Quick and Easy Chinese Chicken With Oyster Sauce

Stir fry chicken with oyster sauce
The Spruce
Ratings (81)
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
309 Calories
17g Fat
16g Carbs
24g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 309
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 867mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 24g
Calcium 67mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chinese restaurants typically turn out a high volume of dishes in a noticeably short time. The secret is stir-frying, a speedy cooking method that tosses bite-size pieces of meat and vegetables in hot oil in a wok or skillet. You can use the same technique at home to replicate Chinese takeout or get a work-night dinner on the table in a hurry.

Prepared oyster sauce, available at most grocery stores, adds the essence of oysters to this dish. But the finished flavor of a dish served with oyster sauce--a compilation of ingredients including the prepared oyster sauce--becomes more savory than fishy.


  • 1 pound chicken (boneless breasts or thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces)
  • For the Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry (dry)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • For the Stir-Fry:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (divided)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 2 green onions (sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces)
  • 3 to 4 dried Chinese mushrooms (softened in warm water and sliced)
  • 1 can bamboo shoots (or 1 can baby corn, drained)

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine the first three marinade ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. Add the chicken and toss to coat; sprinkle the cornstarch evenly across the meat and toss again.

  3. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. While the chicken marinates, dissolve the cornstarch in the water, then mix it with all of the other sauce ingredients in a clean bowl.

  5. Heat a wok or deep heavy skillet on high and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic, ginger and green onion, and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until fragrant and just starting to brown.

  6. Remove the aromatics with a slotted spoon.

  7. Add the chicken and stir-fry, stirring frequently, until the chicken changes color, about 3 to 4 minutes.

  8. Remove the chicken from the wok and discard the unused marinade.

  9. Add the remaining oil, return the garlic, ginger and green onion to the wok, and stir-fry the mushrooms and bamboo shoots or baby corn for 1 minute.

  10. Return the chicken to the wok.

  11. Make a well in the middle and add the sauce, giving it a quick re-stir before combining it with the chicken and vegetables.

  12. Stir-fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and coats all of the ingredients.