Mongolian chicken is a delicious alternative to classic Mongolian beef. The chicken thigh pieces are covered in the most delicious Mongolian stir-fry sauce that is complemented by flavorful green onions, garlic, and ginger. It's an absolute must-make for all stir-fry lovers!
If you’ve ever wondered how to make Mongolian chicken at home, be sure to give this recipe a try! It is super simple to make with ingredients that can be reused for other delicious stir-fry recipes like kung pao chicken or cashew chicken.
Plus, you can add your favorite vegetables to this dish and serve it alongside a bowl of warm white rice to turn it into a filling and satisfying meal that is super quick to make!
Mongolian Chicken Ingredients
To make Mongolian chicken you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Chicken thighs: Boneless skinless chicken thighs work great in stir-fry recipes as they don’t dry out as quickly. They tend to be really juicy, so I’d recommend using chicken thighs to make this dish.
- Aromatics: You’ll need garlic, ginger, and green onions to add flavor to this dish.
- Dried chilies (optional): Dried chilies are an optional addition if you want to make this Mongolian chicken spicy. If you prefer it mild, just skip it.
- Low-sodium soy sauce: Be sure to use low-sodium soy sauce. If you use regular soy sauce, the stir-fry sauce will be too salty. I tried it both ways and low-sodium soy sauce is just perfect!
- Dark soy sauce: Dark soy sauce has a very unique and deep flavor, so I love to use some in addition to low-sodium soy sauce. If you like stir-fry recipes, I highly recommend buying a bottle. You won’t regret it!
- Chicken broth: You’ll need chicken broth to make the sauce. You could also use water or another type of stock. But if possible, use chicken broth.
- Honey: Use honey or brown sugar to add some sweetness and to balance the flavor of the sauce. I love honey but sugar works just as nicely!
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is needed to thicken the sauce. It’s great to have some on hand if you like to make stir-fries.
- White pepper: White pepper isn’t as strong as black pepper which makes it great for Mongolian chicken. If you prefer a stronger pepper flavor, you can use regular black pepper.
How to make Mongolian chicken
Here are the steps you need to follow to make this super quick and simple Mongolian chicken:
- Marinate the chicken thighs: Place the chicken thigh pieces in a bowl and add some low sodium soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vegetable oil, cornstarch, and white pepper. Then toss until combined and set aside.
- Prepare the sauce: Next, whisk together low-sodium soy sauce, chicken broth, dark soy sauce, honey, cornstarch, and white pepper. Set the sauce aside.
- Cook the chicken: Now preheat some vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken thigh pieces until cooked through and remove them from the pan.
- Sauté the aromatics: Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the garlic, ginger, dried chilies (optional), and white green onion parts over medium heat until fragrant.
- Add the sauce and simmer: Next, give the sauce a quick stir and add it to the pan. Let it simmer until it thickens. Use some cornstarch slurry (equal parts of cornstarch and water mixed) if needed to thicken it even more.
- Combine: Now add back the chicken thigh pieces and stir in the remaining green onion parts. Toss until the chicken is covered in sauce and reheated. Enjoy!
Tips & Notes
Here are a few helpful notes to check out before you try this Mongolian chicken recipe.
- Prepare all ingredients in advance. It makes cooking this dish much more enjoyable as everything cooks very quickly so you don’t have a lot of time to chop anything while cooking.
- Use low-sodium soy sauce. If you use regular soy sauce, the dish will be too salty. You can use regular soy sauce and thin it with water if you don’t have access to low-sodium soy sauce.
- Adjust the heat while cooking. Using a lower heat setting when sautéing the aromatics is important as they can burn. I also like to use some extra oil to bring the temperature down. So just adjust the heat as needed to make sure nothing burns.
There are a few ways to modify this recipe. Here are my favorites to switch up the flavor of this dish:
- Vegetables: This recipe doesn’t have many vegetables so I’d recommend adding some if you want to! Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery, bok choy, and many others would go really well with the sauce and chicken.
- Spicy: If you want to make this dish spicy, you can use dried chilies, fresh chili pepper, or red chili flakes. I love some extra spice so I usually add dried chilies or red chili flakes such as gochugaru.
How to serve Mongolian chicken
Here are some ideas to serve Mongolian chicken:
- White rice: White rice is a classic side dish that I’d recommend preparing when you make this Mongolian chicken.
- Dumplings: You could also prepare dumplings like Japanese gyoza. You can buy different types of dumplings at Asian grocery stores or make them yourself at home.
- Spring rolls: Spring rolls would make for another delicious addition to your meal. They can be bought or made at home with wrappers.
- Vegetable side dishes: Vegetable side dishes like kimchi, Korean cucumber salad, or pickled radishes taste great with most stir-fries. So feel free to serve some alongside your main dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s only spicy when you add dried chilies. So if you prefer mild dishes, this Mongolian chicken is just right for you! And if you prefer some heat, you can make it spicy with dried chilies or other simple additions.
Yes, but make sure to not overcook the chicken breast pieces. They become dry very quickly so don’t cook them for too long. If you want to be sure that the chicken is juicy and tender, I recommend sticking to chicken thighs.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.
More simple and delicious stir-fry recipes
If you love stir-fries as much as I do, I recommend checking out the following recipes. They taste really delicious and are very easy to make.
Chicken Marinade Ingredients
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 ½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- white pepper to taste
Stir Fry Sauce Ingredients
- ⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey or brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- white pepper to taste
Stir Fry Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ tablespoon minced ginger
- 3 dried chilies (optional, they are spicy!) cut into pieces if desired
- 3 green onions white and green parts separated, cut into 1-inch pieces
- First, place the chicken thigh pieces in a bowl and add all marinade ingredients. Then toss until the chicken pieces are evenly covered in sauce.1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, 1 ½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce, ½ tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, white pepper
- Next, whisk together all stir-fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside.⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce, ¼ cup chicken broth, 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons honey, 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch, white pepper
- Preheat half of the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Then sear the chicken thigh pieces until they are cooked through. Remove them from the pan.
- Next, add the other half of the oil to the pan. Sauté the garlic, ginger, dried chilies (optional), and white green onion over medium heat until fragrant.3 garlic cloves, ½ tablespoon minced ginger, 3 dried chilies (optional, they are spicy!), 3 green onions
- Now give the sauce a quick stir and pour it into the pan. Let it thicken and add some cornstarch slurry (cornstarch and water mixed) if needed.
- Add back the chicken thigh pieces and stir in the remaining green onion parts. Toss until everything is covered in sauce and enjoy!
- This recipe doesn't have many vegetables so feel free to add some! You can sauté and remove them from the pan. Then add them back in the end.
- It's important to use low-sodium soy sauce as this dish will be too salty when it's made with regular soy sauce. If you don't have low-sodium soy sauce, you can use regular soy sauce that's thinned with water.