This Black Pepper-Garlic Chicken i one on my favorite Stir-fry recipes, inspired by Black Pepper Chicken served at Panda Express Restaurants. The savory sauce took a bit of tinkering, but I think this copycat version is really close… and it’s delicious, too!
1 lb boneless, skinless Chicken meat, cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons Rice Wine (Saki) or Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 large egg white
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Canola or Peanut Oil- divided
For the stiry fry:
2 cups thinly sliced Celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced Onion- red or yellow
1/2 cup sliced Green onions
1-2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons Canola or Peanut Oil for frying
Sesame Seeds for garnish- optional
1/4 cup Oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Black Pepper (to taste)
2-3 teaspoons mild Molasses or honey (to taste)
1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar or Rice Wine (Sake)
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
Prepare the chicken:
Whisk the egg white, cornstarch, rice wine, salt and 1 Tablespoon of oil in a medium bowl until smooth.
Add the sliced chicken and stir until coated.
Refrigerate (marinate) 30 minutes. Drain in colander.
Add 1-2 inches of water plus 1 Tablespoon oil to the skillet. Bring to a full boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Immediately add chicken strips, individually, to the almost-boiling water. Stir with slotted spoon so they don’t stick together.
Once the water comes back to a barely-bubbling simmer, cook the chicken strips for 1 minute longer, stirring occasionally.
After 1 minute, remove the chicken with a slotted spoon into the colander to fully drain.
Put the drained strips into bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Stir fry time:
Stir all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, allowing about 10-15 minutes for the flavors to mingle/mature while you slice the vegetables. Before stir-frying, taste the sauce and adjust the heat and sweetness as desired. Set aside.
Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until almost smoking.
Add the sliced red/yellow onions to the skillet, stirring constantly for about one minute. At this point, your skillet has cooled down significantly. Crank the heat up to high if neccessary.
Add the sliced celery, green onions and chopped garlic to the skillet. Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes until the celery is tender-crisp.
Add the stir-fry sauce. Heat and stir until the sauce is bubbling hot.
Add the velveted chicken, reduce the heat to medium and stir to coat. Let the chicken heat through, about 1-2 minutes longer.
Serve over prepared Basmati or Jasmine Rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and additional sliced green onions as desired.