This fast and healthy honey chicken stir-fry with sriracha is the answer to your weekday food slump. Tender pieces of chicken tossed in a savory, sweet, and spicy sauce. Ready in just 30 minutes!
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Cantonese cooking is all about the sauce. Typically a savory and sweet combination with any protein or vegetable. To switch things up, I add a hot kick of chili paste to the stir-fry. This honey sriracha chicken recipe is a quick 30-minute dish to make weekday dinners more exciting.
Sriracha is a spicy, ruby-red chili sauce that can be used on almost anything! Keeping a bottle in the pantry has become a kitchen staple to add instant flavor. It can be used with various meats, seafood, or tofu recipes. Get ready to serve this dish with a bowl of steamed rice, or divvy it up for meal prep.
- Chicken: For lean, quick-cooking protein, use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Thighs can be used if you prefer dark meat. Cut into 1-inch pieces to cook evenly in the wok. Season the poultry with salt, pepper, and cornstarch to help the sauce stick.
- Sriracha: Sold in a clear bottle with a green lid. The hot chili sauce combines chili pepper paste, distilled white vinegar for tanginess, garlic, sugar, and salt.
- Honey Sriracha Sauce: The sauce consists of chicken stock, sriracha, soy sauce, honey, garlic, red chili flakes, and a cornstarch slurry to thicken the consistency.
- Garnish: Sliced green onions add a fresh and subtle allium flavor to the dish. Sesame seeds can also be added for a nutty taste or red chili flakes for a lingering heat.
Make the stir-fry sauce
The savory, sweet, and spicy sauce is made in a small saucepan that comes together in minutes! Whisk together chicken stock, sriracha chili sauce, soy sauce, honey, minced garlic, and red chili flakes.
Once the mixture comes to a boil over medium heat, add a cornstarch slurry mixture to thicken the sauce. Stir constantly to distribute the starches. It takes less than a minute to gelatinize.
Season the chicken
Cut the chicken breast into even-sized cubes, about 1 inch in size. Alternatively, slice into strips against the grain. Season the meat with salt and pepper to enhance the savory taste.
A thin cornstarch coating dries the surface, making it easier to sear and brown for extra flavor. This also creates a primer layer, making the sauce stick better to the chicken.
Cook the chicken
I prefer to use a wok to make the stir-fry. The rounded shape has more surface area, the pan material heats quickly, and it can sear the meat efficiently. However, a stainless steel pan or nonstick pan works well, especially the latter for those new to stir-frying.
Use medium-high heat to sear the chicken in vegetable oil. Add the chicken and don’t move the pieces until they brown on the surface, about 1 minute. Then saute them until fully cooked. The cooking time takes less than 5 minutes.
Add the honey sriracha sauce
Once the chicken is cooked to a tender and juicy texture, drizzle on the warm sauce. Give it a good toss to coat the meat evenly, and you’re ready to dig in.
You can always add more sriracha or chili flakes for a spicier taste or even reduce the amount if desired. Garnish with sliced green onion for a mild flavor and pop of color.
Now that you know how to make sriracha honey chicken, try these tasty ways to switch up the recipe!
- Protein: Use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you like dark meat. Pork tenderloin, beef, shrimp, or tofu also work well with the sauce.
- Sweetener: Instead of honey, try pure maple syrup. It will have more of a caramelized flavor.
- Spicy: If you don’t have sriracha, try sambal oelek, gochujang, or buffalo sauce. The honey level may need to be adjusted to rebalance the flavor of the stir-fry sauce.
- Vegetables: Add healthy vegetables, like broccoli, Chinese broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, or zucchini.
- Fried rice
- Brown rice
- Cauliflower rice
- Chow mein or lo mein
- The best stir-fried bok choy
- Crab rangoon
Frequently asked questions
A Thai chili sauce that comes in various versions. The most popular brand was created by David Tran and is sold by his brand Huy Fong Foods. It’s a clear bottle with a green top. It combines ground red chilies, sugar, distilled vinegar, garlic, and xantham gum. It has a thick, ketchup-like consistency. It can be added as a seasoning to sweet, spicy, and garlic flavor to foods.
Sambal oelek is the best chili paste substitute. Gochujang is a very thick Korean chili paste with fermented soybeans. None of these have added sugar, so you may need to add a sweetener to balance the taste. For a thicker spicy sauce, try using buffalo sauce.
Yes, you can mix all the sauce ingredients, then add it to the stir-fried chicken. Cook the chicken for 1 to 2 minutes less to account for the extra time needed to simmer the sauce until thickened. This prevents the meat from overcooking.
How to quickly thicken the sauce
A cornstarch slurry is a common thickener in Chinese cuisine, added in small amounts near the end of cooking to near boiling liquid. For this recipe, the mixture of water, soy sauce, and honey cooks first, and then an equal mixture of cold water and cornstarch is added. Keep the sauce hot for the starches to gelatinize and swell. Whisk together the cornstarch and cold water first. Adding the cornstarch directly to the hot liquid will create a clumpy consistency.
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Sriracha Honey Chicken
Honey Sriracha Sauce
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup sliced green onion
- Make the Stir-fry Sauce – In a small saucepan, whisk together the chicken stock, honey, soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, and chili flakes. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Thicken the Sauce – In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Add to the saucepan, stirring constantly until thickened, about 30 to 60 seconds. Turn off the heat a cover to keep warm.
- Season the Chicken – In a medium bowl, add the cubed chicken. Season with the salt and pepper, stir to combine. Add the cornstarch, and toss to evenly coat.
- Cook the Chicken – Heat a wok, nonstick pan, or stainless steel pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil. Once hot and shimmering, carefully add the chicken in a single layer. Sear without moving until browned, about 1 minute. Stir-fry until no longer pink and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the Sauce – Turn off the heat and pour the sauce over the chicken. Stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To Serve – Garnish with green onions. Serve with steamed rice or desired side dishes.
- Serving Size: 6 ounces of chicken plus sauce.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Use tamari or coconut aminos for soy sauce.
- Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: Cover and microwave on high setting in 15 to 30-second increments until hot.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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