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Delicious Homemade Black Pepper Chicken

Why settle for takeout when you can create a mouthwatering Black Pepper Chicken at home? This recipe combines juicy chicken, crisp vegetables, and a savory black pepper sauce for a dish that’s sure to impress. Serve it over white rice, brown rice, or Chinese noodles for a complete meal.


Black Pepper Chicken is a classic Chinese dish that has won the hearts of many with its bold flavors and simple preparation. This homemade version is not only healthier than takeout but also incredibly tasty. With the perfect balance of sweet and savory, it features tender chicken pieces, vibrant bell peppers, and a robust black pepper sauce. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, this recipe is easy to follow and guarantees a delicious result every time.


For the Black Pepper Sauce

  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing Wine or sherry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar or 2 tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

For the Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into thin bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper or green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin


Preparing the Black Pepper Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, Shaoxing Wine, brown sugar, cornstarch, and fresh ground black pepper. Set aside.

Marinating the Chicken

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Let the chicken rest and marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Cooking the Chicken

  1. Heat a little vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the marinade and add it to the skillet in a single layer. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, flipping once to brown the other side. Work in batches if necessary, and remove the chicken to a plate as it is cooked.

Stir-Frying the Vegetables

  1. Add a little more vegetable oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, cooking for several minutes until crisp-tender. Reduce the heat to low, add the minced garlic and grated ginger, and cook for 1 minute while stirring continuously. Remove the cooked vegetables to a plate.

Combining Everything

  1. Reduce the heat to medium. Whisk the sauce ingredients again and pour the sauce into the skillet. Cook until slightly thickened, stirring several times. Add the chicken and the vegetables back to the skillet for a couple of minutes to warm the dish. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve immediately.
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Tips for the Best Black Pepper Chicken

  • Uniform Chicken Pieces: Cut the chicken breast into small, thin, bite-sized uniform pieces to ensure they cook quickly and evenly.
  • Substitute Chicken Thighs: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used instead of chicken breasts for a juicier texture.
  • Bell Pepper Variety: Feel free to use any color bell pepper you like. Red, green, orange, and yellow bell peppers all work well, adding great flavor and texture.
  • Ginger Alternatives: Ginger paste is a convenient alternative to fresh ginger and can last about a month in the fridge once opened.
  • Add More Veggies: Try adding a variety of vegetables like broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, snap peas, and baby corn for extra flavor and nutrition.
  • Serve Immediately: This dish is best served immediately while the vegetables are still crisp-tender and the chicken is warm.
  • Storing Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave at reduced power to prevent overcooking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use other types of meat for this recipe?

Yes, you can use other meats like beef, pork, or even tofu as a vegetarian option. Adjust the cooking times accordingly to ensure the meat or tofu is cooked through.

Is there a substitute for Shaoxing Wine?

If you don’t have Shaoxing Wine, you can use dry sherry or even rice vinegar in a pinch. The flavor will be slightly different, but it will still be delicious.

How can I make this dish spicier?

To add some heat, you can include sliced chili peppers or a dash of chili sauce to the stir-fry. Adjust to your taste preferences.

Can I make this dish gluten-free?

Yes, to make this dish gluten-free, use tamari or a gluten-free soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce. Ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free as well.

What can I serve with Black Pepper Chicken?

Black Pepper Chicken pairs well with steamed rice, fried rice, or Chinese noodles. You can also serve it with a side of steamed vegetables or a light salad.

How do I prevent the chicken from becoming tough?

To prevent the chicken from becoming tough, avoid overcooking it. Thin, uniformly cut pieces will cook quickly, and marinating them with cornstarch helps to keep them tender.

By following this recipe, you’ll have a delicious and healthier alternative to takeout Black Pepper Chicken. Enjoy cooking and savor the rich flavors of this homemade dish!