Brown sugar and Gochujang, a Korean chili paste sauce coated and air-fried chicken marinated in ginger and garlic. Then stir-fried with crunchy steamed broccoli, served with rice and a fresh salad of scallions, onions, radishes, and jalapenos for a delicious chicken and broccoli stir-fry twist.
The Other KFC
There is a Korean fried chicken place close to where I live. Additionally, I love their “Soy Garlic Spring Onion Chicken” dish, an ultra crispy potato-starch-battered chicken wing dish smothered in a gochujang sweet and spicy sauce glaze and then topped with freshly sliced onions.
The combination of sticky sauce hot and crispy chicken with raw onions is so good! Sadly, I can't eat this all the time. As a result, I had to come up with this chicken and broccoli stir-fry that would satisfy my cravings for dinner and not make me feel guilty for only eating a box of spicy chicken wings!
Looking for my stir-fried recipes? Check out this other sweet and spicy treat, Hot Honey Sesame Chicken with Nappa Cabbage Stir-Fry. Another great stir fry I recently cooked again on the grill with my wok was the Chicken, Mushrooms, Peppers, and Green Beans Stir-Fry in Hoisin Sauce recipe. Finally, an ultimate personal favorite of mine is the Shrimp Shishito Eggplant Stir-Fry.
Chinese American Influence
To show that the migration of people worldwide creates stories that become history and a timeline of the cuisine we know today, notice that this chicken and broccoli stir-fry dish is also influenced by Chinese American cuisine by adding broccoli with the chicken pieces in the stir-fry.
You can also catch a snip of the American Chinese cuisine timeline story in my Hot Honey Sesame Chicken with Nappa Cabbage Stir-Fry recipe post.
Korean Food Love
Korean cuisine gives me the "from anotha' motha'" vibe. If you are not familiar with that saying, it just means a friend you are close to that feels like you could be siblings.
Thus, Korean food feels like that for me, as if it’s a distant relative's cuisine that I grew up on. For some reason, Korean food brings me so much comfort. I also have the utmost respect for South Korean culture and appreciate their delicious flavors and techniques.
Additionally, you can read more about this "bromance" in my Beef Flavored Seaweed Ramyun with Egg, Gochujang, and Mushrooms recipe post.
Ingredients and Instructions
Alright, so let's get into it. For this chicken and broccoli stir-fry dish, start by making a garlic, ginger, and onion paste. In addition, this will be used as a quick chicken marinade. Then, add a beaten egg to the chicken mixture and combine well.
This sticky mixture will help the panko, Japanese-style breadcrumbs, adhere to the chicken. Ever heard of “Shake and Bake”? I believe it used to be an old American Household Name product where you take the bread crumb mixture and a bag, and you would shake the bread crumbs and chicken together and then bake it.
Well, it is almost like that. But you will get a sealable container or bag, add the breadcrumbs, then add the sticky chicken mixture and shake well. Just to make a quick and easy chicken coating.
Then, you will use your air fryer to cook this for less than 8 minutes. Super quick and easy air fryer chicken!
Quick Stir-Fry Sauce
The sauce comprises gochujang, a Korean spicy chili paste, and brown sugar. I also personally love the caramelization of brown sugar due to its addition of molasses. Then, add soy sauce, black vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and water.
Just be aware that black vinegar, like soy sauce, contains wheat for those making substitutes to make it gluten-free. Additionally, I chose black vinegar for its deep, rich flavor. However, you can substitute black vinegar with seasoned rice wine vinegar.
In addition, I already modified and doubled the chicken and broccoli stir-fry recipe's sauce yield to create more sauce if you were thinking of doing so.
Sides and Garnish
Serve it with warm rice, but I like to do it with Korean-inspired multigrain rice. I also use this rice in my Spicy Tuna Rice Bowl recipe.
Top this hot, sticky chicken dish with fresh, crisp, thinly sliced onions, scallions, red radishes, jalapenos, cilantro leaves, and sesame seeds. It sounds like a lot, but sometimes you really gotta treat yourself!
See the gochujang chicken and broccoli 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 related detailed steps can be found there.
- Black Vinegar - Rice Vinegar or Seasoned Rice Vinegar should be okay. It won't have the same dark, rich tone to it, but it will work.
- Multigrain Rice - Use sushi rice!
- Radish - Pick up some crunchy julienne White Korean Pickled Radish, then toss it with the onions, scallions, and jalapenos.
- Quick Stir Fry Sauce Prep Idea - Combine ½ cup of Teriyaki sauce with two tablespoons of Gochujang. However, It won't taste quite the same, but it will get you there. Ensure to taste for sweetness and add more sugar if needed when making this mixture before cooking it.
Change Heat Level - Modify the gochujang chicken and broccoli stir-fry recipe's heat level to your liking, and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich - Omit the rice and broccoli and make a gojuchang chicken sandwich with the onion garnish and extra sauce. Instead of making chicken pieces, butterfly the chicken and then cut it into four cutlets. Then toss in the egg mixture and panko, then air fry. Also, use a toasted buttered brioche bun.
- More Steamed Vegetables - Add sugar snap peas, snow peas, asparagus, and bell pepper.
- The Sauce is a Keeper - Use the recipe’s sauce for fried chicken or baked chicken wings.
- Korean Fried Shrimp - Try shrimp in this recipe instead of chicken.
- Stir-Fry Noodles - Replace the rice with your favorite spicy instant noodles. Firstly, boil the noodles, drain most of the water, and add the seasoning packet. Then combine and add the chicken broccoli, stir-fry, and top with the vegetable garnish.
- Air Fryer - This recipe was developed using the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill. However, if you do not have an air fryer, you can try roasting in the oven. You also have two options with different results: a sheet pan with parchment paper or a sheet pan with a sheet pan rack.
- Firstly, the parchment paper will produce chicken and broccoli roasted in their juices and caramelization at the bottom.
- In contrast, the sheet pan rack will result in just roasting around the chicken and broccoli due to the hot air flowing around them.
- Now, the trick is not to overcrowd in whatever method you choose, but if this happens, toss in between cooking.
- Wok - Used for making the sauce and stir-frying the chicken and broccoli on high heat quickly. In addition, I developed this recipe using the Bielmeier Carbon Steel Wok. It is also thoughtfully packaged with easy instructions to season the pan. Not only is it lightweight and the perfect size to store, but it comes with the choice of a wooden or glass lid and utensils.
- Medium Holding Tray - Used to hold the air-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.
- Medium Mixing Bowl - Used for the ice bath to crisp up the garnish.
- Small Mixing Bowl - For making the sauce/
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Storage - In the fridge, you can store the chicken, broccoli stir-fry, and rice in an airtight food container. For the vegetable garnish, you can also store them in an airtight food container with a damp, folded paper towel lining the bottom; this will last two days.
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 and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
- When Stir-frying - it is essential to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go in addition to being close by; since it is a rapid process, you don't want your sauce to dry out or your ingredients to burn. I used avocado oil since it has an excellent high smoke point.
- Don't have a food processor?
- Garlic: Smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife to make it flat and mince find
- Onion: Use a box grater and place it directly on your cutting board over a flat plate or large bowl. Cut the onion in half and use the side with the big holes (i.e., course grate) or chop finely.
- Ginger: Peel the ginger root with a spoon by scraping the skin off and use the box grater on the side with the small holes (i.e., fine grate) to grate it.
- Then, combine all the ingredients.
- Don't have an air fryer?
- Try baking it in the oven at the same temperature of 390 Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes. However, this is suggested by experience; this suggestion has not yet been recipe-tested. In addition, use a half-sheet pan with a rack.
- Slicing Chicken Trick - Thaw out only halfway to get even slices if using frozen chicken.
- Breading Chicken Alternative - Another option is to use a shallow container with a lid or a Batter Bowl. To begin with, make a layer of bread crumbs. Then, add several chicken pieces without overcrowding the container and place the lid on. Afterward, hold the container tight and shake well. Finally, remove the breaded chicken pieces. If you need to add more breadcrumbs, do so. Then, repeat the process until all the chicken pieces are coated with panko.
Frequently Asked Questions
Steaming or boiling the broccoli for about two to three minutes before stir-frying creates a more tender broccoli. In contrast, it is going straight into the wok raw results in unevenly cooked broccoli.
The key to tender chicken in stir-fries is to slice it thin and cook it on high heat for a short time to prevent drying.
Avoid using refined oils like extra-virgin olive oil and toasted sesame oil; these are not high smoke point oils. You might get away with regular olive oil, but it is not recommended.
In addition, toasted sesame oil should be used towards the end, not as a cooking oil. The same also goes for regular sesame oil; if you use it as a cooking oil, mix it with a neutral vegetable oil with a high smoking point.
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Looking for other poultry recipes like this? Try these:
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- 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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