Succulent chicken pieces, fragrant aromatics, Chinese broccoli, and snow peas get stir-fried in a rich and savory umami-packed sauce starring XO sauce. This XO Sauce Chicken & Chinese Broccoli Stir-fry is ready in under 30 minutes and a weeknight winner!
For the XO Sauce Chicken & Chinese Broccoli Stir-fry:
3.5 TBLS Canola Oil (or any other neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point)
1 TSP Pure Chili Oil (optional – without seeds/flakes)
½ small Yellow Onion – sliced into ¼-inch wide strips, then sliced in half again widthwise
1 Spring Onion (Scallion/Green Onion) – cut into 1.5-inch pieces, white & light green parts separated from dark green parts
3 Garlic cloves – minced
1 TBLS minced Ginger
1 Large Red Chili – deseeded if desired, sliced at an angle
2–10 fresh Red Chilies (I used Bird’s Eye, but any small hot red chilies will work), to taste – chopped
50 grams / 1.76 ounces Snow Peas – hairy parts trimmed, washed and pat-dried
150 grams / 5.3 ounces / 4-5 pieces Chinese Broccoli (see notes for substitutes*) – stems peeled, sliced at an angle
¼ TSP Kosher Salt (see notes*)
Marinate the chicken: Clean and pat-dry the chicken breast. Then slice into thin bite-sized strips. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, ground white pepper, low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, potato starch, and sesame oil. Mix well until evenly combined, then set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.
Make the sauce: Mix together the XO sauce, fish sauce, low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, oyster sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, white sugar, potato starch, sesame oil, and water in a small measuring cup (or bowl) until combined well.
Prepare the fresh ingredients: Prepare/chop the yellow onion, spring onion (separating the white and light green parts from the dark green parts), garlic, ginger, large red chili, small red chilies, Chinese broccoli, and snow peas as indicated in the ‘Ingredients’ section.
For the XO Sauce Chicken & Chinese Broccoli Stir-fry:
Cook the chicken: Heat 1.5 tablespoons canola oil in a large wok over high heat. Once hot, add the marinated chicken and immediately spread the pieces out in the wok. Allow to sear for 40 seconds, then stir-fry for 1 minute until the chicken is 80% cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a fine mesh strainer held above the wok to let the excess oil drip into it. Then transfer the chicken to a clean bowl. Wipe out the wok with paper towels.
Stir-fry the onion and aromatics: Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil and 1 TSP chili oil (if using) in the wok over high heat. Once hot, add the yellow onion and spring onion white and light green parts. Sauté for 30 seconds until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, large red chili, and small red chilies and stir-fry to combine for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Stir-fry the veggies: Add the snow peas and Chinese broccoli and season with kosher salt. Toss to combine for a minute, until the leafy parts of the Chinese broccoli have slightly wilted.
Add the chicken and sauce: Add the chicken back into the wok and pour the sauce on top of everything. Stir-fry continuously for a minute until everything is coated well in the sauce and it starts to thicken. If the sauce thickens too much too quickly, add a splash of water and continue tossing.
Stir through spring onion greens: Stir through the spring onion dark green parts, then switch off the heat.
To Serve: Transfer to a serving plate/dish and serve immediately with warm steamed rice.
Staple Asian sauces and condiments and substitutes: Shao Xing rice wine (Chinese cooking wine), oyster sauce, fish sauce, and chinkiang vinegar (Chinese black vinegar) are available at Asian supermarkets, Chinese groceries stores, and online. Some of these can also be found in mainstream supermarkets that are well stocked with international ingredients. Substitute dry sherry for Shao Xing rice wine. Use half white and half balsamic vinegar in a pinch if Chinkiang vinegar (or other Chinese black vinegar) is unavailable. Soy sauce can be used for fish sauce in a pinch, but try to seek out the fish sauce as even the small quantity adds depth of flavor and incomparable umami notes.
XO Sauce. This is savory and spicy umami-packed Cantonese condiment made with dried seafood, Jinhua pork (Chinese ham), aromatics (garlic and shallots), and chili peppers. Although several brands produce this condiment, Lee Kum Kee’s XO sauces are the most readily available outside of Hong Kong. I used their extra hot XO sauce, but you can use their regular XO sauce for a milder dish. A homemade XO sauce would work too. Find it in an Asian supermarket or Chinese groceries story.
Adjust spice level to taste. Use less fresh red chilies (or omit completely) and a regular (not extra spicy XO sauce) for a milder dish. You can also omit the pure chili oil for cooking to reduce the spice level.
Kosher salt. Use about half the amount if using iodized table salt as it is saltier than kosher salt.
Veggie substitutes. Sliced broccolini, bok choy, choy sum, regular broccoli or other leafy Asian greens can be used in place of the Chinese broccoli. Sliced baby corn, asparagus (ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces), or green beans can replace the snow peas. Other great veggie options are sliced carrots, bell peppers, and celery.
Meat/protein options. Sliced pork collar, pork tenderloin (fillet), or beef skirt or flank steak can be used in place of the chicken breast. You could also use fried tofu puffs (known as ‘tau pok’ and available in the fridge section of Asian supermarkets) instead.