15-Minute Chinese Chicken Curry Recipe

by Ella

Chinese chicken curry is a beloved dish that combines the bold flavors of curry with tender chicken and an array of colorful vegetables. This comforting and aromatic dish is a staple in Chinese cuisine, offering a perfect balance of savory, spicy, and slightly sweet flavors. While ordering Chinese takeout is convenient, mastering the art of homemade Chinese chicken curry allows you to customize the ingredients, control the spice level, and create a dish that’s tailored to your taste preferences. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore step-by-step instructions, essential ingredients, and expert tips for making delicious Chinese chicken curry in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Chinese Chicken Curry

Chinese chicken curry is a variation of traditional curry dishes that originated in India but has been adapted to suit Chinese culinary preferences. Unlike Indian curries, which often feature a rich and creamy sauce made with yogurt or coconut milk, Chinese chicken curry typically has a lighter sauce base made with chicken broth or stock, seasoned with aromatic spices and thickened with cornstarch or flour.


The key components of Chinese chicken curry include tender pieces of chicken, vibrant vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and carrots, and a flavorful sauce infused with curry powder, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. The dish is often served over steamed rice or noodles, making it a hearty and satisfying meal.


Essential Ingredients for Chinese Chicken Curry

To make homemade Chinese chicken curry, you’ll need a combination of pantry staples, fresh ingredients, and aromatic spices. Here’s a list of essential ingredients you’ll need to prepare this flavorful dish:


Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs are commonly used in Chinese chicken curry. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces for even cooking and easy serving.


Curry Powder: Curry powder is a blend of spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and chili powder. It provides the signature flavor and vibrant yellow color to the curry sauce. Choose a high-quality curry powder for the best results.

Vegetables: Bell peppers, onions, and carrots are classic vegetables used in Chinese chicken curry. They add color, texture, and flavor to the dish. Feel free to customize the vegetable selection based on your preferences.

Garlic and Ginger: Fresh garlic and ginger are essential for adding depth of flavor and aroma to the curry sauce. Mince or finely chop the garlic and ginger before adding them to the dish.

Chicken Broth or Stock: Chicken broth or stock serves as the base of the curry sauce, providing moisture and flavor. You can use homemade or store-bought chicken broth, depending on your preference.

Soy Sauce: Soy sauce adds umami flavor and saltiness to the curry sauce. Use light or low-sodium soy sauce to control the sodium content of the dish.

Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent to give the curry sauce its desired consistency. Mix cornstarch with water to create a slurry before adding it to the sauce.

Oil: Vegetable oil or peanut oil is used for sautéing the chicken and vegetables. Choose a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point for best results.

Salt and Pepper: Season the curry sauce with salt and pepper to taste, adjusting the seasoning as needed throughout the cooking process.

Optional Garnishes: Fresh cilantro, green onions, or sesame seeds can be used as garnishes to add color and freshness to the finished dish.

Now that we’ve covered the essential ingredients let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions for making homemade Chinese chicken curry:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Making Chinese chicken curry at home is a straightforward process that involves a few key steps, including preparing the ingredients, sautéing the chicken and vegetables, making the curry sauce, and simmering everything together until tender and flavorful. Follow these step-by-step instructions for delicious results:

Prepare the Ingredients:

Start by gathering all the ingredients listed above and preparing them as follows:

Cut the chicken breasts or thighs into bite-sized pieces and season them with salt and pepper.

Chop the bell peppers, onions, and carrots into uniform pieces.

Mince or finely chop the garlic and ginger.

Mix the cornstarch with water to create a slurry.

Have the curry powder, soy sauce, and chicken broth or stock measured and ready to use.

Sauté the Chicken:

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken pieces to the skillet in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Sauté the chicken for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides and cooked through. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.

Sauté the Vegetables:

In the same skillet or wok, add another tablespoon of oil if needed. Add the chopped bell peppers, onions, and carrots to the skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Add the minced garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Make the Curry Sauce:

Reduce the heat to medium and sprinkle the curry powder over the sautéed vegetables. Stir to coat the vegetables evenly with the curry powder. Pour in the chicken broth or stock and soy sauce, stirring to combine. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer.

Thicken the Sauce:

Once the sauce is simmering, gradually add the cornstarch slurry to the skillet, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to cook the sauce for 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens to your desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

Simmer the Curry:

Return the cooked chicken pieces to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Stir to coat the chicken evenly with the curry sauce. Reduce the heat to low and let the curry simmer gently for 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the chicken to absorb the sauce.

Serve and Garnish:

Once the curry is ready, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh cilantro, green onions, or sesame seeds, if desired. Serve the Chinese chicken curry hot over steamed rice or noodles, accompanied by additional soy sauce or chili sauce on the side.

Expert Tips for Success

To ensure that your homemade Chinese chicken curry turns out delicious every time, consider these expert tips and tricks:

Use High-Quality Curry Powder: The quality of the curry powder can significantly impact the flavor of the dish. Invest in a high-quality curry powder from a reputable brand for the best results.

Customize the Spice Level: Adjust the amount of curry powder used in the recipe to control the spice level of the dish. Add more curry powder for a bolder flavor and more heat, or reduce the amount for a milder taste.

Don’t Overcook the Vegetables: To maintain their vibrant color and crisp texture, avoid overcooking the vegetables. Cook them just until tender-crisp to preserve their freshness and nutritional value.

Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: When sautéing the chicken and vegetables, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cooking in batches ensures that the ingredients cook evenly and achieve a golden brown color.

Adjust the Thickness of the Sauce: If the curry sauce is too thick, you can thin it out by adding additional chicken broth or water. Conversely, if the sauce is too thin, you can thicken it by simmering it for a few extra minutes or adding more cornstarch slurry.

Add Variations of Vegetables: While bell peppers, onions, and carrots are traditional vegetables used in Chinese chicken curry, feel free to experiment with other vegetables such as broccoli, snow peas, or mushrooms. Be mindful of the cooking time needed for different vegetables and adjust accordingly.

Marinate the Chicken: For extra flavor, marinate the chicken pieces in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a splash of rice vinegar before cooking. Marinating the chicken adds depth of flavor and helps tenderize the meat.

Use Low-Sodium Ingredients: To control the sodium content of the dish, opt for low-sodium soy sauce and chicken broth. This allows you to season the curry to your taste preferences without making it overly salty.

Make It Ahead of Time: Chinese chicken curry is a great make-ahead meal that tastes even better the next day. Prepare the curry up to 24 hours in advance, allowing the flavors to develop and meld together. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Serve with Accompaniments: Enhance the dining experience by serving Chinese chicken curry with a variety of accompaniments such as steamed rice, noodles, or crusty bread. Offer condiments such as soy sauce, chili sauce, or sliced green chilies on the side for added flavor.

By following these expert tips and tricks, you can master the art of homemade Chinese chicken curry and create a delicious and satisfying meal that’s sure to impress family and friends.

See Also: Homemade Chinese Curry Sauce


Chinese chicken curry is a classic dish that offers a perfect blend of comforting flavors, tender chicken, and vibrant vegetables. While it’s easy to order takeout, making homemade Chinese chicken curry allows you to customize the ingredients, control the spice level, and create a dish that’s tailored to your taste preferences.

By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide and incorporating expert tips and tricks, you can create a flavorful and aromatic curry that rivals your favorite restaurant version. Whether served over steamed rice or noodles, Chinese chicken curry is sure to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire.

So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure to create homemade Chinese chicken curry that’s sure to delight your taste buds and satisfy your cravings. With a little patience and creativity, you’ll soon be enjoying a delicious and comforting meal that’s perfect for any occasion.



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