What Is Chicken Ginger Stir-Fry?

Angie Bates

Chicken ginger stir-fry is a Chinese dish that uses chicken as a meat choice and has a strong ginger taste. Normally served with steamed rice or noodles, this stir-fry dish may include several vegetables or may mostly consist of chicken and spices. Stir-fries are generally quick, simple ways to cook meals.

Fresh ginger root is typically used in ginger stir-fry.
Fresh ginger root is typically used in ginger stir-fry.

Boneless skinless chicken meat is normally used for a chicken ginger stir-fry. Often breast meat is chosen, but some versions suggest leg meat instead. The chicken is cut into bite-sized pieces or short thin strips before being cooked. Fresh ginger is usually used, and the root may be grated, chopped, or julienned prior to being incorporated into the dish. Since the ginger is responsible for most of this dish's spiciness, it can be adjusted to give the dish a spicier or more mild flavor.

Boneless chicken breasts are used in stir fries.
Boneless chicken breasts are used in stir fries.

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Additional ingredients may include shaoxing wine, soy sauce or fish sauce, and sugar, as well as rice vinegar or chicken broth. Corn starch may also be included, and chili peppers are a frequent addition. Chives, cilantro, or garlic may be the only other accompaniment for chicken ginger stir-fry, but additional vegetables may be added. Vegetables often include green or yellow onions, broccoli, and carrots. Mushrooms are also often part of this dish.

Ginger root, popular in Japanese and other Asian cuisines, can be sliced, diced, grated, powdered or pickled.
Ginger root, popular in Japanese and other Asian cuisines, can be sliced, diced, grated, powdered or pickled.

Chicken ginger stir-fry is cooked in oil using a wok or a frying pan. Vegetable oil or peanut oil are most commonly chosen for frying. The pieces of chicken may be tossed in cornstarch and a liquid, such as shaoxing wine, before cooking, or they may simply be added to the dish without any additional seasonings.

Chicken ginger stir-fry is commonly served with steamed rice.
Chicken ginger stir-fry is commonly served with steamed rice.

Versions of chicken ginger stir-fry differ in the order in which ingredients are cooked. Sometimes chilies are added to the oil first, then removed once they begin to brown. Others will add garlic and ginger first, which allows the oil to absorb more of the ginger flavor. Still others add the chicken before any other ingredient. Generally, however, recipes will stir-fry the chicken as the first or second step, then remove the meat after it has cooked.

Chicken ginger stir-fry can be prepared in a standard frying pan.
Chicken ginger stir-fry can be prepared in a standard frying pan.

Afterward, any vegetables are usually added and fried. Liquid ingredients and other spices, sometimes already combined into a sauce, can be added after the vegetables have cooked or after the chicken has been returned to the pan. Some versions will add sugar, allowing the chicken to caramelize, before adding the liquid ingredients and spices. Once the chicken ginger stir-fry is complete, it may be served with steamed rice or flavored noodles.

Peanut oil has a high smoking point and is ideal for a ginger chicken stir-fry.
Peanut oil has a high smoking point and is ideal for a ginger chicken stir-fry.

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