Chinese Chicken With Mushroom

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Chinese Chicken With Mushroom is an easy to cook dish and not expensive too. It taste so good that your whole family would love to have it for dinner tonight! We are eating chicken a few nights a week in my house, and this is one of my favorite recipes. In fact, it’s become the boys’ favorite meal.

Chicken with Chinese Mushrooms

On the table in less than 20 minutes, this is the perfect quick meal.  No need to order take-out when you can whip up this scrumptious dish in no time.

Serve this Chicken with Chinese mushrooms recipe with Homemade Fried Rice for a meal that’s so good and authentic; your guests will think it came from a Chinese restaurant!

A dish of Chicken with Chinese mushrooms with fried rice in the background

I recently discovered a Chinese grocery store in my town.  I love cooking homemade Chinese food, so I just had to stop in.

Watch How To Make Chicken With Chinese Mushrooms

Chicken with Chinese MushroomsPlay Video

They had an amazing selection of dried mushrooms that I’ve seen in restaurant food but have never seen in the grocery store.  The mushrooms I chose were called black mushrooms.  They looked like the ones I see most often in Chinese dishes.

One of my favorite dishes from my local Chinese restaurant is Chicken with Chinese Mushrooms.  Its made in a deep-flavored sauce I just had to try to replicate and I have to say, I came really close!

This is a fantastic recipe that is super simple and tastes amazing!

Why this recipe works:

  • You can’t order takeout in the amount of time it takes to make this dish!
  • Adding the liquid from the soaked mushrooms is the perfect natural flavor addition to the sauce.
  • The recipe uses either fresh or dried mushrooms making ingredients readily available.

Creating This Recipe

When I first created this recipe, I made it exclusively with dried Chinese Mushrooms.  It tasted great, but I wanted to use ingredients that are easily found.

So, I added a mixture of dried and fresh mushrooms to show that if you can’t find dried Chinese mushrooms, it’s not the end of the world.

I went with dried shiitake mushrooms instead of actual Chinese mushrooms because they are not only easy to find, but they are absolutely delicious and fit the bill wonderfully.

I chose to let you choose the cut of chicken you like best.  I chose thighs because I feel dark meat chicken is more flavorful, but white meat is preferred by many.  It’s your choice.

a bowl of dried Chinese mushrooms

I have to admit that dried, these mushrooms don’t look too appetizing. Believe me, once they are re-hydrated they are packed with flavor and become the star of the dish!

How to Make Chicken with Chinese Mushrooms:

In a small bowl, soak the mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes or until they become tender.

A glass bowl with hot water being poured onto dried mushrooms

Once re-hydrated, Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and squeeze out any excess liquid. Reserve 1⁄4 cup of the liquid and set aside. This makes is the mushroom stock.

Heat a wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the heated wok and add the garlic.

The garlic added to the oil in the wok

Followed by the ginger.

The ginger added to the garlic added to the oil in the wok
The chicken added to the wok with the garlic and ginger

Stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken.

Stir-fry until the pink on the outside is no longer visible.

The chicken browning in the wok
The fresh mushrooms added to the wok with the chicken, garlic and ginger

Add the fresh mushrooms.

The re-hydrated, dried mushrooms added to the chicken and fresh mushroom mixture

Cook until tender and the liquid they release cooks down. Add the soaked mushrooms.Stir-fry another 2 or 3 minutes.  Add the oyster sauce, dark and light soy sauce.

The soy sauce and oyster sauce added to the wok with the chicken and mushroom mixture

Add the rice wine.

The rice wine being poured into the chicken and mushroom mixture in the wok.
The cornstarch mixture being poured into the wok

Add cornstarch mixed with water to thicken.

Bring to a boil and stir-fry until the mushrooms are coated and the sauce has thickened (another 2 or 3 minutes).

The green onions added to the wok with the Chicken and Chinese Mushrooms

Add the green onions.

Chicken and Chinese Mushrooms cooked in the wok ready to serve

Stir together with the chicken, mushrooms, and thick luscious sauce.

Serve and enjoy every last bite!

Chicken with Chinese mushrooms in a deep, rich sauce scattered with green onions

Cook’s Tips:

  • If you can’t find dried mushrooms, the fresh shiitake mushrooms work great on their own.
  • Having trouble finding Chinese rice wine?  You can replace it with dry sherry (which until now, I have always used in my Chinese cooking and it works really well).
  • Need an alternative to oyster sauce? Try using hoisin sauce or teriyaki sauce.  Both are great options.
  • Need an alcohol free recipe? Just use the mushroom or chicken stock instead.
  • I like to keep the mushrooms whole, but if they are too large, you can slice them.
  • Cornstarch & water is used to thicken this sauce.  Be sure that they are mixed until smooth to prevent clumping when added.  When in doubt, run it through a strainer.

Making the perfect stir-fry

  • Have all the ingredients prepped before starting. Things move quickly with a stir-fry. Have the ingredients cut & sliced, and your liquids measured before starting
  • Have your ingredients ready by wok. Having everything ready and close by helps add things quickly, making sure everything is cooked properly.
  • If you have a wok, use it.  Woks have a large cooking area and retain heat well, making it perfect for stir-fries. 
  • Don’t have a wok? Choose a pan with a large surface area and plenty of space to stir-fry and heat your pan before adding the oil. Heating will help prevent sticking. 
  • Cornstarch and water

Recipe Variations:

  • Serve with a side of noodles or fried rice.
  • Skip the chicken and just add vegetables: bok choy, carrots, and zucchini.

Make this a pantry dish:

Buy extra dried mushrooms and keep them in your pantry along with fresh garlic, ginger and shallots (they don’t need to be refrigerated) and this dish can be made anytime as a meat-free stir-fry.  Just use the shallots instead of green onion and add them at the same time as the garlic and ginger.

Chinese Chicken and Mushroom

Chinese chicken and mushroom

It is a cozy rainy weekend in LA, so I made a quick and easy dish to go with the weather. This is my mom’s Chinese chicken and mushroom. It is such an easy dish that you can throw together on a weekday or weekend. It has chicken thighs sautéed with mushrooms, oyster sauce, and a little bit of sesame oil for that extra kick of flavor. And the best part is this dish comes together in less than 30 minutes.

ingredients

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

  • Chicken thighs – I used chicken thighs because I like how juicy thighs are, but you can use any cut of chicken for this recipe. Chicken breast is a good second option.
  • Sugar and salt for seasoning
  • Corn starch – A corn starch slurry or corn starch mixed with water is gives this dish its thick, saucy texture.
  • Garlic & ginger – Adds more flavor to the dish
  • Shiitake mushrooms – You can use a variety of different mushrooms for this dish. I used shiitake because that’s what I had on hand. Other mushrooms you can use are cremini or button mushrooms.
  • Yellow onion – I used a sweet yellow onion. A good substitute is white onion.
  • Oyster sauce – Adds a nice umami flavor to this dish. A good substitute for oyster sauce is dark soy sauce or regular soy sauce.
  • Sesame oil – Adds more flavor to the dish. If you don’t have sesame oil, leave it out.
finished dish

Making my Chinese chicken and mushroom

First marinate the chicken in 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch, salt, and sugar for 10 minutes. Then add chicken to a pan with 1 tbsp of oil over high heat. Sear the chicken for 1 minute. Next lower the heat. Cover and let the chicken cook for 8 minutes. This allows the chicken to cook through and stay juicy. While the chicken is cooking, make your corn starch slurry. Mix the last 1 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch and water together and set aside. After the chicken has cooked for 8 minutes, increase the heat to high. Stir in the mushrooms and onion. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Add the oyster sauce and corn starch slurry. Cook for 1 minute. Add the sesame oil and mix everything together. Taste the dish for seasoning and add more salt if it tastes bland. Serve with a side of rice.

Chinese chicken and mushroom

Tips on how to make the perfect Chinese chicken and mushroom

Marinate the chicken overnight for the best flavor

You can do this for 10 minutes like I mention in the recipe but for the best results, do this overnight. When the chicken marinates overnight, it allows all the flavor to sink into the chicken more thoroughly.

Cover and lower the heat in the middle to help cook the chicken

Chicken is one of those meats that is harder to cook through, so my mom lowers the heat in the middle of cooking to get it to cook throughly and stay juicy. She then cranks up the heat and uncovers it at the end to thicken the sauce.

Chinese chicken and mushroom

Chinese Chicken and Mushroom

Chicken sauteed with mushroom, oyster sauce, and a little bit of sesame oil. This dish comes together in 30 minutes or less.

PREP TIME10 mins

COOK TIME20 mins

COURSEMain Course

CUISINEChinese

SERVINGS6 people

CALORIES351 kcal

INGREDIENTS US CustomaryMetric 1x2x3x

  • 2 lb chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ oz ginger minced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms quartered
  • ½ yellow onion cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Marinate chicken with 1/2 tsp cornstarch, sugar, and salt for 10 minutes.
  • Add chicken, ginger, and garlic to a pan with a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Sear chicken for 1 minute.
  • Lower heat to medium. Cover and let the chicken cook for 8 minutes. This helps the chicken cook through and stay juicy.
  • While the chicken is cooking, combine the rest of the corn starch (1 ½ tsp) and water. Mix and set aside.
  • After 8 minutes, increase the heat to high. Stir in the mushrooms and onion. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the oyster sauce and corn starch slurry from step 4. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the sesame oil and mix together. Taste the dish for seasoning and add more salt if it tastes bland. Serve with a side of rice.

NOTES

  • Marinate the chicken overnight for the best flavor – You can do this for 10 minutes like I mention in the recipe but for the best results, do this overnight. When the chicken marinates overnight, it allows all the flavor to sink into the chicken more thoroughly.
  • Cover and lower the heat in the middle to help cook the chicken – Chicken is one of those meats that is harder to cook through, so my mom lowers the heat in the middle of cooking to get it to cook throughly and stay juicy. She then cranks up the heat and uncovers it at the end to thicken the sauce.

NUTRITION

Calories: 351kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 25gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 476mgPotassium: 378mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 118IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

Chinese Mushroom Chicken Stir Fry

This Panda Express style Chinese mushroom chicken is very easy to make and perfect for a weekday dinner. The tender chicken bites are cooked in an aromatic savory sweet sauce with juicy mushrooms and crispy bamboo shoots. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

Chinese Mushroom Chicken served on a plate

Since moving to the US, I’m often amazed at how trying out American Chinese food can open my mind towards the food of my own culture. I’ve experienced and recreated some of the popular American Chinese such as Orange Chicken, General Tso Tofu, and Beef with Broccoli. I’d never seen these dishes growing up in China. But they use various Chinese ingredients to create a sensation that’s true to traditional Chinese cooking. I enjoy these dishes and they somehow remind me of the food from home.

The theory proved right again on our way back from Los Angeles recently. During lunch hour, my husband and I were stuck in a tiny terminal with five restaurant options. After looking through the menus, we decided the most healthy option was Panda Express. I confess it was my first time ordering from the chain, since I often prefer smaller Chinese diners operated by immigrants. But to my surprise, the food turned out so good and I was obsessed with their mushroom chicken in the end.

The truth is, there is a mushroom chicken dish in traditional Chinese cooking. It is made with bone-in skin-on chicken, chopped to bite-size, then braised in a soy sauce based sauce with dried shiitake mushrooms. It’s a dish I often ate growing up. But I rarely make it anymore after moving to the US, because it can be hard to find such chicken cuts.

Trying the mushroom chicken at Panda Express made me realize that the best solution to recreating one of my favorite childhood dishes is to stir fry the ingredients instead of braising them.

Chinese Mushroom Chicken in a frying pan

Mushroom Chicken – Panda Express Style

The Panda Express mushroom chicken is very easy to make and perfect for a weekday dinner. The tender chicken bites are cooked in an aromatic savory sweet sauce with juicy mushrooms and crispy bamboo shoots. The Panda Express restaurant version doesn’t contain bamboo shoots. But I highly recommend them because they add a great texture and their taste goes perfectly with the sauce.

Which cut of chicken to use

The original Panda Express version actually uses dark meat, as is typical in China. I used white meat in this recipe and the result turned out great. And of course, you can use dark meat instead if you prefer.

Cookware

I’ve talked in previous posts about why NOT to use a wok, and some of the best ways to set up your stir fry station if you’re using an electric stove. Long story short, the most convenient setup is to use your electric stove with a nonstick pan (such as the 12” Calphalon deep fry pan, which provides enough surface area against the heating element to heat up your pan well, while it’s also deep enough to hold the ingredients during cooking).

The benefit of using a nonstick pan is that it heats up faster on an electric stove than a traditional wok does. Plus, the nonstick surface prevents the food from sticking to the pan. Most Chinese stir fry dishes use cornstarch to coat the meat, which is very prone to sticking to the pan if you don’t use enough oil and heat the pan well.

On the other hand, if you prefer not to use a nonstick pan, I would recommend a cast iron or a carbon steel pan (Ignore stainless. They stick like hell). In this case, you will need to add more oil to prevent the meat from sticking.

Panda Express Style Mushroom Chicken

Marinating the chicken

The most important step for most Chinese stir fries. The marinade will season the meat and give it a deeper aroma. The cornstarch will coat the chicken and protect it from the high heat. It takes a bit of effort but yields a very juicy and tender result, just like the restaurant version.

Mise en place

I like to organize my ingredients in groups, so I can use less bowls. It also makes the cooking easier. Once you’re done prepping, your kitchen counter should have:

  • Chicken with marinade
  • Mixed sauce with a spatula (to stir again during the cooking)
  • Chopped ginger, garlic, and green onion in a bowl
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Bamboo shoots
Chinese Mushroom Chicken cooking ingredients

Cooking process

The cooking happens very quickly once the pan has heated up.

It’s very important that you cook the chicken first, and take it out before adding the vegetables. It’s the best way to prevent the chicken from overcooking. Plus, it helps the pan to keep a high temperature to sear the vegetables instead of steaming them.

If you’re using a cast iron or carbon steel pan, the chicken might stick to the pan. In this case, drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine and use a wooden spatula to deglaze it.

To make this dish gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos to replace the soy sauce. Use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine. And use a gluten-free oyster sauce.

To sum up

You’d be surprised at how easy it is to prepare this restaurant dish at home, and the result is so good. I’ve made this dish very saucy so it is perfect to serve on top of rice. I hope you enjoy!

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