Firecracker Chicken Breast is made with tender white meat coated in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce. A super easy and healthy Chinese dish that takes much better than take-out!
Easy Firecracker Chicken – Better than take-out!
This Firecracker Chicken Breast recipe is rich and flavorful and ready in about 15 minutes. It is similar in taste and texture to Sweet and Spicy chicken, but much healthier. Here, I use only a few ingredients and very little oil. The meat is coated in a delicious black bean sauce, and unlike the restaurant version, this dish is not deep-fried.
It is the perfect dinner recipe to make during busy weekdays. It is ready in about 15 minutes from start to finish, and it tastes even better than the take-out. Not to mention that it is healthier and way cheaper! In addition, feel free to make a larger batch and refrigerate. This way, you can enjoy it during the week with some white rice or noodles.
Give this American-style Chinese food a try, and you will see why this recipe is so loved by everyone around the world! It has the most amazing combination of sweet and spicy flavors, with tender and juicy chicken meat!
What is Firecracker Chicken?
This is a Chinese-inspired dish, where tender chicken meat is cooked in a simple sweet and spicy sauce. It is a quick meal to prepare and should be ready in about 15 minutes.
Also, it is a healthier alternative than the takeout, as the meat is lightly fried on the stovetop in a deliciously spicy and sweet-based sauce.
How to make Firecracker Chicken Breast?
- Cook the meat: In a wok, or large skillet, heat some oil, over high heat. Then, once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces that have been dredged in flour and cornstarch and beaten eggs. Brown the meat for about 2-3 minutes per each side. Remove, and set aside.
- Add in the veggies: Next, add the vegetables to the pan and cook for about 1 minute in sesame oil. Stir well.
- Make the sauce: Add ginger, garlic, red chili pepper flakes, and black beans in the skillet. Then, stir-fry for another minute, add the chili sauce, and stir until the veggies are well covered. Mix the ingredients for the Sauce and add them to the pan.
- Add back the chicken: Lastly, add the meat back to the pan and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
- Serve: Serve warm over some white or brown rice.
Firecracker Chicken variations and substitutions:
- Other meats: Feel free to substitute white chicken breast with drumsticks. Alternatively, you can use other meats, such as pork, beef, shrimp, or even turkey.
- Add more veggies: For a healthier kick, add more veggies to the dish. Broccoli, peas, carrots, are all great additions.
- Vegetarian: To make it vegetarian, skip the meat altogether. Instead, use fried tofu.
- Oven-baked firecracker chicken: To make it in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then, lightly grease a baking pan. Then, place into the oven and bake until the sauce has thickened, for about 35 minutes, turning over every 15 minutes to evenly coat the meat.
How spicy is firecracker chicken?
This dish is on the spicier side as hot red chili peppers are used. However, the spiciness is well balanced with the sweetness, making it the perfect match. Also, if you want to reduce the heat, simply use less hot red peppers.
What to serve with Firecracker Chicken Breast?
Traditionally, this meal is served over white rice or some steamed veggies on the side.
How to store leftovers?
Refrigerate: Use an airtight container to store leftovers for up to 4 days.
Freeze: To freeze leftovers, use a freezer-safe container. Then, freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
Reheat: The quickest way to reheat it would be in the microwave for a few minutes until warm.
More delicious Asian recipes:
- Chicken Fried Rice
- Shrimp and Broccoli
- Skinny Mongolian Beef Noodles
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken
- The heat level can be adjusted based on your preference. Just use more or fewer chili peppers.
- Also, this dish can be made with either chicken breasts or thighs.
- Ensure to have the wok and oil very hot before adding the meat.
- In addition, do not crowd the pan. If the chicken pieces are too close together, they’ll steam instead of brown which you want to avoid.
Firecracker Chicken Breast is made with tender white meat coated in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce.
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1" chunks
- 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1" chunks
- 1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- 6 pieces whole dry chili peppers or more
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more
- 2 tablespoons black beans washed
- 1 small onion sliced into 1/3 inch wedges
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 pounds chicken breasts boneless and skinless - cut into 1" chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
Pat dry the chicken, cut it into 1' pieces and lightly season it with salt and some pepper.
Place a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil.
In a shallow bowl whisk together the flour and cornstarch. Set aside.
Add the beaten eggs to another shallow bowl.
Once the oil starts shimmering, dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mix, dip into beaten eggs, then dredge in flour mix again, shake excess.
Add chicken to the skillet, and cook until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes on each side. Work in batches, do not add too many chicken pieces to the pan.
Once fried, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Discard the vegetable oil and wipe clean the skillet.
Place the skillet back over medium-high heat and add the sesame oil.
Once shimmering, add the bell peppers, chili peppers, and onion, stir and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Add the ginger, garlic, and black beans and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the Thai sweet chili sauce, stir and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
Mix the Sauce ingredients in a bowl and add to the pan, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add back the chicken, stir well, and cook for another 2 minutes.
Serve with rice.