
  • Sesame seeds and red chili flakes for garnishing
  • Vegetable oil


  • In a glass bowl, place the chicken and marinate in 2 tbsp of soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Mix well and leave aside
  • Thinly slice the belle peppers, lengthwise
  • In a large non-stick pan or wok, heat 2 tbsp of oil and when heated, add the whites of the scallions
  • After stirring for 30 seconds or so on medium heat, add the bell peppers
  • Cook for a minute or so with a lid on, then add about 1/2 cup of the stir-fry sauce. Based on how spicy the sauce is, you may add more or less as per personal preference. Also add about 1 tbsp of the sweet & sour sauce and a squirt of Sriracha sauce
  • Mix well and add the chicken. Allow the chicken to cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally
  • When the chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, garnish with sesame seeds, red chili flakes and the chopped green scallions. Mix well
  • Serve steaming hot with fried rice or sticky white rice

I’m hoping my brain doesn’t change on me anytime soon ๐Ÿ™‚

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Neph permalink
    November 18, 2010 8:39 am

    As a Chinese person, I have to say this recipe is sorta terrible. Authentic stir-fry doesn’t use that crappy store-bought stir-fry sauce – and in all honestness, I don’t know who came up with that junk, anyways. Chinese (and most Asian) stir-fry actually relies only on soy sauce, salt, vinegar, and sugar for flavoring – that sweet and sour sauce is just that, plus ketchup (I suspect the stir-fry sauce is this as well, with ingredients in different balance). Thus, this recipe is adding the same thing, several times over, and probably with monosodium glutamate. If you really must have a gooey sort of stir-fry sauce, you could add corn-starch (though northern Chinese folk don’t do it), or hoisin sauce (the other thing I suspect is in “Asian” stir-fry sauce, though most Asians don’t use it in stir-fry). You’re also missing a key ingredient in Asian stir-fry – sesame oil. Just a little bit, but fairly essential to the overall taste.

    And cutting those ingredients out wouldn’t make the recipe take any longer, either, because all you’d have to do is add a bit more of above-listed ingredients (with cornstarch dissolved in water). You’d have a more authentic and customizable taste, and not waste money on overpriced “Asian” flavoring.

    Honestly, I’m pretty sure that companies market “stir-fry” and “sweet and sour” sauce because non-Asians don’t know how simple it is. I’ve seen many an Asian sauce cabinet, and there’s oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, douban paste, tianmian paste – Asians love convenience and not having to mix ingredients ourselves. But “stir-fry” sauce? Never seen it. Not once. As for sweet and sour sauce, you’re adding almost nothing that you aren’t already adding (because the other usual thing in it is garlic powder), using an ingredient not usually used in Asian food (ketchup), and in a consistency you can’t adjust.

    • November 18, 2010 9:42 am

      Neph, thank you for taking the time to write this comment! And thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. First off, let me say that I apologize if I have offended you with this recipe. Most recipes these days (including those in Indian cooking) I think are a combination of authentic methods, and modern, quick-fix ingredients. As an experimental home cook, I find innovative ways to achieve interesting flavors in ethnic cuisines.

      I’m a huge fan of Asian cooking and I appreciate your response. I’m really looking forward to incorporating your tips the next time I want to make an Asian dish, now that I have the real info ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  2. November 18, 2010 12:09 pm

    As much as I love authentic food I simply don’t have the time and energy to find all the proper ingredients – ingredients I probably won’t use again before they go bad. So this recipe is exactly the kind of thing that I would make, pre-made sauce and all.

    My dad cringes at my idea of Indian food but guess what? I don’t make it for him so I don’t care.

    Eat what you like and enjoy it, regardless of who deems it authentic or not. And send me your leftovers!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • November 18, 2010 2:55 pm

      Thanks for the comment Ameena. I completely agree. Besides, modern food IS fusion food. ‘Authentic’ Indian food today is a result of years of influences by the Moghuls, Persians, Romans and even the Chinese! Can’t be so anal with food and method of preparation, as long as it is healthy and delicious.

  3. November 18, 2010 3:14 pm

    Just wanted to say the same thing as you stated in the above comment. After a year with my own blog, I often come across people who would find what you write offending to there own cuisine. I once had a Thai blogger completely outraged on the thai influenced coconut curry I posted. As much as one has appreciation for authentic food, when you are in your own kitchen, you probably have sauces Thai, Chinese, Japanese etc , and if you mix them up coming with great combinations such as this, I wonder why someone would find it “terrible”. Besides you just called it Asian and not Chinese did ya ? Its like someone makes Palak Tofu. Well, I love fusion food. I cook them all the time. But Palak tofu, doesnt feel right to me. May be because I’m so used to the Palak paneer that anything else doest strike right in my mind. But I know people who enjoy Palak Tofu.Alot. I would never say its wrong. Its there intrepretation of the Indian food. Oh God! I just wanted to say as long as something tastes delicious, Who the hell cares?!

    • November 18, 2010 5:36 pm

      So true Kulsum. But you know, I really appreciate people who are so passionate about their cuisine, maintaining its authenticity and not being afraid to let people know about it – just like Neph above and your friend from Thailand. Having said that, as you rightly say, food is also all about interpretation.

      This is a really great discussion going!

  4. November 18, 2010 3:36 pm

    Well I think this is a great recipe.. Of course we love recipes that are authentic but for those who have to put food on the table in 30 minutes or less, that to me this is a GREAT alternative. Everyone should want to enjoy cooking and not be turned off by it because they have to go through all the steps some go through. It’s just an alternative way, from the authentic way, to do something. I, for one, love this recipe. I also love the authentic way as well. There is room for BOTH.

    • November 18, 2010 5:38 pm

      Well said Babygirl. I’d rather have someone make a quick, fresh meal at home using fresh ingredients (even if it is a melange of cuisines and quick-fix sauces) than have them serve me junk food. Recipes like these that use a few, simple ingredients are perfect for families that struggle with time and prioritizing healthy eating. As you rightly said, who has time to be authentic when you want to put healthy food on the table?!

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Quite enjoyed some of your posts too. I love celebrity gossip ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. janemaynard permalink
    November 18, 2010 5:11 pm

    hi there! just wanted to let you know we made you the “Featured Blogger” on the homepage today. keep up the great work! ๐Ÿ™‚ Jane

    • November 18, 2010 5:14 pm

      Thanks Jane! So excited ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Terrah permalink
        January 20, 2011 4:23 pm

        We absolutely love this recipe! It so funny because I did just as one of your other bloggers mentioned and cooked with Sesame oil instead of vegetable oil. It’s lighter and adds great flavor. This is quick, flavorful, and delicious. I’ve made it a couple times already. Appreciate you sharing! All the best.


        • January 20, 2011 8:43 pm

          Thanks for the tip Terrah! And so glad you like it enough to make it more than once ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you’re doing well!

  6. mosesb permalink
    October 1, 2012 5:21 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to make my life simpler.. My family say’s Hu RAA..


  1. Methi Aloo sabzi – Potatoes and Fenugreek greens « One Life to Eat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: