Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

A white bowl with chopsticks containing colourful Black Pepper Chicken and vegetable stir fry.

This Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry makes a quick crowd pleasing weeknight dinner. The crispy chicken and colourful vegetables are tossed in a fiery stir fry sauce then served over steamed rice.

On busy nights, nothing satisfies like a quick and easy dinner. I call them ‘go to’ dinners because I go to them over and over again. To qualify they must be delicious, quick to make (45-60 mins), and take very little effort. Easy Beef Stir Fry with Snow Peas is always a winner in our house, followed by Sheet Pan Chorizo Sausage and Veggies.

What’s your busy night ‘go to’ dish?

A white bowl with chopsticks containing colourful Black Pepper Chicken and vegetable stir fry.

Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

There’s nothing quicker than a stir fry. It’s even faster (and cheaper) than ordering from most takeaway places. Even better, when you make this Black Pepper Chicken recipe at home, you know what is in it. Fresh chicken and veggies plus aromatics like onion, garlic, and ginger. Then there’s the spicy, sweet, and fiery sauce. It just doesn’t get any better.

As the name implies, Black Pepper chicken packs a punch. However, it’s not a face melting uncomfortable heat. Most people really enjoy the spice level of this dish. That said, you can decrease the amount of black pepper (and hot sauce) to adjust the dish to your comfort level.

A white bowl with chopsticks containing colourful Black Pepper Chicken and vegetable stir fry.

What is Black Pepper Chicken?

As far as I can tell Black Pepper Chicken is a North American style Chinese dish which resembles Laziji or Szechuan Mala Chicken, a very popular Szechuan style dish in China. The tongue numbing Szechuan peppercorns are replaced by bell peppers and the heat is mostly from freshly ground black pepper.

While Black Pepper Chicken contains less fire power than Mala chicken, the techniques are quite similar resulting in crispy golden bites of chicken with perfectly crisp vegetables.

It’s interesting to note that there is also a South Indian style version of this dish which is a dry curry that contains tomatoes and other Indian spices.

Ingredients for Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry.

Ingredients

None of the ingredients in this dish are difficult to find. Most can be found at any grocery store, though a visit to an Asian market may be required.

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Soy Sauce
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Shaoxing Cooking Wine
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Cornstarch
  • Oil
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Sriracha
  • Brown Sugar
  • Oyster Sauce

You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this stir fry. Truthfully, I prefer chicken thighs as the contain a bit more fat and are more flavourful than chicken breasts. Either will work in this recipe.

Velveting the raw chicken in a bowl with sauces and cornstarch.

Cornstarch is much more than a thickener in this recipe. It coats the chicken and helps it stay crispy on the outside while protecting the inside of the chicken.

There are no surprises with the aromatics and vegetables in this recipe. Onions, garlic, and ginger are quite common in recipes around the world. If you don’t love bell peppers, you can replace them with snow peas, snap peas, celery, carrots, or broccoli. You do you.

Any hot sauce will do. You can use sriracha, hot chili sauce, or even Thai chili sauce. However, the oyster sauce is a ‘must have’ and cannot be replaced.

Stir frying chicken in a frying pan.

Lastly, but certainly not least (and I can’t emphasize this enough) you will need freshly ground black pepper for this recipe. This spice is the heart of the dish. If you use black peppercorns and grind them yourself, this dish will come alive with flavour.

The Velveting Technique

The marinade serves to boost the flavour of the final dish but it also performs a role in a technique called velveting.

During velveting, a thick coating consisting of cornstarch and sauce adheres to the chicken. This gives the meat a velvety smooth texture and protects it from drying out during cooking.

Once the chicken is coated, it is traditionally immersed in hot oil or even water. However, a hot wok with a touch of oil will do the trick when stir frying.

Stir frying red and green peppers in a frying pan.

How to Make Black Pepper Chicken

While there are many cooking techniques used in Chinese cuisine, Stir Fry technique is one of the most well known. It involves pan frying similar sized pieces of meat, vegetables, or tofu in a well oiled hot wok. A wooden spatula or chopsticks are used to keep the food in constant motion during cooking.

Mise en Place

To begin, place the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle in the cornstarch. Stir the chicken with your hands to make sure it all becomes coated. Next, add the salt, black pepper, soy sauce, rice vinegar, the 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic, and Shaoxing cooking wine to the bowl of chicken. Mix well then set aside while you prepare the vegetables.

Wash, core, and de-seed the bell peppers. Cut them into large cubes. Peel and chop the onion into similar sized pieces.

Stir fried chicken and vegetables in a frying pan.

Lastly, in a small bowl combine the sauce ingredients together then set it aside. It is best to have everything all ready to go before you start stir frying because everything cooks quickly.

Cooking the Dish

Pour 2 Tablespoons in a wok or large high sided pan. Heat oil on medium high heat, then add the chicken. Stir fry the chicken pieces until they become crisp, golden, and evenly cooked from inside. Once done, transfer the chicken onto a plate and wipe out the pan. If you are doubling the recipe, you can cook the chicken in batches.

A white bowl with chopsticks containing colourful Black Pepper Chicken and vegetable stir fry.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in the pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry on high heat for a minute or until the onion softens and garlic becomes fragrant. Add the peppers to the pan and fry for another minute to ensure peppers remain crispy.

Next, add the sauce to the pan and allow it to heat up. Lastly, add the chicken back into the pan and stir to coat the chicken in sauce. Serve the dish hot with rice garnished with chopped spring onion.

A white bowl with chopsticks containing colourful Black Pepper Chicken and vegetable stir fry.

What To Do With Leftovers

Stir Fry is always best eaten the same day you make it. However you can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Chinese Black Pepper Chicken is tasty as leftovers, though the peppers may lose a little crunch and the chicken won’t be crispy. Always reheat leftover chicken to 165 F (75 C).

Pinterest image of a colourful Black Pepper Chicken stir fry with vegetables.

If you make this Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 4 servings

Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

A white bowl with chopsticks containing colourful Black Pepper Chicken and vegetable stir fry.

This Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry makes a quick crowd pleasing weeknight dinner. The crispy chicken and colourful vegetables are tossed in a fiery stir fry sauce then served over steamed rice.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 4 chicken thighs)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon (plus 1/2 teaspoon) garlic; minced
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons oil; divided
  • 1 teaspoon ginger; minced
  • 1 large onion; chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper; cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper; cubed
  • steamed rice and chopped green onion to serve
  • 1 Tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha or hot chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Instructions

    1. Place the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle in the cornstarch. Stir the chicken with your hands to make sure it all becomes coated.
    2. Next add salt, black pepper, soy sauce, rice vinegar, the 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic, and Shaoxing cooking wine to the bowl of chicken. Mix well then set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
    3. Wash, core, and de-seed the bell peppers. Cut them into large cubes.
    4. Peel and chop the onion into similar sized pieces.
    5. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
    6. Pour 2 Tablespoons in a wok or large high sided pan. Heat oil on medium high heat, then add the chicken.
    7. Stir fry the chicken pieces until they become crisp, golden, and evenly cooked from inside. Once done transfer the chicken onto a plate and wipe out the pan.
    8. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry on high heat for a minute or until the onion softens and garlic becomes fragrant.
    9. Add the peppers to the pan. Stir fry for another minute to ensure peppers remain crispy.
    10. Pour the sauce into the pan and allow it to heat up. Add the chicken back into the pan and stir to coat the chicken in sauce.
    11. Serve hot with rice garnished with chopped spring onion.





Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 336Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 1395mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 22g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Share your dish pic on Instagram or Facebook and tag @dishnthekitchen (or #dishnthekitchen) in your post or story! Rate this recipe and leave a review to share your experience with others!

40 comments

  1. Terri

    This is just the type of meal I need in my arsenal. I have pinned it to make soon (very soon!) as I’m drooling over the photos!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      We had it again last week. I just really love how easy and tasty it is.

  2. Dennis Littley

    I love a good stir fry and your black pepper chicken stir fry did not disappoint! It was delicious and easy to make, this recipe is a keeper!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Great to hear Dennis. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. EA Stewart

    I’ve been craving stir fry for a while and this Black Pepper Chicken definitely hit the spot! Anything with black pepper gets my vote. Thanks for this flavorful family-friendly recipe!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Me too! It has just the right amount of heat IMHO.

  4. Amy Casey

    I made this delicious stir fry for one of my personal chef clients and then came home and made it for myself. It was so tasty! I just loved the sauce.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      You have very lucky clients! Thanks for trying my recipe.

  5. Jessica

    Usually, ground beef and broccoli is my “go to” dinner meal because it’s so quick and tasty! However, I’m trying to branch out a little and want to try a chicken stir fry, so this recipe is next in my meal plan! Wish me luck.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      You don’t need luck…you’re gonna love it!

  6. Tracy

    Such a delicious recipe, my whole family loved it. They’re asking for it again already. I love how fast and flavorful it is!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Well that’s a good sign! Thanks for letting me know Tracy.

  7. dave

    who doesn’t love a good Chinese chicken stir fry! Bernice this recipe is super flavourful and really hit the spot

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I’m so glad you loved it Dave! Thanks for letting me know.

  8. nancy

    coming back here to let you know that our whole family has been obsessed with this Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry recipe. It makes for a great meal prep – over rice and sometimes over noodles. thanks for the easy to make chicken recipe.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Wow. I’m so glad you’re as obsessed as I am. We had it again this week!

  9. Elaine

    My interest piqued when I read”fiery!” Love spicy food! I don’t like Sriracha, however, so I replaced it with Sambal Oelek. A delicious stir-fry meal to make again!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Sambal Oelek is a great Sriracha substitute. I actually prefer it as well.

  10. Jill

    I had a bottle of shaoxing cooking wine laying around from another recipe and I’m so glad that I tried this recipe! the black pepper chicken is so so good, I think I will need another bottle of cooking wine soon!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      There you go! BTW it lasts for a really long time so no worries.

  11. Lilly

    I made this for dinner last night and it was a hit! My family really enjoyed this recipe. I liked that it was relatively easy to make! Thanks so much

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Lilly, I’m so glad your family enjoyed this dish. Thank you for letting me know.

  12. Sunrita

    Just looking at the pics are making me make this recipe now! Just delicious.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you so much Sunrita!

  13. Colleen

    This stir fry is delicious and the chicken turned out perfectly crispy. I love how quick and easy it is to make and it doesn’t cost a fortune to make it at home. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      That’s one of my reasons for developing this recipe. It’s so much cheaper to eat at home.

  14. Veronika

    I love any kind of stir fry but ordering it can get very pricey. This black pepper one was amazing! We saved money and liked it even more than our usual take-out!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      So glad you enjoyed the Black Pepper Chicken Veronika. Thank you for letting me know.

  15. Gloria

    Another winner chicken dinner. So much better than takeout. Always a hit with the family.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes!! I’m making another batch tonight for dinner. We’re addicted.

  16. Swathi

    This black pepper chicken stir fry looks delicious goes well with bowl of rice.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes! That is exactly how we eat it. I think it would be great on noodles too.

  17. Jeri

    This black pepper chicken stir fry was a hit with my whole family! I’m keeping this recipe in my back pocket for sure!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      We love it too and I made it again last night for dinner.

  18. Jere Cassidy

    I can always get this black pepper chicken at the market, but like everything it is way too expensive so I am glad to find this recipe so I can make this at home now. It’s such an easy recipe and better than the market’s version.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It really is quite simple and there aren’t too many ingredients either.

  19. Nancy

    This black pepper stir fry really hit the spot. I love the balance of the sauce and extra veggies never hurts !

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I agree! Especially when the veggies stay crispy and colourful.

  20. Jeanine

    Thanks for a delicious recipe!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      You are so welcome Jeanine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe