Spicy chicken with a hint of sweetness from hot honey with crispy vegetables over fragrant basmati brown rice cooked with kidney beans in coconut milk for an amazing chicken curry stir-fry.
Let’s Go East
The inspiration for this curry chicken stir-fry dish came from the love of a newly discovered dish I tried five years ago, Singapore Noodles. This noodle dish also originated in Cantonese Cuisine in Hong Kong.
These stir-fried noodles are usually made with thin rice noodles called vermicelli and tossed in a curry sauce with a common mixture of bell peppers, onions, cabbage, beansprouts, carrots, shrimp, and chicken.
East Side Curry
Call me ignorant, but I didn't realize how much curry-spiced dishes were used in East Asian foods, like Chinese. For example, in North East Asia, like in Japan, the curry sauce with Katsu, Japanese breaded cutlets are usually served with root vegetables in a thick curry sauce and steamed rice.
If you like stir-fried recipes, don’t forget to check out the Chinese-inspired Hot Honey Sesame Chicken with Nappa Cabbage Stir-Fry and Chicken, Mushrooms, Peppers, and Green Beans Stir-Fry in Hoisin Sauce recipe.
You also must try the Sweet and Spicy Gochujang Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry with Scallions Radish Salad for a more Korean vibe.
For a Japanese and Thai inspiration, check out Shishito Eggplant Shrimp Stir-Fry.
The Asian Connection
I understand Singapore more because it's located in South East Asia. For instance, other countries used curries, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, with India on the west.
However, the connection makes sense since Singapore has high transient traffic like Hong Kong, with a distance of about 1600 miles, shorter than New York to Seattle with 2400 miles.
A Timeline Story
In the future, I would love to research the cuisine timeline in-depth to look at the history of how "curry powder," with its many versions (e.g., Jamaican, Japanese, Indian, etc.), has influenced each country’s cuisine along the way.
Please let me know if you have any great books or websites on the matter that you'd like to include! But we also have to mention the Jamaican influence on this dish.
Rice and Peas! Okay, of course, this recipe is a quick rice cooker version, not the authentic slow-cooking, yummy, famous coconut rice and beans dish. Sorry, I just imagine smothering my rice with some curry stew gravy!
Ingredients and Instructions
I kept it simple for the rice in the rice cooker; you'll combine basmati brown rice. I also just love how fluffy this rice comes out with kidney beans, chicken broth, coconut milk, and salt. You'll set this and forget it while you focus on prepping and cooking the rest of the meal.
For the Sauce
This is made ahead of time but used at the end, thickened up, and then garnished with fresh herbs. You'll then whisk together chicken broth, hot honey, and cornstarch to thicken, scotch bonnet pepper for that Caribbean kick, with chopped fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.
For the Chicken
The chicken is sliced thin and quickly marinated in Jamaican curry powder, smoked paprika powder, dried thyme, olive oil, salt, and ground black pepper and set aside.
For the Vegetables
Stir-fry the onions to brown in the oil and the chicken bits left by searing the chicken earlier, then add cabbage, bell peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, and carrots. And then garnish with cilantro and scallions.
See the curry chicken stir-fry recipe card for quantities.
Busy Folks - Become a better home cook with cooking tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab. In addition, some detailed steps can be found there, like Important things you should know about cooking in a wok.
The idea was to make a quick version of curried chicken with rice and beans with vegetables for a quick, healthy meal. I also wanted the flavor to be sweet and spicy, complementing the crispy fresh vegetables.
- No Coconut Milk? If you dislike coconut milk, you can substitute the milk for ½ cup more chicken broth.
- Hot Honey - Replace this with regular honey or brown sugar.
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce - Use habanero pepper sauce, ½ teaspoon fresh/pickled Thai chilies, or ½ teaspoon red pepper chili flakes.
- Cornstarch - You can try sorghum flour, which is also gluten-free.
Change Heat Level - Modify the curry chicken stir-fry recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Cooking Rice on the Stove Top - You can cook the rice in a small sauce pot with a lid by bringing the water, coconut milk, and salt to a boil on medium heat.
- Once it starts to boil, add and combine the rice and beans, and reduce the heat to low-medium.
- When the liquid has evaporated from the surface, and you only see the rice with holes, cover it with a lid and reduce the heat to low.
- Do not lift the lid; cooking should take about 35 minutes. The rice will be done when all the liquid is gone and is tender to the bite.
- Curry Seafood Stir-Fry - Swap the chicken for shrimp or white flesh fish.
- Rice Cooker - An option to cook the rice. To develop this recipe, I used the Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker. It's a simple rice cooker I've also had for years. Another popular, highly-rated rice cooker I've seen people talk about is the Zojirushi Rice Cooker. It's expensive, but I would love to try it one day.
- Wok - Used for stir-frying the curry chicken stir-fry on high heat quickly. Additionally, I developed this recipe using the Bielmeier Carbon Steel Wok. It is also thoughtfully packaged with easy instructions to season the pan. On top of that, it is lightweight and the perfect size to store. Furthermore, it can come with a wooden or glass lid and utensils.
- Medium Holding Tray - Used to hold the stir-fried chicken. I suggest using a metal tray like the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet Pan since it is the perfect size to place next to the stove to keep the ingredients warm.
- Mandoline - I used my Benriner Japanese Classic Slicer for this recipe to slice the carrots into thin, uniform matchsticks.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, place the rice and curry chicken stir-fry in a separate 2-inch shallow container to cool down quickly. Then, store in an air-tight sealing container. The rice and stir-fry will last up to three days.
- Freezer - Follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then, you can place it in the freezer in a labeled, airtight container.
- Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave them and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
Cutting Chicken Tip - If you use frozen chicken, thaw it out halfway to cut perfect slices. Learn more about prepping chicken.
Are you a big fan of curry? Then you must try the Curried Chickpeas and Mushrooms with Spiced Brown Basmati Rice recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Interestingly, stirfrying and sauteeing are similar since both require a small amount of oil on high heat. However, stirfrying is a quick cooking method to ensure the uniformly cut vegetables and meats are cooked to their optimum tenderness while staying crisp at a much higher temperature.
Looking for other stir-fry recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for other poultry recipes like this? Try these:
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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